The Cryptotoken Behind Ethereum Network Congestion
A cryptotoken named ifishyunyu has created congestion on the Ethereum network. This has caused the transaction costs or Gas prices to increase to about 100 Gwei, almost 6x the normal. While Ethereum network has faced a similar situation in the past due to Cryptokitties game, the difference this time is that the cryptocoin is unknown and does not serve any purpose. So, it means that there is deliberate attempt to keep the network slow, leading to frustration and migration to other networks. There is no firm indication as to who is behind this operation. However, rumors abound about the use of bots by someone in the EOS community.
As of writing this article, approximately 40% of the Ethereum’s network being used by this cryptotoken contract
A quick look at the code reveals that it is a copy-paste of ERC20 standard token, named IFishYunYu, with practically no features. Still, innumerable number of wallets is transferring thousands of this token continuously. The contract has been consuming between 40 to 50 ETH of Gas every hour for the past one day. The individual tokens are transferred to the FCoin exchange. The exchange, as it can be understood, is only used to divert focus.
A look at this address reveals that someone has created nearly 4.85 billion mysterious IFish coin about 12 days ago.
The above address divided the coins and sent it to about 10 addresses. The coins were further divided and sent to about 600 addresses. These are the account responsible for spamming the Eth network. All these accounts perform circular trading. If we follow one account, ultimately, it will lead to the main account from where the transactions originated.
One of the accounts providing the necessary Eth transaction fee is this
The above address contains a lot of crowd funded EOS. The account receives huge amount in EOS, sells them and then distributes it other smart contracts which perform circular trading.
This way of creating traffic congestion has exposed another issue that a decentralized, smart contract platform can face at any time. It has shown a way by which a user having thousands of Eth tokens can slow down the network for several months. The issue has once again confirms that blockchain technology has a long way to go before these issues are permanently removed.
While it can be argued that the transactions are carried out as per rules, it should be noted that an increase in Gas cost from 10-15 Gwei to about 100 Gwei would discourage a person from using a DApp. Deliberately creating congestion of network can be considered as a DDoS attack. In case of Ethereum, such issues may be laid to rest permanently with the arrival of Sharding and Plasma technology.