|title:||How does the bitcoin protocol work?|
|topics:||Case studies and Applications|
|committee:||Jaco van de Pol|
Bitcoins are a very popular topic in the media. Maybe you have bought some as well, in order to spread the risk of the financial crisis, or because you think it is a good idea to avoid government monopoly on currency.
Bitcoins are studied from an economic point of view (what is their value, what is the right exchange rate), from a political point of view (who influences the bitcoin market) or from a mathematical point of view (for instance encryption and game theory analysis).
However, there is also the Computer Science view: how do the Bitcoin protocols acutally work? Despite the fact that the software is open source, a good description of the working of the communication protocols around bitcoin is still missing.
- describe the parties involved in bitcoin communication
- describe the messages that are exchanged
- describe the communication protocols that are followed
- formalize and analyse the protocols for anomalies
Note: for this assignment it is probably not needed to spell out the exact encodings and bitcoin mining algorithms.
- Informal description of the Bitcoin protocols (Digital version available here)