Skip to main content
main-content
Top

Hint

Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book

2019 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Echoes of the Past: Recovering Blockchain Metrics from Merged Mining

Authors: Nicholas Stifter, Philipp Schindler, Aljosha Judmayer, Alexei Zamyatin, Andreas Kern, Edgar Weippl

Published in: Financial Cryptography and Data Security

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

share
SHARE

Abstract

So far, the topic of merged mining has mainly been considered in a security context, covering issues such as mining power centralization or cross-chain attack scenarios. In this work we show that key information for determining blockchain metrics such as the fork rate can be recovered through data extracted from merge mined cryptocurrencies. Specifically, we reconstruct a long-ranging view of forks and stale blocks in Bitcoin from its merge mined child chains, and compare our results to previous findings that were derived from live measurements. Thereby, we show that live monitoring alone is not sufficient to capture a large majority of these events, as we are able to identify a non-negligible portion of stale blocks that were previously unaccounted for. Their authenticity is ensured by cryptographic evidence regarding both, their position in the respective blockchain, as well as the Proof-of-Work difficulty.
Furthermore, by applying this new technique to Litecoin and its child cryptocurrencies, we are able to provide the first extensive view and lower bound on the stale block and fork rate in the Litecoin network. Finally, we outline that a recovery of other important metrics and blockchain characteristics through merged mining may also be possible.

To get access to this content you need the following product:

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 69.000 Bücher
  • über 500 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Nachhaltigkeit
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe
  • Versicherung + Risiko

Testen Sie jetzt 15 Tage kostenlos.

Springer Professional "Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 50.000 Bücher
  • über 380 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Nachhaltigkeit
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe




Testen Sie jetzt 15 Tage kostenlos.

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 58.000 Bücher
  • über 300 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Versicherung + Risiko




Testen Sie jetzt 15 Tage kostenlos.

Appendix
Available only for authorised users
Footnotes
1
We exclude attacks such as selfish mining [4] and possible countermeasures [18] in this example to simplify the discussion.
 
2
In Bitcoin core [24] the RPC command getchaintips can be used to list all forks and stale blocks the local node knows of.
 
3
Assuming the miner follows the protocol rule of extending the longest chain it knows of.
 
4
In Litecoin and its children this validation is not possible because a DSHA256 hash of the block header is used for linking, instead of the scrypt hash used for the PoW.
 
5
We also validated if the AuxPoW actually meets the difficulty encoded in the child.
 
Literature
1.
go back to reference Decker, C., Wattenhofer, R.: Information propagation in the bitcoin network. In: Thirteenth International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing (P2P), pp. 1–10. IEEE (2013) Decker, C., Wattenhofer, R.: Information propagation in the bitcoin network. In: Thirteenth International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing (P2P), pp. 1–10. IEEE (2013)
2.
go back to reference Gervais, A., Karame, O., Wüst, K., Glykantzis, V., Ritzdorf, H., Capkun, S.: On the security and performance of proof of work blockchains. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC, pp. 3–16. ACM (2016) Gervais, A., Karame, O., Wüst, K., Glykantzis, V., Ritzdorf, H., Capkun, S.: On the security and performance of proof of work blockchains. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC, pp. 3–16. ACM (2016)
5.
go back to reference Nayak, K., Kumar, S., Miller, A., Shi, E.: Stubborn mining: generalizing selfish mining and combining with an eclipse attack. In: 1st IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2016. IEEE (2016) Nayak, K., Kumar, S., Miller, A., Shi, E.: Stubborn mining: generalizing selfish mining and combining with an eclipse attack. In: 1st IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2016. IEEE (2016)
7.
go back to reference Bonneau, J.: Why buy when you can rent? Bribery attacks on bitcoin consensus. In: BITCOIN 2016: Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research, February 2016 CrossRef Bonneau, J.: Why buy when you can rent? Bribery attacks on bitcoin consensus. In: BITCOIN 2016: Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research, February 2016 CrossRef
27.
go back to reference Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A., Goldfeder, S.: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. Princeton University Press, Princeton (2016). Accessed 29 Mar 2016 MATH Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A., Goldfeder, S.: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. Princeton University Press, Princeton (2016). Accessed 29 Mar 2016 MATH
30.
go back to reference Judmayer, A., Stifter, N., Krombholz, K., Weippl, E.: Blocks and chains: introduction to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and their consensus mechanisms. Synth. Lect. Inf. Secur. Priv. Trust 9(1), 1–123 (2017) Judmayer, A., Stifter, N., Krombholz, K., Weippl, E.: Blocks and chains: introduction to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and their consensus mechanisms. Synth. Lect. Inf. Secur. Priv. Trust 9(1), 1–123 (2017)
37.
go back to reference Göbel, J., Keeler, H.P., Krzesinski, A.E., Taylor, P.G.: Bitcoin blockchain dynamics: the selfish-mine strategy in the presence of propagation delay. Perform. Eval. 104, 23–41 (2016) CrossRef Göbel, J., Keeler, H.P., Krzesinski, A.E., Taylor, P.G.: Bitcoin blockchain dynamics: the selfish-mine strategy in the presence of propagation delay. Perform. Eval. 104, 23–41 (2016) CrossRef
53.
go back to reference Judmayer, A., Stifter, N., Schindler, P., Weippl, E.: Pitchforks in cryptocurrencies: enforcing rule changes through offensive forking- and consensus techniques (short paper). In: Garcia-Alfaro, J., Herrera-Joancomartí, J., Livraga, G., Rios, R. (eds.) DPM/CBT -2018. LNCS, vol. 11025, pp. 197–206. Springer, Cham (2018). https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​978-3-030-00305-0_​15 CrossRef Judmayer, A., Stifter, N., Schindler, P., Weippl, E.: Pitchforks in cryptocurrencies: enforcing rule changes through offensive forking- and consensus techniques (short paper). In: Garcia-Alfaro, J., Herrera-Joancomartí, J., Livraga, G., Rios, R. (eds.) DPM/CBT -2018. LNCS, vol. 11025, pp. 197–206. Springer, Cham (2018). https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​978-3-030-00305-0_​15 CrossRef
Metadata
Title
Echoes of the Past: Recovering Blockchain Metrics from Merged Mining
Authors
Nicholas Stifter
Philipp Schindler
Aljosha Judmayer
Alexei Zamyatin
Andreas Kern
Edgar Weippl
Copyright Year
2019
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32101-7_31

Premium Partner