Bitter to Better — How to Make Bitcoin a Better Currency

Today in History 02/08

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Estimation of Miner Hash Rates and Consensus on Blockchains

Date: 2017-07-01
Author(s): A. Pinar Ozisik, George Bissias, Brian Levine

Link to Paper

We make several contributions that quantify the real-time hash rate and therefore the consensus of a blockchain. We show that by using only the hash value of blocks, we can estimate and measure the hash rate of all miners or individual miners, with quanti able accuracy. We apply our techniques to the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains; our solution applies to any proof-of-work-based blockchain that relies on a numeric target for the validation of blocks. We also show that if miners regularly broadcast status reports of their partial proof-of- work, the hash rate estimates are signi cantly more accurate at a cost of slightly higher bandwidth. Whether using only the blockchain, or the additional information in status reports, merchants can use our techniques to quantify in real-time the threat of double-spend attacks.

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