Is there any reliable way of estimating the number of spammer controlled miners? I was thinking about the common wisdom that BitCoin should have been implemented with a hashing mechanism that is resistant to distributed processing (i.e. scrypt) and I have my doubts.

The first thing I thought when I saw a headline about BitCoin I rolled my eyes, it looked like a spammer's dream come true. But the recent protocol breakage and the (successful) coordinated effort to fix it, some I saw some comments attributing it to the concentration of miners. I also know a pooled miner that griped about an obvious hacker that he banned form his pool because the clients were doing way too much network traffic for too little work.

So, I am looking for a way to track this. The IP's stored in the Blockchain are of the first IP's that saw the coin and the payouts would go to a centralized wallet.

Any thoughts?


1 Answer 1


I'll assume you're confusing the term "spammer" (someone who sends unsolicited email, or posts unsolicited advertising) with "hacker" (of which black hat ones might operate a botnet and mine cryptocurrency), so I've updated your question.

Bitcoin is generally substantially less worthwhile for a black hat hacker to mine with a botnet than an altcoin using scrypt (such as Litecoin). This is because Bitcoin hashing happens to be more efficient to run on GPU hardware, whereas scrypt is more efficient to run on CPUs.

IP addresses are not stored in the blockchain.

Not much is available in the way of statistics for Bitcoin users, so you'll probably find it difficult.

Pool operators can collect IP addresses of those connecting to their pool, so they may have some (or could potentially collect some) data useful for what you describe. Even then, tracking it would be difficult; it may become a cat and mouse type game like virus writers and anti-virus companies play, if the operator of a botnet becomes aware of what you're doing.

  • "Bitcoin is generally substantially less worthwhile for a black hat hacker to mine with a botnet" Yup, that's what I am trying to prove : ) But, essentially, I would need to ask a pool operator and they would probably refuse...
    – Indolering
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 0:44
  • I think that spammer is the more accurate term to use here. Hackers and hacking is a positive thing!
    – Indolering
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 5:26

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