Bitcoin Private (BTCP) Is Easy to 51 Percent Attack and Has a Hidden 2.04 Million Coin Premine

December 26, 2018 / by Zachary Mashiach

The War On Shitcoins Episode 8: Bitcoin Private (BTCP). The war on shitcoins is a Crypto.IQ series that targets and shoots down cryptocurrencies that are not worth investing in either due to their being scams, having serious design flaws, being centralized, or in general just being worthless copies of other cryptocurrencies. There are thousands of shitcoins that are ruining the markets, and Crypto.IQ intends to expose all of them. The crypto space needs an exorcism, and we are happy to provide it.

Bitcoin Private (BTCP) is one of numerous Bitcoin forks but is perhaps one of the more well-known forks. Bitcoin Private (BTCP) launched in March 2018, and in April, briefly attained a market cap of $1.5 billion. However, Bitcoin Private (BTCP) is a good example of how market cap is a poor measure of the legitimacy or usefulness of a cryptocurrency.

In October, a hacker live streamed a 51 percent attack against Bitcoin Private (BTCP) for fun, using hash power rented from a cloud mining site. Now it has come to light that the Bitcoin Private developer team minted an extra 2.04 million BTCP during the genesis fork and hid this fact from the public. Essentially, Bitcoin Private (BTCP) is a shitcoin because it lacks security and has corrupt developers, as we’ll explain in this article.

Anyone Could 51 percent Attack Bitcoin Private (BTCP)

A hacker who uses the pseudonym “Geocold” wanted to prove to the world how easy it is to 51 percent attack a cryptocurrency, even a cryptocurrency with a market cap in excess of $50 million at the time, one like Bitcoin Private (BTCP).

Perhaps Geocold was inspired by Crypto51, a website that calculates how affordable it is to perform a 51 percent attack on various cryptocurrencies. Currently Bitcoin Private is still extremely vulnerable to a 51 percent attack since the total network hash rate is seven MH/s and uses the equihash algorithm.

Crypto51 indicates it costs a mere $48 to 51 percent attack Bitcoin Private (BTCP) for an hour, so perhaps for less than $200 a hacker could perform a sustained and devastating attack that would decimate Bitcoin Private (BTCP). It seems like most major exchanges have delisted Bitcoin Private (BTCP) after Geocold’s initial livestream, but several exchanges still offer Bitcoin Private (BTCP), which is a true disservice to their customers and puts the exchange itself at risk.

The Geocold livestream 51 percent attack of Bitcoin Private (BTCP) caused a media frenzy in the crypto space. Many thought it should be illegal to attack a cryptocurrency, and indeed Twitch and Stream.me banned Geocold’s account. Geocold obtained 62.5 percent of the Bitcoin Private (BTCP) hash rate and was successfully mining blocks and was ready to perform the double spend attack, but he only stopped because he lost his streaming account.

As we’ve mentioned, anyone with $50 and a little programming knowledge could perform a successful 51 percent double spend attack on Bitcoin Private (BTCP). Geocold was doing the crypto space a service by exposing this truth. In general, people should do research before investing or trading a cryptocurrency to ensure it is actually secure. In this case, Bitcoin Private (BTCP) obviously lacks security, yet it still has a market cap of tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars of daily trading volume.

Bitcoin Private (BTCP) Developers Secretly Premined 2.04 Million Coins

The fact that Bitcoin Private (BTCP) can be so easily attacked makes it a shitcoin, but the revelation that the developers secretly mined 2.04 million BTCP during the genesis fork is the nail in the coffin.

The whole idea behind Bitcoin Private is that it is Bitcoin integrated with Zclassic (similar to Zcash) privacy technology. This means there are stealth addresses and transparent addresses. The developers used this to their advantage, they minted 2.04 million BTCP and hid it in stealth addresses. Further, the developers released supply auditing checks for BTCP that purposely missed the hidden premine.

It has been over 9 months since Bitcoin Private launched, and this is only being discovered now. The total supply of Bitcoin Private (BTCP) is supposed to be 21 million coins like Bitcoin, but there are already 22.6 million BTCP in existence and mining continues.

It appears 300,000 BTCP from the hidden premine were dumped onto the market between July and August, coinciding with a price crash from $10 to $3. It is estimated that these dumped BTCP from the hidden premine netted the developers between $1 million and $3 million, while simultaneously the total BTCP market cap lost over $100 million.

There is nothing to stop the developers from dumping the other 1.74 million BTCP that they have in their not-so-hidden premine. The market is reacting to this revelation, and the price of BTCP has dropped to $2. If the developers were to actually cash out this premine all at once it would completely saturate the order books and drop the price of BTCP to near zero.

Even at this lower price the market cap of Bitcoin Private (BTCP) is in excess of $40 million. This makes zero sense for a cryptocurrency that can easily be 51 percent attacked by any script kiddie, while simultaneously the market could be sucked dry at any moment by the corrupt developers.