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An Efficient Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Protocol with Probabilistic Flooding

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Emerging Technologies in Computing (iCETiC 2019)


Bitcoin was launched in 2009, becoming the world’s first ever decentralized digital currency. It uses a publicly distributed ledger called the blockchain to record the transaction history of the network. The Bitcoin network is structured as a decentralized peer-to-peer network, where there are no central or supernodes, and all peers are seen as equal. Nodes in the network do not have a complete view of the entire network and are only aware of the nodes that they are directly connected to. In order to propagate information across the network, Bitcoin implements a gossip-based flooding protocol. However, the current flooding protocol is inefficient and wasteful, producing a number of redundant and duplicated messages. In this paper, we present an alternative approach to the current flooding protocol implemented by Bitcoin. We propose a novel protocol that changes the current flooding protocol to a probabilistic flooding approach. Our approach allows nodes to maintain certain probabilities of sending information to their neighbours, based on previous message exchanges between the nodes. Our experimental evaluation shows a reduction in the number of duplicated messages received by each node in the network and the total number of messages exchanged in the network, whilst ensuring that the reliability and resilience of the system were not negatively affected.

This work was supported, in part, by Science Foundation Ireland grant 13/RC/2094 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund through the Southern Eastern Regional Operational Programme to Lero - the Irish Software Research Centre (

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Vu, H., Tewari, H. (2019). An Efficient Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Protocol with Probabilistic Flooding. In: Miraz, M., Excell, P., Ware, A., Soomro, S., Ali, M. (eds) Emerging Technologies in Computing. iCETiC 2019. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 285. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-23942-8

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