An empirical comparison of the security and performance characteristics of topology formation algorithms for bitcoin networks

Muntadher Sallal, Ruairi de Fein, Ali Malik*, Benjamin Aziz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is an increasing demand for digital crypto-currencies to be more secure and robust to meet the following business requirements: (1) low transaction fees and (2) the privacy of users. Nowadays, Bitcoin is gaining traction and wide adoption. Many well-known businesses have begun accepting bitcoins as a means of making financial payments. However, the susceptibility of Bitcoin networks to information propagation delay, increases the vulnerability to attack of the Bitcoin network, and decreases its throughput performance. This paper introduces and critically analyses new network clustering methods, named Locality Based Clustering (LBC), Ping Time Based Approach (PTBC), Super Node Based Clustering (SNBA), and Master Node Based Clustering (MNBC). The proposed methods aim to decrease the chances of performing a successful double spending attack by reducing the information propagation delay of Bitcoin. These methods embody proximity-aware extensions to the standard Bitcoin protocol, where proximity is measured geographically and in terms of latency. We validate our proposed methods through a set of simulation experiments and the findings show how the proposed methods run and their impact in optimising the transaction propagation delay. Furthermore, these new methods are evaluated from the perspective of the Bitcoin network's resistance to partitioning attacks. Numerical results, which are established via extensive simulation experiments, demonstrate how the extensions run and also their impact in optimising the transaction propagation delay. We draw on these findings to suggest promising future research directions for the optimisation of transaction propagation delays.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100221
Number of pages16
JournalArray
Volume15
Early online date11 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 11 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Bitcoin
  • performance
  • blockchains
  • clustering
  • information propagation
  • security

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