June 4, 2023

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Chun Wang, the co-founder of F2Pool, has answered the accusations that the mining pool in his possession has been exploiting the block timestamps of Ethereum to acquire higher mining rewards continuously. The accusations have originated from a paper that was published by Hebrew University-based researchers, asserting that a consensus-level assault has been carried out by the respective mining pool on the Ethereum network during a previous couple of years to obtain superiority over the miners who operate honestly.

F2Pool’s Co-founder Accused of Exploiting Ethereum’s PoW System

Nonetheless, these accusations were responded to by Wang as he asserts that the consensus is respected by them as it is, indicating that deliberate exploitation of the rules of the system does not specifically imply that they have been smashed. Previously this week, the researchers pointed out what they categorize as having been the initial evidence of an attack done at the consensus level on Ethereum, where the miners like F2Pool have discovered a method to exploit block timestamps for securing greater mining rewards instead of mining honestly.

The respective paper was noted by Aviv Yaish (a crypto lecturer) Gilad Stern (a developer of software algorithm), as well as Aviv Zohar (a computer scientist), accusing that F2Pool of Ethereum has been among the miners by whom the respective timestamp exploitation plan has been utilized. Even though the majority of the mining pools develop comparatively unobtrusive-looking blocks, the respective rules are disregarded by F2Pool and it utilized false timestamps in terms of the blocks, as mentioned by Yaish.

The Merge may Potentially Dump the False Block Timestamps

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Wang seemed to admit the evidence that Yaish presented, signifying that the manipulation regarding the timestamps was performed deliberately. F2Pool counts as a geographically disseminated mining pool specified for majorly mining Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin networks. As per the researchers, the present proof-of-work consensus-related rules of Ethereum take into account a loophole that enables the miners to have some extent of freedom while organizing the timestamps, meaning that wrong timestamps may also be developed.

The potential to develop such wrong timestamps lets the miners have superiority over the others as the blocks of a similar height under the possession of another miner can be replaced by a miner to enhance the mining difficulty of the block. Nevertheless, the researchers brought to the front that following the transition of Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus through the Merge, the respective vulnerability may get resolved.

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