Selfish Mining Attacks Exacerbated by Elastic Hash Supply

Yoko Shibuya, Go Yamamoto, Fuhito Kojima, Elaine Shi, Shin’ichiro Matsuo, Aron Laszka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Several attacks have been proposed against Proof-of-Work blockchains, which may increase the attacker’s share of mining rewards (e.g., selfish mining, block withholding). A further impact of such attacks, which has not been considered in prior work, is that decreasing the profitability of mining for honest nodes incentivizes them to stop mining or to leave the attacked chain for a more profitable one. The departure of honest nodes exacerbates the attack and may further decrease profitability and incentivize more honest nodes to leave. In this paper, we first present an empirical analysis showing that there is a statistically significant correlation between the profitability of mining and the total hash rate, confirming that miners indeed respond to changing profitability. Second, we present a theoretical analysis showing that selfish mining under such elastic hash supply leads either to the collapse of a chain, i.e., all honest nodes leaving, or to a stable equilibrium depending on the attacker’s initial share.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - 25th International Conference, FC 2021, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsNikita Borisov, Claudia Diaz
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783662643303
StatePublished - 2021
Event25th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Mar 1 2021Mar 5 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12675 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference25th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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