Impact of temporary fork on the evolution of mining pools in blockchain networks: an evolutionary game analysis

Canhui Chen, Xu Chen, Jiangshan Yu, Weigang Wu, Di Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Temporary fork is a fundamental phenomenon in many blockchains with proof of work, and the analysis of temporary fork has recently drawn great attention. Different from existing efforts that focus on the blockchain system factors such as block size, network propagation delay or block generation speed, in this paper we explore a new key dimension of computing power from the miners' perspective. Specifically, we first propose a detailed mathematical model to characterize the impact of computing power competition of the mining pools on the temporary fork. We also derive closed-form formula of the probability of temporary fork and the expected mining reward of a mining pool. To reveal the long-term trends on the computing power distributions over the competing mining pools, we then develop an evolutionary game framework based on the temporary fork modeling and accordingly characterize the set of stable evolution equilibrium. Both extensive numerical simulations and realistic blockchain data based evaluation provide evidence to support our theoretical models and discoveries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-418
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Blockchain
  • evolution equilibrium
  • evolutionary game theory
  • temporary fork

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