A Survey on Blockchain: A Game Theoretical Perspective

Ziyao Liu, Nguyen Cong Luong, Wenbo Wang, Dusit Niyato, Ping Wang, Ying Chang Liang, Dong In Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, blockchain technology has attracted tremendous attention from both academia and industry. The popularity of blockchains was originated from the concept of crypto-currencies to serve as a decentralized and tamper-proof transaction data ledger. Nowadays, blockchains as the key framework in the decentralized public data-ledger have been applied to a wide range of scenarios far beyond crypto-currencies, such as the Internet of Things, healthcare, and insurance. This survey aims to fill the gap between a large number of studies on blockchain networks, where game theory emerges as an analytical tool, and the lack of a comprehensive survey on the game theoretical approaches applied in blockchain-related issues. In this survey, we review the game models proposed to address common issues in the blockchain network. The focus is placed on security issues, e.g., selfish mining, majority attack and denial of service attack, issues regarding mining management, e.g., computational power allocation, reward allocation, and pool selection, as well as issues regarding blockchain economic and energy trading. Additionally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these selected game theoretical models and solutions. Finally, we highlight important challenges and future research directions of applying game theoretical approaches to incentive mechanism design and the combination of blockchain with other technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6287639
Pages (from-to)47615-47643
Number of pages29
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the A*STAR-NTU-SUTD Joint Research Grant Call on Artificial Intelligence for the Future of Manufacturing under Grant RGANS1906, in part by the WASP/NTU under Grant M4082187 (4080), in part by the Singapore MOE Tier 1 under Grant 2017-T1-002-007 RG122/17, in part by the Singapore MOE Tier 2 under Grant MOE2014-T2-2-015 ARC4/15, in part by the Singapore NRF2015-NRF-ISF001-2277, in part by the Singapore EMA Energy Resilience under Grant NRF2017EWT-EP003-041, in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIT) under Grant 2017R1A2B2003953, and in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant U1801261 and Grant 61631005.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Blockchain
  • Game theory
  • Mining management
  • Security


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