A selfish mining attack, or block withholding attack, is a term used to describe a malicious attempt to discredit the integrity of a blockchain network. Selfish mining attacks occur when an individual in a mining pool attempts to withhold a successfully validated block from being broadcast to the rest of the mining pool network. After the selfish miner withholds their successfully mined block from the group they continue to mine the next block. This results in the selfish miner having demonstrated more proof-of-work compared to other miners in the mining pool, and allows them to claim the block rewards while the rest of the network adopts their block solutions.
Analyzing Bitcoin Security
Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable
Ittay Eyal and Emin Gun Sirer
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- BlockchainA blockchain is an append-only digital ledger storing a set of time-ordered transactions grouped in blocks that are linked together using cryptographic hashes.
- CryptocurrencyA cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies.
- BitcoinBitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was released as open-source software in 2009.