in bitcoin white paper there are only attacker and honest nodes. you have p, and q for probabilities.

in double spend attack, in bitcoin whitepaper, can we talk about possible tie of attacker and honest nodes ? is a tie possible and what does it mean if it is possible ? in terms of block chain and blocks ?


Bitcoin consensus is never final, but instead just becomes increasingly stable as more blocks are added.

In the example in the whitepaper a successful attacker will spend some amount of time "tied" but this tie will eventually be resolved by additional blocks. If the additional blocks are on the attacker's fork then it will resolve in the attacker's favor.


The only scenario in which you hit a tie is if two blocks are mined for the same block number, each containing a different half of the double spend tx.

In a scenario like this, one of the two blocks will be dropped as more blocks are mined, and one block becomes part of the chain with the most work. This will result in only one tx confirming.

  • no i think you are confusing. probabilty of tie is within the progress both mine block at the same time, crippling any advantage made in attack.
    – fritz
    Jul 22 '18 at 7:04

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