toplogo
Resources
Sign In

Partial Selfish Mining: A New Colluding Strategy to Increase Mining Profits in Blockchain


Core Concepts
By releasing partial block data and attracting rational miners to work on the attacker's private branch, the attacker and attracted miners can gain more mining rewards than selfish mining under certain conditions.
Abstract
The paper proposes a new mining attack strategy called Partial Selfish Mining (PSM). In PSM, the attacker first withholds a newly mined block instead of immediately releasing it. Then, the attacker releases partial block data, which is valid for mining the next block but invalid for the public chain. This partial block data can attract rational miners to work on the attacker's private branch, as it is more profitable for them to do so. The key highlights are: PSM extends the strategy space of mining attacks beyond full block hiding or revealing, by introducing partial block sharing. The attacker can attract rational miners to work on its private branch by providing partial block data, which increases the success rate of the attacker's private branch becoming the main chain. To make PSM feasible, the paper proposes mechanisms to convince rational miners, including a zero-knowledge proof to prove block possession and an economic-based profit protection mechanism. The paper also proposes an Advanced PSM (A-PSM) strategy that can further improve the attacker's profits to be no less than selfish mining. Theoretical analysis and experiments show that PSM and A-PSM can be more profitable than both honest mining and selfish mining under certain conditions.
Stats
The attacker's mining power is denoted as αA. The rushing ability of the attacker is denoted as γ, which is the expected ratio of public miners that receive the attacker's block first when there is a race. The mining power of attracted rational miners is denoted as αi.
Quotes
"By releasing partial block data and attracting rational miners to work on the attacker's private branch, the attacker and attracted miners can gain more mining rewards than selfish mining under certain conditions." "To make PSM practical and colluding strategy successful, we must have mechanisms to convince rational miners that it is profitable to mine in the attacker's private branch."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Jiaping Yu,S... at arxiv.org 04-09-2024

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2207.13478.pdf
Partial Selfish Mining for More Profits

Deeper Inquiries

How would the proposed PSM and A-PSM strategies impact the overall security and decentralization of the blockchain system

The proposed Partial Selfish Mining (PSM) and Advanced PSM (A-PSM) strategies could have significant impacts on the overall security and decentralization of the blockchain system. Security Implications: Increased Attack Surface: PSM and A-PSM introduce new attack vectors that can exploit rational miners and disrupt the consensus mechanism. This could lead to potential double-spending attacks and network instability. Trust Issues: The need for trust between the attacker and rational miners in PSM and A-PSM attacks raises concerns about the integrity of the mining process and the overall security of the blockchain network. DoS Vulnerabilities: The PSM-DoS attack in A-PSM could create denial-of-service vulnerabilities by luring miners to unproductive branches, potentially impacting the network's performance and reliability. Decentralization Implications: Centralization Risks: PSM and A-PSM attacks could incentivize collusion among miners, leading to centralization of mining power and control. This concentration of power goes against the principles of decentralization. Incentive Misalignment: By attracting rational miners to the attacker's private branch, PSM and A-PSM may disrupt the natural incentive mechanisms of the blockchain, potentially skewing the distribution of rewards and decision-making. In conclusion, the adoption of PSM and A-PSM strategies could compromise the security and decentralization of the blockchain system by introducing new vulnerabilities, trust issues, and centralization risks.

What are the potential countermeasures that blockchain networks can adopt to mitigate the risks of PSM and A-PSM attacks

To mitigate the risks associated with Partial Selfish Mining (PSM) and Advanced PSM (A-PSM) attacks, blockchain networks can implement several countermeasures: Enhanced Monitoring: Implement real-time monitoring tools to detect unusual mining behaviors, such as partial block sharing and private branch formation. Utilize network analysis techniques to identify potential collusions and abnormal mining patterns. Consensus Algorithm Enhancements: Introduce additional validation mechanisms to verify the authenticity of shared block data and prevent malicious actors from manipulating the mining process. Enhance the consensus protocol to penalize miners engaging in PSM and A-PSM attacks, discouraging such behaviors. Smart Contract Solutions: Develop smart contracts that enforce transparency and accountability in block sharing, ensuring that attackers fulfill their promises to disclose full block information. Implement escrow mechanisms to hold collateral and automatically redistribute rewards in case of non-compliance with sharing commitments. Community Education: Educate miners and network participants about the risks associated with PSM and A-PSM attacks, promoting awareness and vigilance within the blockchain community. Encourage reporting of suspicious activities and foster a culture of cooperation to address potential threats effectively. By implementing these countermeasures, blockchain networks can strengthen their resilience against PSM and A-PSM attacks, safeguarding the security and decentralization of the system.

How can the insights from this work be applied to design more secure and resilient consensus mechanisms beyond Proof-of-Work

The insights from the research on Partial Selfish Mining (PSM) and Advanced PSM (A-PSM) strategies can be applied to design more secure and resilient consensus mechanisms beyond Proof-of-Work (PoW) in the following ways: Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Enhancements: Integrate elements of PSM and A-PSM strategies to enhance PoS protocols, ensuring that validators are incentivized to act honestly and penalizing malicious behaviors effectively. Develop mechanisms for transparent block sharing and validation in PoS networks, leveraging smart contracts and cryptographic proofs to maintain integrity. Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) Innovations: Implement governance structures inspired by PSM and A-PSM concepts to address collusion risks in DPoS systems, promoting fairness and decentralization among block producers. Introduce dynamic validation mechanisms that adapt to changing network conditions, mitigating the influence of malicious actors and enhancing network security. Hybrid Consensus Models: Explore hybrid consensus models that combine PoW, PoS, and Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) principles, leveraging insights from PSM and A-PSM to optimize performance, security, and decentralization. Design consensus algorithms that incentivize honest participation, discourage collusion, and maintain network stability in diverse blockchain ecosystems. By applying the principles and lessons learned from PSM and A-PSM research, blockchain developers can innovate and evolve consensus mechanisms to address emerging challenges and enhance the overall robustness of decentralized systems.
0