### Abstract

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto famously invented bitcoin, and in his (or her, or their, or its) white paper sketched an approximate formula for the probability of a successful double spending attack by a dishonest party. This was corrected by Meni Rosenfeld, who, under more realistic assumptions, gave the exact probability (missing a foundational proof); and another formula (along with foundational proof), in terms of the Incomplete Beta function, was given later by Cyril Grunspan and Ricardo Pérez-Marco, that enabled them to derive an asymptotic formula for that quantity. Using Wilf-Zeilberger algorithmic proof theory, we continue in this vein and present a recurrence equation for the above-mentioned probability of success, that enables a very fast compilation of these probabilities. We next use this recurrence to derive (in algorithmic fashion) higher-order asymptotic formulas, extending the formula of Grunspan and Pérez-Marco who did the leading term. We then study the statistical properties (expectation, variance, etc.) of the duration of a successful attack.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 56-63 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Journal of Difference Equations and Applications |

Volume | 25 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 2 2019 |

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### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Analysis
- Algebra and Number Theory
- Applied Mathematics

### Cite this

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^{*}'

*Journal of Difference Equations and Applications*, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 56-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/10236198.2018.1555247

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A combinatorial-probabilistic analysis of bitcoin attacks
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.** / Georgiadis, Evangelos; Zeilberger, Doron.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

TY - JOUR

T1 - A combinatorial-probabilistic analysis of bitcoin attacks *

AU - Georgiadis, Evangelos

AU - Zeilberger, Doron

PY - 2019/1/2

Y1 - 2019/1/2

N2 - In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto famously invented bitcoin, and in his (or her, or their, or its) white paper sketched an approximate formula for the probability of a successful double spending attack by a dishonest party. This was corrected by Meni Rosenfeld, who, under more realistic assumptions, gave the exact probability (missing a foundational proof); and another formula (along with foundational proof), in terms of the Incomplete Beta function, was given later by Cyril Grunspan and Ricardo Pérez-Marco, that enabled them to derive an asymptotic formula for that quantity. Using Wilf-Zeilberger algorithmic proof theory, we continue in this vein and present a recurrence equation for the above-mentioned probability of success, that enables a very fast compilation of these probabilities. We next use this recurrence to derive (in algorithmic fashion) higher-order asymptotic formulas, extending the formula of Grunspan and Pérez-Marco who did the leading term. We then study the statistical properties (expectation, variance, etc.) of the duration of a successful attack.

AB - In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto famously invented bitcoin, and in his (or her, or their, or its) white paper sketched an approximate formula for the probability of a successful double spending attack by a dishonest party. This was corrected by Meni Rosenfeld, who, under more realistic assumptions, gave the exact probability (missing a foundational proof); and another formula (along with foundational proof), in terms of the Incomplete Beta function, was given later by Cyril Grunspan and Ricardo Pérez-Marco, that enabled them to derive an asymptotic formula for that quantity. Using Wilf-Zeilberger algorithmic proof theory, we continue in this vein and present a recurrence equation for the above-mentioned probability of success, that enables a very fast compilation of these probabilities. We next use this recurrence to derive (in algorithmic fashion) higher-order asymptotic formulas, extending the formula of Grunspan and Pérez-Marco who did the leading term. We then study the statistical properties (expectation, variance, etc.) of the duration of a successful attack.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058196538&partnerID=8YFLogxK

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U2 - 10.1080/10236198.2018.1555247

DO - 10.1080/10236198.2018.1555247

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 56

EP - 63

JO - Journal of Difference Equations and Applications

JF - Journal of Difference Equations and Applications

SN - 1023-6198

IS - 1

ER -