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Short Paper: An Empirical Analysis of Blockchain Forks in Bitcoin

Neudecker, Till; Hartenstein, Hannes

Abstract:
Temporary blockchain forks are part of the regular consensus process in permissionless blockchains such as Bitcoin. As forks can be caused by numerous factors such as latency and miner behavior, their analysis provides insights into these factors, which are otherwise unknown. In this paper we provide an empirical analysis of the announcement and propagation of blocks that led to forks of the Bitcoin blockchain. By analyzing the time differences in the publication of competing blocks, we show that the block propagation delay between miners can be of similar order as the block propagation delay of the average Bitcoin peer. Furthermore, we show that the probability of a block to become part of the main chain increases roughly linearly in the time the block has been published before the competing block. Additionally, we show that the observed frequency of short block intervals between two consecutive blocks mined by the same miner after a fork is conspicuously large. While selfish mining can be a cause for this observation, other causes are also possible. Finally, we show that not only the time difference of the publication of competing blocks but also their propagation speeds vary greatly.

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Postprint §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000100348
Veröffentlicht am 02.12.2019
Originalveröffentlichung
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-32101-7_6
Coverbild
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Telematik (TM)
Kompetenzzentrum für angewandte Sicherheitstechnologie (KASTEL)
Publikationstyp Proceedingsbeitrag
Jahr 2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISBN: 978-3-030-32101-7
ISSN: 0302-9743, 1611-3349
KITopen-ID: 1000100348
Erschienen in Financial Cryptography and Data Security – 23rd International Conference, FC 2019, Frigate Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis, February 18–22, 2019, Revised Selected Papers. Ed.: I. Goldberg
Veranstaltung Financial Cryptography and Data Security (2019), Basseterre, St. Kitts und Nevis, 18.02.2019 – 22.02.2019
Verlag Springer International Publishing, Cham
Seiten 84–92
Serie Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 11598
Projektinformation KASTEL_IoE (BMBF, 16KIS0346)
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 30.09.2019
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