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Inflicting Penalties on Misbehaving Nodes

Bitcoin recently adopted a penalty system to punish misbehaving nodes; for example, nodes that broadcast ill-formed objects can be temporarily (up to 24 hours) banned from connecting to a peer. One possible way to deter a double-spending 7

Here, ‘Setting’ refers to the location of V, the number of connections of V at the time of the attack, and the number of helpers employed by A. ‘% Observed’ refers to the fraction of observers detecting double-spending attacks.

attack would be to rely on the alert mechanism of Bitcoin to alter the network of a misbehaving address that is attempting double-spending attacks.

For example, in our case, nodes can forward both TRy and TRa using an alert message to the rest of the network. All Bitcoin nodes can then verify that the address of A is attempting a double-spend and can decide not to accept any transaction issued by this address. However, the impact of this penalty is limited since A could double-spend using addresses that contain little (or no) BTCs. In Chapter 5, we show how to link different Bitcoin addresses of an entity in an attempt to inflict a harsh penalty on A.

 
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