Verge stands as one of the many privacy-focused blockchain networks out there, and has recently been subject to a block reorganization of formidable proportions, seeing transactions dating as far back as July 2020 be completely replaced.
The Crypto Space’s Biggest Reorgs Among Top 100
This entire event was declared one of the deepest reorganization events to have ever taken place within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by analysts. Even so, analysts aren’t quite sure whether or not this event was the result of an attack.
Antoine Le Calvez stands as the CEO of Coinmetrics, and gave his own statement about the matter. He was the first one to notice the monumental reorganization event, sharing with Crypto Twitter a screenshot that showed that a minimum of 560,000 blocks had up and vanished on the 15th of February, 2020.
— Antoine Le Calvez (@khannib) February 15, 2021
Reasons Yet Unclear
One of the suggested reasons for these reorgs, suggested by Le Calvez himself, is that this could be a double-spend. This came when the same XVG tokens were used in two simultaneous and separate transactions. Even so, even Le Calvez had to admit the sheer scope of the incident will require some time for developers to find the exact source of why this reorg happened to begin with.
With this spectacular roll-back, any user that had purchased or received XVG tokens from today until back in July of 2020 would have lost the entirety of their balance. One of the researchers at Deribit Insights, going by “Hasu,” declared that thousands of balances have now simply ceased to exist. After the attack, many Verge investors have found their wallets empty.
Verge (XVG) is experiencing the the deepest ever reorg in any PoW blockchain. An attacker has replaced 200 days worth of txns with empty blocks, so thousands of balances have simply evaporated. https://t.co/QuzHIoMzVr
— Hasu (@hasufl) February 15, 2021
Blaming GPU Mining
Hasu isn’t really worried about the attack itself, however, despite the sheer scale of it making some people spit out their drinks. He declared it to be pretty easy in terms of devising the counter, explaining that it’ll be a matter of the attacker’s chain being rejected, with the previous one being restored. Hasu took this as a chance to highlight how GPU mining-supported blockchains are incredibly vulnerable to attacks.
What’s sad is that this isn’t even the first network reorg used to fight off attackers. Back in 2019, the Vertcoin network suffered from a 51% attack, with even Binance, the major crypto exchange, seeing a $40 million hack that same year. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, suggested a reorg in the Bitcoin network to try and compensate. Obviously, that idea fell through pretty quickly.
What Verge will do now is unclear, but it’s always a heavy hit when a network gets beaten at its own game. With luck, the entire incident will be corrected and will never happen again.