Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/411

Exploring the Monero Peer-to-Peer Network

Tong Cao and Jiangshan Yu and Jérémie Decouchant and Xiapu Luo and Paulo Verissimo

Abstract: As of 12th January 2019, Monero is ranked as the first privacy-preserving cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and the 14th among all cryptocurrencies. This paper aims at improving the understanding of the Monero peer-to-peer network. We develop a tool set to explore the Monero peer-to-peer network, including its network size, distribution, and connectivity. In addition, we set up four Monero nodes that run our tools: two in the U.S., one in Asia, and one in Europe. We show that through a short time (one week) data collection, our tool is already able to discover 68.7% more daily active peers (in average) compared to a Monero mining pool, called Monerohash, that also provides data on the Monero node distribution. Overall, we discovered 21,678 peer IP addresses in the Monero network. Our results show that only 4,329 (about 20%) peers are active. We also show that the nodes in the Monero network follow the power law distribution concerning the number of connections they maintain. In particular, only 0.7% of the active maintain more than 250 outgoing connections simultaneously, and a large proportion (86.8%) of the nodes maintain less than 8 outgoing connections. These 86.8% nodes only maintain 17.14% of the overall connections in the network, whereas the remaining 13.2% nodes maintain 82.86% of the overall connections. We also show that our tool is able to dynamically infer the complete outgoing connections of 99.3% nodes in the network, and infer 250 outgoing connections of the remaining 0.7% nodes.

Category / Keywords: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Peer-to-peer System

Date: received 19 Apr 2019

Contact author: tong cao at uni lu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20190422:185329 (All versions of this report)

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