UltraSoundMoney data on May 20 shows that two million ethereum (ETH), worth roughly $3.6b, is ready to be staked to further beef up the Ethereum network security.
Enough ETH to “51% attack” Bitcoin
This sizable reserve has inspired fascinating hypotheses, including the prospect of using this ethereum stockpile to carry out a 51% assault on the Bitcoin network.
Hypotheses have also centered on the likelihood of the reserve being used to purchase more bitcoin (BTC).
Because ethereum and bitcoin use separate blockchains and different consensus procedures, it is not feasible for the two networks to interact directly, making the attack theoretically impossible.
However, the monetary value represented by the accumulated ethereum may be used to purchase the required quantity of bitcoin to carry out such an assault possibly.
Some light into what is a 51% attack
To offer some background, a 51% assault is the acquisition by a person or organization of control over 50% of a blockchain network’s mining power or hash rate. Out of this, an attacker could modify transactions and participate in double spending, undermining the network’s trustworthiness and dependability.
Even if this kind of attack may be carried out against a blockchain based on proof-of-work, doing it in practice is more complex. The acquisition of a considerable volume of bitcoin to acquire majority control would cause a big spike in the price of bitcoin owing to the increased demand.
This price increase would need even more resources, making it more difficult to assault in its current form. In addition, the technology behind blockchain is based on the ideals of openness, security, and trust.
Therefore, an assault of 51% of the network’s total resources goes directly against these values. It would significantly negatively impact the network’s reputation and, as a result, its total worth.
Based on this, despite the huge ETH stockpile ready to be staked on the Ethereum proof-of-stake Beacon Chain, the possibility of using it to launch a hypothetical 51% assault on Bitcoin remains completely speculative and is very unlikely.