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Blockchain inefficiency in the Bitcoin peers network

Pappalardo, G; Di Matteo, T; Caldarelli, G; Aste, T; (2018) Blockchain inefficiency in the Bitcoin peers network. EPJ Data Science , 7 , Article 30. 10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0159-3. Green open access

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Abstract

We investigate Bitcoin network observing transactions broadcasted into the network during a week from 04/05/2016 and then monitoring their inclusion into the blockchain during the following seven months.We unveil that 42% of the transactions are still not included in the Blockchain after 1 h from their appearance and 20% of the transactions are still not included in the Blockchain after 30 days, therefore revealing a great inefficiency in the Bitcoin system. However, we observe that most of these “forgotten” transactions have low values and in terms of transferred value the system is less inefficient with 93% of the transactions value being included into the Blockchain within 3 h and 98.8% within a day. The fact that a sizeable fraction of transactions is not processed timely casts serious doubts on the usability of the Bitcoin Blockchain for reliable time-stamping purposes. It also calls for a debate about the right systems of incentives which a peer-to-peer unintermediated system should introduce to promote efficient transaction recording.

Type: Article
Title: Blockchain inefficiency in the Bitcoin peers network
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0159-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0159-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Interdisciplinary Applications, Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods, Mathematics, Mathematical Methods In Social Sciences, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Transaction inefficiency
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572726
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