Group colloquium: A Distributed Blockchain Model of Selfish Mining

When: May 9, 2019, 15:45-16:30

Where: RA 3231

Who: Ansgar Fehnker

Bitcoin miners expect a reward proportional to the computational power they provide to the network. However, Eyal and Sirer introduced a strategy for a miner to time the publishing of blocks that will give them a significant edge in profits. This talk will introduce a Uppaal-SMC model of honest and selfish mining pools. It was used to analyse the mining process in the presence of network delay and takes into account the distributed nature of the process. The analysis shows what effects selfish mining would have on the share of profits, but also on the number of orphaned blocks in the blockchain. This analysis allows us to compares those results to real-world data,  to establish if there is evidence for the presence of selfish miners.