A mining process that involves a big group of miners, who collabs together and form a group during a mining session, they help each other to expand their mining network and earn profit in form of revenue is called selfish mining. Selfish mining is a mining strategy to lead in the tough competition of mining profitability. A group of miner’s merges and try to increase their authority over a confirmed transaction made over the nodes of a blockchain.
We all know, mining is the process to validate the transaction made over a blockchain network by using computational skills, and the professionals who carried out this process are called miners, in return, they are awarded a new set of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others. More confirmed transactions mean more revenue earned by a specific group of miners; therefore, this mining process becomes more aggressive and miners are ready to cross any limit to get the desired award.
How Is Selfish Mining Executed?
Selfish means directed to one’s welfare, therefore, miners also try to mine for themselves, sometimes they hide the details of already done transactions or already mined blocks, which led to suspicion among the peer network. The other groups are continuing to find the solution of the blockchain or searching for the block which has already been mined but its mining details are withheld by the other miners who have already discovered them, they try to reveal the details after sometime when the competition is at its peak.
Let’s get into the history of selfish mining!
- Selfish mining was first discovered in 2013 by Emin Gun Sirer and Ittay Eyal.
- This paper held the proof that miners earned more revenues by hiding the transaction details of a mined block.
- Selfish mining is the fastest and quick method to earn more shares.
- Selfish mining provides an easy gateway to remain on top by distracting the other folks of miners from the real mining quest.
How Can We Identify Selfish Mining?
Now, it is not good for all the miners who are working hard and are expecting to mine a fresh block from the blockchain, but these opportunities also get disrupted when a big and influential group of miners carried out this selfish mining attack.
If one wants to identify the signs of selfish mining, he can check the following details:
- The time between two consecutive mined blocks, yes if the time between the mined blocks is checked, one can easily solve the confusion of selfish mining.
- One can count on the Number of orphaned blocks left behind which itself gives a strong idea about the selfish mining process.
- One can use the measurement tool for counting the mining blocks, and there is still some undone mining left behind which could be a great source for identifying selfish mining.
Why We Should Limit Selfish Mining Attack
This entire process is made to outcompete the small miners who are honestly participating in the mining process.
- Also, it cornered the section of miners who have unstable network connectivity.
- High use of electricity is required for successfully mining a block.
- It creates an online scam about the validation of a blockchain network
- Not able to relocate the true block and all efforts are wasted.
- Selfish mining creates the autocracy of one dominant mining group over other miners.
- Unfair means of mining that is illegally practised.
- Unequal revenue distribution and some miners lost the chance to earn revenue.
People take unfair advantage of the decentralized system of blockchain, they tend to outnumber the legal mining blocks by hiding the facts and details about the mined blocks. This is the future of bitcoin so miners should be aware.
Also, they try to create confusion among the public network of mining and when the public network is lowered than the private network of mining, they smartly revealed the details about the mined blocks,
It also led to the unended cycle of repeating the mining process which has no end and a person quitting the process, large depletion of resources and time is also the crucial factor why we should limit the selfish mining attempt.
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