Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/513

Another coin bites the dust: An analysis of dust in UTXO based cryptocurrencies

Cristina Pérez-Solà and Sergi Delgado-Segura and Guillermo Navarro-Arribas and Jordi Herrera-Joancomart

Abstract: Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) are the internal mechanism used in many cryp- tocurrencies to represent coins. Such representation has some clear benefits, but also entails some complexities that, if not properly handled, may leave the system in an inefficient state. Specifically, inefficiencies arise when wallets (the software responsible for transferring coins between parties) do not manage UTXOs properly when performing payments. In this paper, we study three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, by analyzing the actual state of their UTXO sets, that is, the status of their sets of spendable coins. These three cryptocurrencies are the top-3 UTXO based cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Our analysis shows that the usage of each cryptocurrency is quite different, and let to different results. Furthermore, it also points out that the management of the transactions has not been always performed efficiently and then the actual state of the UTXO set for each cryptocurrency is far from ideal.

Category / Keywords: applications / blockchain, UTXO, Bitcoin

Date: received 24 May 2018, last revised 8 Nov 2018

Contact author: guillermo navarro at uab cat

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Version: 20181108:150351 (All versions of this report)

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