I haven't seen this discussed before, if it has been please provide a link.
If I find a block while mining but then discover that another miner broadcast a block mere moments ago, I could begin mining the next block based on the network accepted block. Or I could begin mining based on my rejected block. I'm not trying to double spend, I'm including all the same transactions.
It seems like I have nothing to lose by doubling down at this point. Based on my hashing power I expect the same chance of finding the next block, but if I mine my own block successfully I'll get the coin for mining both blocks. Same risk, double reward.
If I control 51% and I do this, it seems that a successful fork is the most likely outcome. Taking it a step further with the 51% scenario: If I find a block after 3 minutes and I compute that 95% of recent blocks have been found after 6.5 minutes can't I withhold my block from the network briefly, risking the 5% chance of being beaten in order to get lead time on the next block?
If I control 51% and use this strategy, isn't it inevitable that at some point I will mine 2 quick blocks back to back and that I can use my position of being ahead of the network as leverage to get farther ahead?
For example, I find block 1000 and the network accepts it. We all begin mining for block 1001. I find 1001 after 3 minutes, I keep it to myself and start on 1002. I get lucky and find 1002 before anyone else broadcasts a 1001. I begin work on 1003. Someone broadcasts a 1001 and the network moves on to mining 1002. At this point I don't immediately broadcast my block 1002. I've computed that 99% of recent blocks are broadcast after 4 minutes. So i continue mining 1003 for an additional 4 minutes, taking only a 1% chance of being preempted.
Then, only after the network has wasted 4 minutes mining 1002 do I transmit my 1002 which invalidates both the other miner's 1001 and the whole networks expenditure on 1002. This leaves me with winning blocks 1001 & 1002 a 4+ minute head start on 1003.
If I control 51% and use that strategy, where every quick block I find and every long block the network finds will fuel my head start, isn't it inevitable that at some point I will gain the power to string the network along where all their work is wasted on blocks I have already found but not shared.
Wouldn't this be invisible to users and merchants yet devastating to miners? Wouldn't this disincentivize mining thereby increasing my relative hashing power and the length of my string along chains?