Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/007

One Weird Trick to Stop Selfish Miners: Fresh Bitcoins, A Solution for the Honest Miner.

Ethan Heilman

Abstract: Abstract—A recent result in Bitcoin is the selfish mining strategy in which a selfish cartel withholds blocks they mine to gain an advantage. This strategy is both incentive-compatible and harmful to Bitcoin. In this paper we introduce a new defense against selfish mining that improves on the previous best result, we raise the threshold of mining power necessary to profitably selfishly mine from 25% to 32% under all propagation advantages. While the security of our system uses unforgeable timestamps, it is robust to their compromise. Additionally, we discuss the difficulty a mining conspiracy would face attempting to keep the compromise of our scheme secret and we analyze incentives for getting miners to adopt these changes.

Category / Keywords: Bitcoin CryptoCurrency VirtualCurrency SelfishMining

Date: received 4 Jan 2014, last revised 4 Apr 2014

Contact author: ethan r heilman at gmail com

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Note: Fixed broken citations.

Version: 20140404:151131 (All versions of this report)

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