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What happens if someone maliciously decides to make squillions of transactions on the Bitcoin network?

I see there being two vulnerabilities. Firstly - computation resources used, though this doesn't seem to be a problem, at this stage, given the size of the mining pool.

But also - blowing out the size of the block chain. What if someone were to persist over a year of spamming transactions?

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    Note that having more transactions doesn't significantly increase the amount of computation required for mining. – Nate Eldredge Oct 1 '14 at 15:53
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That's what transaction fees are for. You have to pay a fee for every transaction you want to have included in the block chain, especially if your transaction is for a small amount or if there are many transactions already waiting in the transaction pool.

Also, the size of Bitcoin blocks is limited. There is also a limit on the number of signature operations in a block. The most an attacker can do is to raise transaction fees.

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Miners have the option to include or not include any given transaction in a block. If a particular account (or accounts) is attempting to make a large number of low-value transactions, miners could choose to not include transactions from that address in their blocks. Or, they could rate-limit senders of very small amounts.

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