Paper 2018/1084

A Deep Dive into Blockchain Selfish Mining

Qianlan Bai, Xinyan Zhou, Xing Wang, Yuedong Xu, Xin Wang, and Qingsheng Kong


This paper studies a fundamental problem regarding the security of blockchain on how the existence of multiple misbehaving pools influences the profitability of selfish mining. Each selfish miner maintains a private chain and makes it public opportunistically for the purpose of acquiring more rewards incommensurate to his Hashrate. We establish a novel Markov chain model to characterize all the state transitions of public and private chains. The minimum requirement of Hashrate together with the minimum delay of being profitable is derived in close-form. The former reduces to 21.48% with the symmetric selfish miners, while their competition with asymmetric Hashrates puts forward a higher requirement of the profitable threshold. The profitable delay increases with the decrease of the Hashrate of selfish miners, making the mining pools more cautious on performing selfish mining.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Contact author(s)
17210720025 @ fudan edu cn
2018-11-09: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Qianlan Bai and Xinyan Zhou and Xing Wang and Yuedong Xu and Xin Wang and Qingsheng Kong},
      title = {A Deep Dive into Blockchain Selfish Mining},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/1084},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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