Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/884

Blockchain Layer Zero: Characterizing the Bitcoin Network through Measurements, Models, and Simulations

Elias Rohrer and Florian Tschorsch

Abstract: In recent years, research has shown the networking layer’s significant influence on the scalability, security, and privacy of blockchain systems. Such large-scale networks however exhibit a degree of complexity that demands model-based simulations as real-world experiments are often not possible. In this work, we methodically characterize blockchain networks by reference to the paradigmatic Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, explore the state-of-the-art protocols, and emphasize this key design space. To this end, we conducted a longitudinal measurement study on the Bitcoin network, from which we extract a comprehensive network model and implement it as part of the bns network simulation framework. We validate the model in comparison to real-world measurements as well as to results from related work. Moreover, we experimentally show how network utilization and miners’ geographical location impact the block propagation characteristics.

Category / Keywords: applications / blockchain, cryptocurrency, broadcast, peer-to-peer, networking

Original Publication (with minor differences): LCN ’21: Proceedings of the 46th IEEE International Conference on Local Computer Networks.

Date: received 26 Jun 2021

Contact author: elias rohrer at tu-berlin de

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210629:114701 (All versions of this report)

Short URL: ia.cr/2021/884


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