author: Dennis Eijkel
title: Analysing the Use of Selfish Mining Among Bitcoin Miners and Mining Pools
keywords: Bitcoin, Bitcoin mining, Selfish mining, UPPAAL
topics: Dependability, security and performance
committee: Ansgar Fehnker
started: November 2017
end: February 2018


Bitcoin is currently the most widely used cryptocurrency, judging from its market cap and trade volume, and a big part of Bitcoin is the mining process. Mining in Bitcoin makes sure that new transactions are being validated and processed resulting in new blocks appended to the blockchain and also protecting the integrity of the blockchain. In reward for their effort, miners receive a reward, incentivizing participation in mining, which in the long run could be expected to be proportional to the effort they provided for the network. However, Eyal and Sirer introduced a strategy for publishing new blocks that miners find that has a significant edge in profits if used against miners using an honest publishing strategy. This paper goes into modelling the behavior of mining pools in UPPAAL, analysing properties of the mining process and comparing those to real world data to assess to what extent selfish mining has been used by a Bitcoin miner or mining pool.