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On the Estimation of the Number of Unreachable Peers in the Bitcoin P2P Network by Observation of Peer Announcements

Grundmann, Matthias ORCID iD icon; Amberg, Hedwig; Hartenstein, Hannes


Bitcoin is based on a P2P network that is used to propagate transactions and blocks. While the P2P network design intends to hide the topology of the P2P network, information about the topology is required to understand the network from a scientific point of view. Thus, there is a natural tension between the 'desire' for unobservability on the one hand, and for observability on the other hand. On a middle ground, one would at least be interested on some statistical features of the Bitcoin network like the number of peers that participate in the propagation of transactions and blocks. This number is composed of the number of reachable peers that accept incoming connections and unreachable peers that do not accept incoming connections. While the number of reachable peers can be measured, it is inherently difficult to determine the number of unreachable peers. Thus, the number of unreachable peers can only be estimated based on some indicators. In this paper, we first define our understanding of unreachable peers and then propose the PAL (Passive Announcement Listening) method which gives an estimate of the number of unreachable peers by observing ADDR messages that announce active IP addresses in the network. ... mehr

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DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000130078
Veröffentlicht am 26.02.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Informationssicherheit und Verlässlichkeit (KASTEL)
Kompetenzzentrum für angewandte Sicherheitstechnologie (KASTEL)
Publikationstyp Forschungsbericht/Preprint
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator KITopen-ID: 1000130078
Verlag Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
KIT – Die Forschungsuniversität in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
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