Pool Block Withholding Attack with Rational Miners

Ni Yang, Chenhao Wang, Bo Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

We revisit pool block withholding (PBW) attack in this work, while taking miners’ rationality into consideration. It has been shown that a malicious mining pool in Bitcoin may attack other pools by sending some dummy miners who do not reveal true solutions but obtain reward portions from attacked pools. This result assumes that the infiltrating miners are always loyal and behave as the malicious pool desires; but why? In this work, we study rational infiltrating miners who behave by maximizing their own utilities. We characterize the infiltrating miners’ optimal strategies for two kinds of betraying behaviors depending on whether they return to the original pool or not. Our characterizations show that the infiltrating miners’ optimal strategy is simple and binary: they either betray or stay loyal all together, which depends on the total amount of them sent out by the malicious pool. Accordingly, we further compute the pool’s optimal attacking strategy given the miners’ strategic behaviors. Our experiments also show that by launching PBW attacks, the benefit to a pool is actually incremental.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers of Algorithmics - International Joint Conference, IJTCS-FAW 2021, Proceedings
EditorsJing Chen, Minming Li, Guochuan Zhang
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages3-22
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9783030970987
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event15th International Workshop on Frontiers in Algorithmics, FAW 2021, held in conjunction with 2nd International Joint Conference on Theoretical Computer Science, IJTCS-FAW 2021 - Beijing, China
Duration: 16 Aug 202119 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12874 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference15th International Workshop on Frontiers in Algorithmics, FAW 2021, held in conjunction with 2nd International Joint Conference on Theoretical Computer Science, IJTCS-FAW 2021
Country/TerritoryChina
CityBeijing
Period16/08/2119/08/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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