Uncle traps: harvesting rewards in a queue-based ethereum Mining Pool

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Title: Uncle traps: harvesting rewards in a queue-based ethereum Mining Pool
Authors: Werner, S
Pritz, P
Zamyatin, A
Knottenbelt, W
Item Type: Conference Paper
Abstract: Mining pools in Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies allow miners topool their computational resources as a means of reducing payoutvariance. In Ethereum,uncle blocksare valid Proof-of-Work solu-tions which do not become the head of the blockchain, yet yieldrewards if later referenced by main chain blocks. Mining pool opera-tors are faced with the non-trivial task of fairly distributing rewardsfor both block types among pool participants.Inspired by empirical observations, we formally reconstruct aSybil attack exploiting the uncle block distribution policy in a queue-based mining pool. To ensure fairness of the queue-based payoutscheme, we propose a mitigation. We examine the effectiveness ofthe attack strategy under the current and the proposed policy via adiscrete-event simulation. Our findings show that the observed attackcan indeed be obviated by altering the current reward scheme.
Issue Date: 12-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance: 22-Dec-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66953
DOI: 10.1145/3306309.3306328
Publisher: ACM
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication.
Sponsor/Funder: Blockchain (GB) Limited
Funder's Grant Number: N/A
Conference Name: 12th EAI International Conference on Performance Evaluation Methodologies and Tools
Publication Status: Accepted
Start Date: 2019-03-12
Finish Date: 2019-03-15
Conference Place: Palma, Spain
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

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