Security

Two Bitcoins at the Price of One - Double-Spending Attacks on Fast Payments in Bitcoin

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Executive Summary

Bitcoin is a decentralized payment system that is based on Proof-of-Work. Bitcoin is currently gaining popularity as a digital currency; several businesses are starting to accept Bitcoin transactions. An example case of the growing use of Bitcoin was recently reported in the media; here, Bitcoins were used as a form of fast payment in a local fast-food restaurant. In this paper, the authors analyze the security of using Bitcoin for fast payments, where the time between the exchange of currency and goods is short (i.e., in the order of few seconds). They focus on double-spending attacks on fast payments and demonstrate that these attacks can be mounted at low cost on currently deployed versions of Bitcoin.

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