On Subversive Miner Strategies and Block Withholding Attack in Bitcoin Digital Currency Nov 20 2017 13:18 languageMoneyScience
keyboard_arrow_downkeyboard_arrow_up Visit resource
Nicolas T. Courtois, Lear Bahack
last revised 2 Dec 2014 (this version, v5))
Bitcoin is a "cryptocurrency", a decentralized electronic payment scheme based on cryptography. Bitcoin economy grows at an incredibly fast rate and is now worth some 10 billions of dollars. Bitcoin mining is an activity which consists of creating (minting) the new coins which are later put into circulation. Miners spend electricity on solving cryptographic puzzles and they are also gatekeepers which validate bitcoin transactions of other people. Miners are expected to be honest and have some incentives to behave well. However. In this paper we look at the miner strategies with particular attention paid to subversive and dishonest strategies or those which could put bitcoin and its reputation in danger. We study in details several recent attacks in which dishonest miners obtain a higher reward than their relative contribution to the network. In particular we revisit the concept of block withholding attacks and propose a new concrete and practical block withholding attack which we show to maximize the advantage gained by rogue miners.
RECENT EVENTS: it seems that the attack was recently executed, see Section XI-A.