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Paper 2015/796

Stubborn Mining: Generalizing Selfish Mining and Combining with an Eclipse Attack

Kartik Nayak, Srijan Kumar, Andrew Miller, and Elaine Shi


Selfish mining, originally discovered by Eyal et al.~\cite{selfish_mining}, is a well-known attack where a selfish miner, under certain conditions, can gain a disproportionate share of reward by deviating from the honest behavior. In this paper, we expand the mining strategy space to include novel ``stubborn'' strategies that, for a large range of parameters, earn the miner more revenue. Consequently, we show that the selfish mining attack is not (in general) optimal. Further, we show how a miner can further amplify its gain by non-trivially composing mining attacks with network-level eclipse attacks. We show, surprisingly, that given the attacker's best strategy, in some cases victims of an eclipse attack can actually benefit from being eclipsed!

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. IEEE Euro SP 2016
Bitcoincryptographic protocolsSelfish Mining
Contact author(s)
kartik @ cs umd edu
2016-01-06: revised
2015-08-10: received
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Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Kartik Nayak and Srijan Kumar and Andrew Miller and Elaine Shi},
      title = {Stubborn Mining: Generalizing Selfish Mining and Combining with an Eclipse Attack},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2015/796},
      year = {2015},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/796}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/796}
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