Publication: Bitcoin’s Latency-Security Analysis Made Simple

By Dongning Guo and Ling Ren

Abstract: “Simple closed-form upper and lower bounds are developed for the security of the Nakamoto consensus as a function of the confirmation depth, the honest and adversarial block mining rates, and an upper bound on the block propagation delay. The bounds are exponential in the confirmation depth and apply regardless of the adversary’s attack strategy. The gap between the upper and lower bounds is small for Bitcoin’s parameters. For example, assuming an average block interval of 10 minutes, a network delay bound of ten seconds, and 10% adversarial mining power, the widely used 6-block confirmation rule yields a safety violation between 0.11% and 0.35% probability.”

Proceedings of the 4th ACM Conference on Advances in Financial Technologies, September 2022