Secure high-rate transaction processing in bitcoin

Yonatan Sompolinsky*, Aviv Zohar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

468 Scopus citations


Bitcoin is a disruptive new crypto-currency based on a decentralized open-source protocol which has been gradually gaining momentum. Perhaps the most important question that will affect Bitcoin’s success, is whether or not it will be able to scale to support the high volume of transactions required from a global currency system.We investigate the implications of having a higher transaction throughput on Bitcoin’s security against double-spend attacks. We show that at high throughput, substantially weaker attackers are able to reverse payments they have made, even well after they were considered accepted by recipients. We address this security concern through the GHOST rule, a modification to the way Bitcoin nodes construct and re-organize the block chain, Bitcoin’s core distributed data-structure. GHOST has been adopted and a variant of it has been implemented as part of the Ethereum project, a second generation distributed applications platform.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography and Data Security - 19th International Conference, FC 2015, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsTatsuaki Okamoto, Rainer Bohme
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783662478530
StatePublished - 2015
Event19th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 26 Jan 201530 Jan 2015

Publication series

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


Conference19th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, FC 2015
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© International Financial Cryptography Association 2015.


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