Pierre-Olivier Goffard (UCSB)

Event Date: 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Sobel Room (SH 5607F)
  • Department Seminar
Title: For a few bitcoins more
Subtitle: Fraud risk assessment within blockchain transactions
Abstract: The probability of successfully spending twice the same bitcoins is considered. A double-spending attack consists in issuing two transactions transferring the same bitcoins. The first transaction, from the fraudster to a merchant, is included in a block that goes into the public chain. The second transaction, from the fraudster to himself, is recorded in a block that integrates a private chain, exact copy of the public chain up to the fraudulent transaction. The double-spending hack is completed once the private chain reaches the length of the public chain, in which case it replaces it. The growth of both chains are modelled by two independent counting processes. The probability distribution of the time at which the malicious chain catches up with the honest chain, or equivalently the time at which the two counting processes meet each other, is studied. The merchant is supposed to await the discovery of a given number of blocks after the one containing the transaction before delivering the good. This grants a head start to the honest chain in the race against the dishonest chain.
Speaker: Pierre-Olivier Goffard (UCSB)