A Deep Dive Into Blockchain Selfish Mining

This paper studies a fundamental problem regarding the security of blockchain on how the existence of multiple misbehaving pools influences the profitability of selfish mining. Each selfish miner maintains a private chain and makes it public opportunistically for the purpose of acquiring more rewards incommensurate to his Hashrate. We establish a novel Markov chain model to characterize all the state transitions of public and private chains. The minimum requirement of Hashrate together with the minimum delay of being profitable is derived in close-form. The former reduces to 21.48% with the symmetric selfish miners, while their competition with asymmetric Hashrate puts forward a higher requirement of the profitable threshold. The profitable delay increases with the decrease of the Hashrate of selfish miners, making the mining pools more cautious on performing selfish mining.