ETC 51% attack update – interesting stuff happening

I know everyone is sick of hearing of this dumpster fire but some interesting stuff is going on with the ETC chain and their recent 51% attack. I don't really understand the motivation of this activity and would like to hear other theories. Also I don't use ETC block explorers that often so someone tell me if I'm misreading them.

Two things happened. They could be totally unrelated:

The 51% attacker returned $100k worth of ETC to gate.io that they got using the double-spend. Source here: https://www.gateio.io/article/16740

The 51% attacker returning the ETC is interesting. It suggests that either the attacker was a white hat trying to bring attention to the fact that ETC was Nicehash 51%able, or the attacker realized he would have a hard time cashing out because of KYC/AML stuff or something else that I don't understand.

Today, ETC block rewards have gone through the roof with some blocks seeing like $2k in fees: https://www.trustnodes.com/2019/01/13/etc-block-rewards-go-crazy

Someone is making transactions that pay really high fees. Here's one that paid 105 ETC in fees to transfer 125 ETC: https://blockscout.com/etc/mainnet/tx/0x6a87bead34c2f282f382ab3f40429b3cc4828bf7f10e347aca8c5ce86c9b6119/internal_transactions

Here's the address (hence referred to as 0xb71) paying the massive fees. They received a bunch of 100k ETC deposits in the past few days: https://blockscout.com/etc/mainnet/address/0xb71ee6225ac2904b61941797781ad5cb9182371d/transactions?filter=to

In fact, 0xb71 got over 1M ETC from this address (0xfc4) in the past week: https://blockscout.com/etc/mainnet/address/0xfc41998b4aabd4b743724d9ba30f89625fd03c22/transactions

According to this blog post, 0xfc4 belongs to some project called Mavrodi: https://www.mavrodi.net/blog/news-about-1-5-version

After finding that blog post, I visited mavrodi.net and if you scroll down, you can see that 0xb71 is a "cold wallet" that belongs to "Mcoin".

I have no idea wtf is going on over at Mcoin and I'm concerned their website may give me cancer so I haven't dug into it too much.

The high fees/block rewards have had the affect of boosting ETC hashrate from about 8.5 TH/s to 11.5 TH/s in the past 8 hours as miners switch over to claim these massive rewards: https://www.coinwarz.com/network-hashrate-charts/ethereum-classic-network-hashrate-chart We'll see if they keep it up until Constantinople.

edit: lol MCoin's twitter account, linked to from their website: https://twitter.com/Mr_10101M

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