1. On the Security and Performance of Proof of Work Blockchains 2016 Blockchains CCS ProofOfWork
    Arthur Gervais, Ghassan O. Karame, Karl Wüst, Vasileios Glykantzis, Hubert Ritzdorf, Srdjan Capkun
    [View PDF on eprint.iacr.org]
    [Show BibTex Citation]

    @inproceedings{DBLP:conf/ccs/GervaisKWGRC16,
    author = {Arthur Gervais and
    Ghassan O. Karame and
    Karl W{\"{u}}st and
    Vasileios Glykantzis and
    Hubert Ritzdorf and
    Srdjan Capkun},
    editor = {Edgar R. Weippl and
    Stefan Katzenbeisser and
    Christopher Kruegel and
    Andrew C. Myers and
    Shai Halevi},
    title = {On the Security and Performance of Proof of Work Blockchains},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2016 {ACM} {SIGSAC} Conference on Computer and
    Communications Security, Vienna, Austria, October 24-28, 2016},
    pages = {3--16},
    publisher = {{ACM}},
    year = {2016},
    url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/2976749.2978341},
    doi = {10.1145/2976749.2978341},
    timestamp = {Tue, 06 Nov 2018 11:07:30 +0100},
    biburl = {https://dblp.org/rec/bib/conf/ccs/GervaisKWGRC16},
    bibsource = {dblp computer science bibliography, https://dblp.org}
    }

Proof of Work (PoW) powered blockchains currently account for more than 90% of the total market capitalization of existing digital currencies. Although the security provisions of Bitcoin have been thoroughly analysed, the security guarantees of variant (forked) PoW blockchains (which were instantiated with different parameters) have not received much attention in the literature.

In this paper, we introduce a novel quantitative framework to analyse the security and performance implications of various consensus and network parameters of PoW blockchains. Based on our framework, we devise optimal adversarial strategies for double-spending and selfish mining while taking into account real world constraints such as network propagation, different block sizes, block generation intervals, information propagation mechanism, and the impact of eclipse attacks. Our framework therefore allows us to capture existing PoW-based deployments as well as PoW blockchain variants that are instantiated with different parameters, and to objectively compare the tradeoffs between their performance and security provisions.

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