F2Pool co-founder responds to allegations it is dishonest the Ethereum POW system

F2Pool co-founder Chun Wang has responded to allegations that his mining pool is manipulating Ethereum block timestamps as a way to “persistently get hold of larger mining rewards.”

The allegation comes from an August 5 paper by researchers at The Hebrew College, which claimed that mining swimming pools engaged in “consensus-level” assaults on Ethereum over the previous two years to realize an edge over “trustworthy” miners. Was.

Nevertheless, on Twitter, Wang responded by saying that “we proceed to respect *consent*”, implying that intentionally exploiting the foundations of the system doesn’t essentially imply that the foundations are damaged.

Earlier this week, researchers shared what they declare is the primary proof of a “consensus-level assault” on Ethereum, during which miners akin to F2Pool have persistently modified block timestamps to obtain larger mining rewards than miners. Have discovered a technique to manipulate. with honesty.”

The analysis paper, written by cryptocurrency lecturer Aviv Yaish, software program algorithm developer Gilad Stern, and laptop scientist Aviv Zohar, alleges that Ethereum mining pool F2Pool is likely one of the miners who’re utilizing this timestamp manipulation technique.

“Though most mining swimming pools produce comparatively imperceptible wanting blocks, F2Pool clearly disregards the foundations and makes use of false timestamps for his or her blocks,” stated Yash, including that mining swimming pools have been round for the previous two years. finishing up the assault.

Wang additionally appeared to personal the proof introduced by Yash, suggesting that the timestamp manipulation was being executed deliberately.

F2Pool is a geographically distributed mining pool, principally blocks on the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin networks.

How ‘Assault’ works

In accordance with the researchers, Ethereum’s present proof-of-work (POW) consensus legal guidelines embrace a vulnerability that provides miners “some extent of freedom” when setting timestamps, which means that incorrect timestamps will be created.

“For instance, a miner could begin mining a block now, however may very well set the timestamp of the block to be 5 seconds up to now or 10 seconds sooner or later. So long as this timestamp is inside a sure affordable vary, Even then the block could be thought of legitimate, in keeping with Ethereum’s consensus legal guidelines.

The flexibility to create these false timestamps provides these miners an edge in a “tie-breaking” situation as a result of one miner can change one other miner’s block of the identical block top by lowering the timestamp sufficient to extend the mining problem of the block.

Associated: Ethereum Merge: How Will the PoS Transition Have an effect on the ETH Ecosystem?

Nevertheless, the researchers additionally famous that the vulnerability could have been resolved after Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) after the upcoming merge on September 19, which makes use of a distinct set of consensus guidelines. .

“An apparent mitigation method that might resolve this assault, and every other PoW-related one, is to maneuver Ethereum’s consensus mechanism to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

“Different options that could be smaller in scope and thus simpler to implement are to undertake higher fork-selection guidelines, use dependable timestamps, or keep away from utilizing timestamps for problem adjustment,” the researchers stated.