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Journal Articles IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management Year : 2022

The evolution of mining pools and miners’ behaviors in the Bitcoin blockchain

Abstract

We analyzed 23 mining pools and explore the mobility of miners throughout Bitcoin's history. Mining pools have emerged as major players to ensure that the Bitcoin system stays secure, valid, and stable. Many questions remain open regarding how mining pools have evolved throughout Bitcoin's history and when and why miners join or leave the pools. We investigated the reward payout flow of mining pools and characterized them based on payout irregularity and structural complexity. Based on our proposed algorithm, we identified miners and studied their mobility in the pools over time. Our analysis shows that Bitcoin mining is an industry that is sensitive to external events (e.g., market price and government policy). Over time, competition between pools involving reward schemes and pool fees motivated miners to migrate between pools (i.e., pool hopping and cross pooling). These factors converged toward optimal scheme and values, which made mining activities more stable.
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hal-03610424 , version 1 (16-03-2022)

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Natkamon Tovanich, Nicolas Soulié, Nicolas Heulot, Petra Isenberg. The evolution of mining pools and miners’ behaviors in the Bitcoin blockchain. IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, 2022, 19 (3), pp.3633-3644. ⟨10.1109/TNSM.2022.3159004⟩. ⟨hal-03610424⟩
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