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Selfish mining in Proof-of-Work blockchain with multiple miners: An empirical evaluation

Selfish mining in Proof-of-Work blockchain with multiple miners: An empirical evaluation
Selfish mining in Proof-of-Work blockchain with multiple miners: An empirical evaluation
Proof-of-Work blockchain, despite its numerous benefits, is still not an entirely secure technology due to the existence of Selfish Mining (SM) strategies that can disrupt the system and its mining economy. While the effect of SM has been studied mostly in a two-miners scenario, it has not been investigated in a more practical context where there are multiple malicious miners individually performing SM.

To fill this gap, we carry out an empirical study that separately accounts for different numbers of SM miners (who always perform SM) and strategic miners (who choose either SM or Nakamoto's mining protocol depending on which maximises their individual mining reward).

Our result shows that SM is generally more effective as the number of SM miners increases, however its effectiveness does not vary in the presence of a large number of strategic miners. Under specific mining power distributions, we also demonstrate that multiple miners can perform SM and simultaneously gain higher mining rewards than they should. Surprisingly, we also show that the more strategic miners there are, the more robust the systems become. Since blockchain miners should naturally be seen as self-interested strategic miners, our findings encourage blockchain system developers and engineers to attract as many miners as possible to prevent SM and similar behaviour.
Selfish mining, Proof-of-Work blockchain, Agent-based model, Empirical multiplayer game
0302-9743
219-234
Springer
Leelavimolsilp, Tin
ced82206-5549-4cbc-8bdc-0046c63fa3e7
Nguyen, Viet
6bd4d8a6-a58b-4f3d-9060-c7671583c5c2
Stein, Sebastian
cb2325e7-5e63-475e-8a69-9db2dfbdb00b
Tran-Thanh, Long
e0666669-d34b-460e-950d-e8b139fab16c
Baldoni, Matteo
Dastani, Mehdi
Liao, Beishui
Sakurai, Yuko
Zalila-Wenkstern, Rym
Leelavimolsilp, Tin
ced82206-5549-4cbc-8bdc-0046c63fa3e7
Nguyen, Viet
6bd4d8a6-a58b-4f3d-9060-c7671583c5c2
Stein, Sebastian
cb2325e7-5e63-475e-8a69-9db2dfbdb00b
Tran-Thanh, Long
e0666669-d34b-460e-950d-e8b139fab16c
Baldoni, Matteo
Dastani, Mehdi
Liao, Beishui
Sakurai, Yuko
Zalila-Wenkstern, Rym

Leelavimolsilp, Tin, Nguyen, Viet, Stein, Sebastian and Tran-Thanh, Long (2019) Selfish mining in Proof-of-Work blockchain with multiple miners: An empirical evaluation. Baldoni, Matteo, Dastani, Mehdi, Liao, Beishui, Sakurai, Yuko and Zalila-Wenkstern, Rym (eds.) In PRIMA 2019: Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems. vol. 11873, Springer. pp. 219-234 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-33792-6_14).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Proof-of-Work blockchain, despite its numerous benefits, is still not an entirely secure technology due to the existence of Selfish Mining (SM) strategies that can disrupt the system and its mining economy. While the effect of SM has been studied mostly in a two-miners scenario, it has not been investigated in a more practical context where there are multiple malicious miners individually performing SM.

To fill this gap, we carry out an empirical study that separately accounts for different numbers of SM miners (who always perform SM) and strategic miners (who choose either SM or Nakamoto's mining protocol depending on which maximises their individual mining reward).

Our result shows that SM is generally more effective as the number of SM miners increases, however its effectiveness does not vary in the presence of a large number of strategic miners. Under specific mining power distributions, we also demonstrate that multiple miners can perform SM and simultaneously gain higher mining rewards than they should. Surprisingly, we also show that the more strategic miners there are, the more robust the systems become. Since blockchain miners should naturally be seen as self-interested strategic miners, our findings encourage blockchain system developers and engineers to attract as many miners as possible to prevent SM and similar behaviour.

Text
Selfish_Mining_in_Proof_of_Work_Blockchain_with_Multiple_Miners__An_Empirical_Evaluation - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 21 October 2020.
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e-pub ahead of print date: 21 October 2019
Published date: 2019
Keywords: Selfish mining, Proof-of-Work blockchain, Agent-based model, Empirical multiplayer game

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435393
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435393
ISSN: 0302-9743
PURE UUID: ea974a8c-b252-4d0e-9491-c4c87d4b9cd4
ORCID for Tin Leelavimolsilp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3497-9961
ORCID for Long Tran-Thanh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1617-8316

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Date deposited: 01 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 02 Nov 2019 01:34

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Contributors

Author: Tin Leelavimolsilp ORCID iD
Author: Viet Nguyen
Author: Sebastian Stein
Author: Long Tran-Thanh ORCID iD
Editor: Matteo Baldoni
Editor: Mehdi Dastani
Editor: Beishui Liao
Editor: Yuko Sakurai
Editor: Rym Zalila-Wenkstern

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