Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/486

Detective Mining: Selfish Mining Becomes Unrealistic under Mining Pool Environment

Suhyeon Lee and Seungjoo Kim

Abstract: One of Bitcoin’s core security guarantees is that, for an attacker to be able to successfully interfere with the Bitcoin network and reverse transactions, they need to control 51% of total hash power. Eyal et al., however, significantly reduces Bitcoin’s security guarantee by introducing another type of attack, called "Selfish Mining". The key idea behind selfish mining is for a miner to keep its discovered blocks private, thereby intentionally forking the chain. As a result of a selfish mining attack, even a miner with 25% of the computation power can bias the agreed chain with its blocks. After Eyal's original paper, the concept of selfish mining has been actively studied within the Bitcoin community for several years. This paper studies a fundamental problem regarding the selfish mining strategy under the existence of mining pools. For this, we propose a new attack strategy, called "Detective Mining", and show that selfish mining pool is not profitable anymore when other miners use our strategy.

Category / Keywords: applications / blockchain, Bitcoin, security

Date: received 12 May 2019, last revised 13 May 2019

Contact author: orion-alpha at korea ac kr

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20190519:092856 (All versions of this report)

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