Power adjusting and bribery racing: Novel mining attacks in the Bitcoin system

Shang Gao, Zhe Peng, Zecheng Li, Bin Xiao

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

26 Citations (Scopus)


Mining attacks allow attackers to gain an unfair share of the mining reward by deviating from the honest mining strategy in the Bitcoin system. Among the most well-known are block withholding (BWH), fork after withholding (FAW), and selfish mining. In this paper, we propose two new strategies: power adjusting and bribery racing, and introduce two novel mining attacks, Power Adjusting Withholding (PAW) and Bribery Selfish Mining (BSM) adopting the new strategies. Both attacks can increase the reward of attackers. Furthermore, we show PAW can avoid the “miner's dilemma” in BWH attacks. BSM introduces a new “venal miner's dilemma”, which results in all targets (bribes) willing to help the attacker but getting less reward finally. Quantitative analyses and simulations are conducted to verify the effectiveness of our attacks. We propose some countermeasures to mitigate the new attacks, but a practical and efficient solution remains to be an open problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367479
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019
Event26th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2019 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 201915 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221


Conference26th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Bitcoin
  • Block withholding
  • Blockchain
  • Bribery attack
  • Fork after withholding
  • Mining attacks
  • Selfish mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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