BSV Woes: Bitcoin SV Gets Hit with Block Reorgs After Delistings

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The Bitcoin SV (BSV) price is down 16 percent on the week after high-profile crypto exchanges like Binance and Kraken declared they’d be delisting the coin. Now, insult’s been added to injury, as an unknown actor seems to have conducted two separate block reorganizations on the project’s blockchain on April 18th.

A block reorganization, or a chain reorg, occurs when an agent gains at least 51 percent of a proof-of-work (PoW) network’s hash rate and then uses the majority hash power to enforce a new dominant chain — typically to overwrite transactions or to launch double spends via exchanges.

As for the current episode, the research wing of crypto exchange BitMEX has noted that two block reorgs occurred between Bitcoin SV blocks 578,639 and 578,647. The first incident reorganized three blocks, and the second reorganized six. BitMEX Research detected no double spends in their post-mortem analysis.

It’s worth noting that reorgs can be localized to a single client, so in the case of the Ethereum network, a reorg hitting only the Geth client wouldn’t appear to Parity users, for example. However, in the case of blockchains that rely on one client, as Bitcoin SV presently does, reorgs appear to all their users.

It’s isn’t Bitcoin SV’s first rodeo, either. Its network suffered a block reorg last fall, but at the time speculation mounted that the episode accidentally resulted from the BSV community stress testing its own chain.

Ill Will?

The latest reorg seems likelier to be an explicit flex in light of the backlash the BSV ecosystem’s top firebrands, Satoshi Nakamoto-claimant Craig S. Wright and CoinGeek magnate Calvin Ayre, have received in recent days.

The aforementioned BSV delisting saga was preceded by outcry among Bitcoin (BTC) proponents after Wright sent legal threats to prominent Bitcoiners, like Twitter user Hodlonaut and popular podcaster Peter McCormack, that had denied he was Nakamoto.

The war of words spurred several crypto exchanges to announce delistings of BSV, including Binance, Blockchain.com, ShapeShift, and Kraken.

The drama has led to further bad blood around BSV and may have provided motivation for an attacker to flex against its blockchain. If that’s the case, the attack was made possible by its extreme inexpensiveness.

BitMEX Research estimates that BSV miners are currently in the red profit-wise; that dynamic makes it unattractive chain to mine on and leads to an associated lack of security. Indeed, BSV’s security is so minimal that tracker site Crypto51 projects it would presently cost little more than $6,000 USD to launch a one-hour 51 percent attack against the blockchain.

Unless miners come in droves, Bitcoin SV will remain vulnerable to further block reorgs. But with its mining being so acutely unprofitable, there’s no clear reprieve in sight for now.

More Woes Coming for Wright?

The pressure hitting the BSV community, or at least its figurehead, may not be over yet. That’s per an April 19th tweet from Casa CTO and renowned Bitcoiner Jameson Lopp, who said he’s preparing to release a research report on Craig Wright.

Lopp noted the report was being reviewed for its legal ramifications and that as much as 40 percent of its content had been withheld to make it legally airtight.

“Wright is better positioned than most people to pose as a Satoshi candidate, but I’ve yet to find any convincing evidence to support his claims,”

the Casa CTO said.

If the research is what Lopp’s suggesting it is, then Wright’s critics will have that much more evidence going forward with which to contest Wright’s claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto.

However, zooming out, it seems unlikely any report would deter Wright from maintaining his position, as he’s considerably entrenched via the backing of CoinGeek and nChain.


William M. Peaster is a professional writer and editor who specializes in the Ethereum, Dai, and Bitcoin beats in the cryptoeconomy. He's appeared in Blockonomi, Binance Academy, Bitsonline, and more. He enjoys tracking smart contracts, DAOs, dApps, and the Lightning Network. He's learning Solidity, too! Contact him on Telegram at @wmpeaster

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