IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

It will cost you nothing to "kill" a proof-of-stake crypto-currency


  • Nicolas Houy

    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne, Ecully, F-69130, France.)


It is a widely spread belief that crypto-currencies implementing a proof of stake transaction validation system are less vulnerable to a 51% attack than crypto-currencies implementing a proof of work transaction validation system. In this article, we show that it is not the case and that, in fact, if the attacker's motivation is large enough (and this is common knowledge), he will succeed in his attack at no cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Houy, 2014. "It will cost you nothing to "kill" a proof-of-stake crypto-currency," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 1038-1044.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-14-00114

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hermann Elendner & Simon Trimborn & Bobby Ong & Teik Ming Lee, 2016. "The Cross-Section of Crypto-Currencies as Financial Assets: An Overview," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-038, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Jyotir Moy Chatterjee & Le Hoang Son & Srijani Ghatak & Raghvendra Kumar & Manju Khari, 2018. "BitCoin exclusively informational money: a valuable review from 2010 to 2017," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(5), pages 2037-2054, September.
    3. Nicolas Houy, 2014. "The economics of Bitcoin transaction fees," Working Papers halshs-00951358, HAL.
    4. Jian Wang & Qianggang Wang & Niancheng Zhou & Yuan Chi, 2017. "A Novel Electricity Transaction Mode of Microgrids Based on Blockchain and Continuous Double Auction," Energies, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1-22, November.
    5. Tarun Chitra, 2019. "Competitive equilibria between staking and on-chain lending," Papers 2001.00919,, revised Feb 2020.
    6. Corbet, Shaen & Lucey, Brian & Urquhart, Andrew & Yarovaya, Larisa, 2019. "Cryptocurrencies as a financial asset: A systematic analysis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 182-199.
    7. Russ, Meir, 2016. "The probable foundations of sustainabilism: Information, energy and entropy based definition of capital, Homo Sustainabiliticus and the need for a “new gold”," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 328-338.
    8. Baocheng Wang & Zetao Li & Haibin Li, 2020. "Hybrid Consensus Algorithm Based on Modified Proof-of-Probability and DPoS," Future Internet, MDPI, vol. 12(8), pages 1-16, July.
    9. Zura Kakushadze & Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, 2018. "CryptoRuble: From Russia with Love," Papers 1801.05760,
    10. Nicola Dimitri, 2022. "The Economics of Consensus in Algorand," FinTech, MDPI, vol. 1(2), pages 1-16, May.

    More about this item


    Bitcoin; protocol; proof of work; proof of stake; 51% attack;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-14-00114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: John P. Conley (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.