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Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020 — 10:30 to 10:30 AM EDT

On the profitability of selfish blockchain mining under consideration of ruin

Mining blocks on a blockchain equipped with a proof of work consensus protocol is known to be resource-consuming. A miner bears the operational cost, mainly electricity consumption and IT gear, of mining, and is compensated by a capital gain when a block is discovered. In this talk we quantify the profitability of mining when the possible event of ruin is also taken into consideration. This is done by formulating a tractable stochastic model and using tools from actuarial ruin theory and analysis, including the explicit solution of a certain type of advanced functional differential equation. The expected profit at a future time point is determined for the situation when the miner follows the protocol as well as when he/she withholds blocks.  The obtained explicit expressions allow to analyze the sensitivity with respect to the different model ingredients and to identify conditions under which selfish mining is a strategic advantage. The talk is based on joint work with P.O. Goffard.

Please Note: This talk will be hosted on Webex.  To join please the following link: Department Seminar by Hansjoerg Albrecher

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