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Merged Mining: Curse or Cure?

  • Aljosha JudmayerEmail author
  • Alexei ZamyatinEmail author
  • Nicholas StifterEmail author
  • Artemios G. Voyiatzis
  • Edgar Weippl
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10436)

Abstract

Merged mining refers to the concept of mining more than one cryptocurrency without necessitating additional proof-of-work effort. Although merged mining has been adopted by a number of cryptocurrencies already, to this date little is known about the effects and implications. We shed light on this topic area by performing a comprehensive analysis of merged mining in practice. As part of this analysis, we present a block attribution scheme for mining pools to assist in the evaluation of mining centralization. Our findings disclose that mining pools in merge-mined cryptocurrencies have operated at the edge of, and even beyond, the security guarantees offered by the underlying Nakamoto consensus for extended periods. We discuss the implications and security considerations for these cryptocurrencies and the mining ecosystem as a whole, and link our findings to the intended effects of merged mining.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We want to thank Philipp Schindler and Georg Merzdovnik for valuable discussions and feedback. This research was funded by FFG - Austrian Research Promotion Agency Bridge Early Stage 846573 A2Bit, FFG Bridge 1 858561 SESC and COMET K1.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SBA ResearchViennaAustria

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