When bitcoin mining pools run dry: A game-theoretic analysis of the long-term impact of attacks between mining pools

Aron Laszka, Benjamin Johnson, Jens Grossklags

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bitcoin has established itself as the most successful cryptocurrency with adoption seen in many commercial scenarios. While most stakeholders have jointly benefited from the growing importance of Bitcoin, conflicting interests continue to negatively impact the ecosystem. In particular, incentives to derive short-term profits from attacks on mining pools threaten the long-term viability of Bitcoin. We develop a game-theoretic model that allows us to capture short-term as well as long-term impacts of attacks against mining pools. Using this model, we study the conditions under which the mining pools have no incentives to launch attacks against each other (i.e., peaceful equilibria), and the conditions under which one mining pool is marginalized by attacks (i.e., one-sided attack equilibria). Our results provide guidelines for ensuring that the Bitcoin ecosystem remains long-term viable and trustworthy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - FC 2015 International Workshops BITCOIN, WAHC, and Wearable, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsNicolas Christin, Kurt Rohloff, Michael Brenner, Nicolas Christin, Michael Brenner, Benjamin Johnson, Benjamin Johnson, Kurt Rohloff
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages63-77
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783662480502, 9783662480502
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
EventInternational Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015 2nd Workshop on Bitcoin Research BITCOIN 2015, 3rd Workshop on Encrypted Computing and Applied Homomorphic Cryptography, WAHC 2015, and 1st Workshop on Wearable Security and Privacy, Wearable 2015 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: Jan 30 2015Jan 30 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8976
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Other

OtherInternational Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015 2nd Workshop on Bitcoin Research BITCOIN 2015, 3rd Workshop on Encrypted Computing and Applied Homomorphic Cryptography, WAHC 2015, and 1st Workshop on Wearable Security and Privacy, Wearable 2015
CountryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan
Period1/30/151/30/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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