A Survey on Security and Privacy Issues of Bitcoin

Mauro Conti, Sandeep Kumar E, Chhagan Lal, Sushmita Ruj
2018 IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials  
Bitcoin is a popular cryptocurrency that records alltransactions in a distributed append-only public ledger calledblockchain. The security of Bitcoin heavily relies on the incentive-compatible proof-of-work (PoW) based distributed consensus pro-tocol, which is run by network nodes called miners. In exchangefor the incentive, the miners are expected to honestly maintainthe blockchain. Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin economy hasgrown at an enormous rate, and it is now worth about 170 billions
more » ... dollars. This exponential growth in the market valueof Bitcoin motivates adversaries to exploit weaknesses for profit,and researchers to discover new vulnerabilities in the system,propose countermeasures, and predict upcoming trends.In this paper, we present a systematic survey that covers thesecurity and privacy aspects of Bitcoin. We start by presenting anoverview of the Bitcoin protocol and its major components alongwith their functionality and interactions within the system. Wereview the existing vulnerabilities in Bitcoin and its underlyingmajor technologies such as blockchain and PoW based consensusprotocol. These vulnerabilities lead to the execution of varioussecurity threats to the normal functionality of Bitcoin. Wethen discuss the feasibility and robustness of the state-of-the-art security solutions. Additionally, we present current privacyand anonymity considerations in Bitcoin and discuss the privacy-related threats to Bitcoin users along with the analysis of theexisting privacy-preserving solutions. Finally, we summarize thecritical open challenges and suggest directions for future researchtowards provisioning stringent security and privacy techniquesfor Bitcoin.
doi:10.1109/comst.2018.2842460 fatcat:dueceve54nhlzdk3vrpmbb6oc4