Bitcoin mining protects the blockchain from malicious attacks and helps ensure a fair distribution of Bitcoin. Platforms like bitcode-prime.cloud make bitcoin trading valuable and profitable by using the best trading strategies and trading bots. Bitcoin mining is creating or minting new Bitcoins because that’s what it is.
Bitcoin mining is technically a revision of the Bitcoin protocol wherein a new block is mined whenever a specific mathematical problem is solved by a miner using a computer program that performs brute-force number crunching. Bitcoin mining (creating new bitcoins) will be rewarded with transaction fees and newly created Bitcoins until approximately 2140.
Miners can still be rewarded with transaction fees, and the already existing digital currency will continue to be exchanged for goods and services. However, in 2013, selfish mining was discovered. by some miners. In a nutshell, selfish miners manipulate how their blocks are propagated across the network to gain an advantage and get more bitcoin rewards than they would have otherwise.
The below-listed portion will cover everything you need to know about selfish mining so that you can protect yourself. It’s about what it is, why it matters, how to protect yourself against it, and finally, ways to use this knowledge to your advantage if you want to mine with multiple machines simultaneously (multi-pools).
What is selfish mining?
Selfish mining is where miners coordinate with each other to hide their blocks from other miners. As a result, neither they nor the rest of the network will know that more than one miner is working on a block. The result? A less safe blockchain, and in some cases, lower bitcoin rewards for everyone.
Miners fairly compete against each other to be the ones that discover and verify new blocks by verifying transactions and creating a new block with new transactions.
Anyone who is running a full node can be part of this process. Miners need to run the full nodes “in parallel” (i.e., they need to run more than one node at a time).
If a block is discovered and broadcast to the network, then every miner will receive this information and begin mining on top of the discovered block.
In a competitive environment, miners must constantly monitor whether other miners have found new blocks – running full nodes in parallel.
They have to do this because it takes time for a new block to propagate across the network – if they don’t know about it, they risk that another miner will mine on top of their transactions.
To hide their block from other miners, selfish miners first use “null data .”It is data that doesn’t add anything meaningful beyond increasing the time needed for propagation.
It is possible by creating a large number of transactions that are all: zeros or empty. However, it is essential to remember that miners across the network will still propagate these transactions.
If other miners don’t mine the selfish miner’s block, then the selfish miner will broadcast their block to the network and receive rewards for their work.
On the other hand, if the selfish miner’s block gets mined by other miners, they won’t know about this until they receive a transaction from someone else in their wallet (which is why no one cares about non-mining transactions).
Is Selfish Mining a Threat?
If miners were able to hide their blocks from the network, then they would be able to get more bitcoin rewards than they would have otherwise.
In other words, this threatens the fair distribution of bitcoin. For selfish mining to be a threat, three conditions need to be met:
A miner must detect that another miner is mining on top of a block that hasn’t been discovered by anyone else (i.e., the network). It is trivial because this information is publicly available.
Suppose the selfish miner can hide their blocks from everyone else so that neither the other miners nor anyone else in their wallet knows about it. In that case, they might get away with their attack without being punished by other miners.
If the selfish miner can generate new blocks faster than everyone else, they will get more bitcoin rewards. It means they will be incentivized to do it again and again.
Selfish mining is no longer a threat if the selfish miner’s block doesn’t get mined by anyone else or if other miners find new blocks faster than the selfish miner does.
Miners cannot ignore transactions coming from their wallets, so as long as miners keep running full nodes in parallel (which they always do), no one will be able to track any of them into accepting block miners mined without competition.
Does Selfish mining exist anymore?
Selfish mining exists, but Selfish miners cannot continue to reject blocks from other miners. It is because other miners prohibit new blocks from specific IP addresses.
Miners will reject these blocks if they know they come from a selfish miner. So to prevent their block from being rejected, the selfish miner has to hide the fact that they are a selfish miner.
They do this by tricking their peers (and their peers’ peers, and so on) into thinking that they are not a selfish miner.