I'm exploring the topic of selfish mining attacks and how to detect and stop them. I do not really understand any of given solutions. Can someone please explain in plain English, how selfish mining gets detected, how to stop it from happening and how to react to it when the attack happens? Were there any selfish mining attacks so far? Were there any mitigations of the selfish mining attack added to the Bitcoin protocol since it was described?

  • We do have a number of questions here tagged [tag: selfish-mining], but it's maybe a bit more of an academic topic. Have you tried looking for academic papers about it?
    – Murch
    Aug 25, 2020 at 8:15
  • Thank you, I did. That's the reason I wrote this question and used the phrase ("plain English")
    – ddavi031
    Aug 26, 2020 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


I do not really understand any of given solutions. Can someone please explain in plain English

I also find this stuff difficult to understand however I'm a little skeptical of the idea that complex issues can always be simply explained. There is a reason why people spend decades studying a subject in order to understand something. Selfish mining isn't one one of these, it isn't quantum mechanics or some esoteric branch of mathematics, however it probably isn't simple.

I find this website works best when you ask one, specific question rather than bundling a bunch of questions together. So far as I can tell, this isn't a place where you can routinely expect volunteers to write substantially long multi-page essays.

A google search finds Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable; Ittay Eyal and Emin Gun Sirer; Department of Computer Science, Cornell University which, looking at the first few pages, seems to be readable. I would start there and ask here about any single specific points that I needed clarification for.

Cornell is a reputable institution and a peer-reviewed paper with substantial citations ought to be a reasonable starting point.

  • I did not expect an essay I just needed some simple explanation on existing solutions to the selfish miner problem. I already tried to understand the paper you mentioned, but I will give it another shot. Thank you for your answer.
    – ddavi031
    Aug 26, 2020 at 22:13

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