The Bitcoin P2P Network

  • Joan Antoni Donet Donet
  • Cristina Pérez-SolàEmail author
  • Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8438)


The Bitcoin virtual currency is built on the top of a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network used to propagate system information such as transactions or blockchain updates. In this paper, we have performed a data collection process identifying more than 872000 different Bitcoin nodes. This data allows us to present information on the size of the Bitcoin P2P network, the node geographic distribution, the network stability in terms of interrupted availability of nodes, as well as some data regarding the propagation time of the transmitted information. Furthermore, although not every Bitcoin user can be identified as a P2P network node, measurements of the P2P network can be considered as a lower bound for Bitcoin usage, and they provide interesting results on the adoption of such virtual currency.


Block Propagation Node Stability Registration Time Virtual Currency Network Topology Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially supported by a student grant of the Master in Security of Information and Communication Technologies (MISTIC), at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), and by the Spanish Government projects, TIN2011-27076-C03-02 CO-PRIVACY, TIN2010-15764 N-KHRONOUS, CONSOLIDER INGENIO 2010 CSD2007-0004 ARES, and grant FPU-AP2010-0078.


  1. 1.
    Androulaki, E., Karame, G.O., Roeschlin, M., Scherer, T., Capkun, S.: Evaluating user privacy in bitcoin. In: Sadeghi, A.-R. (ed.) FC 2013. LNCS, vol. 7859, pp. 34–51. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Babaioff, M., Dobzinski, S., Oren, S., Zohar, A.: On bitcoin and red balloons. In: Proceedings of the 13th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Electronic Commerce, EC 2012, pp. 56–73. ACM, New York (2012).
  3. 3.
    Bamert, T., Decker, C., Elsen, L., Wattenhofer, R., Welten, S.: Have a snack, pay with bitcoins. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing (P2P) 2013, Trento, Italy (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barber, S., Boyen, X., Shi, E., Uzun, E.: Bitter to better–how to make bitcoin a better currency. In: Keromytis, A.D. (ed.) FC 2012. LNCS, vol. 7397, pp. 399–414. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Castro, S.: Bitcoin P2P network sniffer.
  6. 6.
    Decker, C., Wattenhofer, R.: Information propagation in the bitcoin network. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing (P2P) 2013, Trento, Italy, (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Geoplugin development team: Geoplugin.
  8. 8.
    Karame, G.O., Androulaki, E., Capkun, S.: Double-spending fast payments in bitcoin. In: Proceedings of the 2012 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2012, pp. 906–917. ACM, New York (2012).
  9. 9.
    Meiklejohn, S., Pomarole, M., Jordan, G., Levchenko, K., McCoy, D., Voelker, G.M., Savage, S.: A fistful of bitcoins: Characterizing payments among men with no names. In: Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2013, pp. 127–140. ACM, New York (2013).
  10. 10.
    Nakamoto, S., Andresen, G.e.a.: Bitcoin standard client.
  11. 11.
    Ober, M., Katzenbeisser, S., Hamacher, K.: Structure and anonymity of the bitcoin transaction graph. Future Internet 5(2), 237–250 (2013). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Reid, F., Harrigan, M.: An analysis of anonymity in the bitcoin system. In: Altshuler, Y., Elovici, Y., Cremers, A.B., Aharony, N., Pentland, A. (eds.) Security and Privacy in Social Networks, pp. 197–223. Springer, New York (2013). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ron, D., Shamir, A.: Quantitative analysis of the full bitcoin transaction graph. In: Sadeghi, A.-R. (ed.) FC 2013. LNCS, vol. 7859, pp. 6–24. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    The Bitcoin Wiki: Bitcoin protocol rules.
  15. 15.
    International Telecommunications Union: Percentage of individuals using the internet 2000–2012, June 2013.

Copyright information

© IFCA/Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Antoni Donet Donet
    • 1
  • Cristina Pérez-Solà
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament d’Enginyeria de la Informació i les ComunicacionsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, CataloniaSpain

Personalised recommendations