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Yet Another Note on Block Withholding Attack on Bitcoin Mining Pools

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 9866)


In this paper we provide a short quantitative analysis of Bitcoin Block Withholding (BWH) Attack. In this study, we investigate the incentive earned by a miner who either independently or at the diktat of a separate mining pool launches Block Withholding attack on a target mining pool. The victim pool shares its earned revenue with the rogue attacker. We investigate the property revenue function of the attacker and find parameters that could maximize the gain of the attacker. We then propose a new concept that we call “special reward”. This special rewarding scheme is aimed at discouraging the attackers by granting additional incentive to a miner who actually finds a block. A BWH attacker who never submits a valid block to the pool will be deprived from this special reward and her gain will be less than her expectation. Depending upon the actual monetary value of the special reward a pool can significantly reduce the revenue of a BWH attacker and thus can even ward off the threat of an attack.


  • Nash Equilibrium
  • Computing Power
  • Difficulty Level
  • Full Proof
  • Partial Proof

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S. Bag—A member of the faculty of Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan at the time of submission of this paper.

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The authors were partially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Japan) and the Department of Science and Technology (India) under the Japan-India Science Cooperative Program of research project named: “Computational Aspects of Mathematical Design and Analysis of Secure Communication Systems Based on Cryptographic Primitives”.

The second author was partially supported by JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research named: “KAKEN-15H02711”.

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Correspondence to Samiran Bag .

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Bag, S., Sakurai, K. (2016). Yet Another Note on Block Withholding Attack on Bitcoin Mining Pools. In: Bishop, M., Nascimento, A. (eds) Information Security. ISC 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9866. Springer, Cham.

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