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Voting Games to Model Protocol Stability and Security of Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrencies

Bhattacherjee, Sanjay, Sarkar, Palash (2023) Voting Games to Model Protocol Stability and Security of Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrencies. In: Decision and Game Theory for Security. 13th International Conference, GameSec 2022, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, October 26–28, 2022, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science . Springer E-ISBN 978-3-031-26369-9. (doi:10.1007/978-3-031-26369-9_15) (KAR id:96909)


We model the protocol stability and the security of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies using voting games. The first game, which we call the Rule Game, pertains to the scenario where the cryptocurrency miners engage in a voting procedure to accept or reject a proposal for change of the cryptocurrency protocol. The second game, which we call the Attack Game, refers to the scenario where a group of miners can form a coalition to launch a 51% attack on the system and consequently change a portion of the history of the underlying blockchain, thus defeating its promise of immutability. For the Attack Game, we define progressively granular notions of security all of which are based on the key concept of minimal winning coalitions from voting game theory. For both the Rule Game and the Attack Game, we show practical applicability of tools from voting game theory using a snapshot of real world data for Bitcoin. In particular, this highlights the fragile nature of the security of Bitcoin with respect to 51% attacks.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Proceeding)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-031-26369-9_15
Uncontrolled keywords: Voting games; Cryptocurrency; Bitcoin; BTC; Preventive power; Protocol change; 51% Attack; Security.
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
University-wide institutes > Institute of Cyber Security for Society
Depositing User: Sanjay Bhattacherjee
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 09:41 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2023 09:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bhattacherjee, Sanjay.

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