5

Can you differentiate the miners from the normal clients, by doing some frequency analysis on ip-addresses that announce new blocks? Or will the new block propagate so fast around the network by normal clients that it's impossible.

3

It is trivial for solo miners to use tor to hide IP adresses. This defeats mentioned above frequency analysis attack.

4

I don't know what this frequency analysis technique would do, so this answer corresponds to the second question you asked:

Blockchain.info connects to hundreds of nodes:

The IP address Blockchain.info shows is the address of one of those nodes that they happened to be connected to which first saw that transaction. A node where privacy is desired does not allow incoming connections and only connects to trusted nodes that won't violate privacy expectations.

  • With frequency analysis I meant just counting for each node how many times it was one of the first to announce a new block. If there is 1 miner and 50 regular nodes, the miner will on average always be faster than nodes that are just relaying. But I guess as soon as the network grows it will be harder and harder, since you can't be connected to all of them at the same time. – Muis Jul 24 '12 at 20:07
  • AFAIK there is no way to differentiate between block announcement and block announcement relay – thedrs Jan 15 '15 at 12:44

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