Double-spending prevention for Bitcoin zero-confirmation transactions

Cristina Pérez-Solà*, Sergi Delgado-Segura, Guillermo Navarro-Arribas, Jordi Herrera-Joancomartí

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Zero-confirmation transactions, i.e. transactions that have been broadcast but are still pending to be included in the blockchain, have gained attention in order to enable fast payments in Bitcoin, shortening the time for performing payments. Fast payments are desirable in certain scenarios, for instance, when buying in vending machines, fast food restaurants, or withdrawing from an ATM. Despite being quickly propagated through the network, zero-confirmation transactions are not protected against double-spending attacks, since the double-spending protection Bitcoin offers relies on the blockchain and, by definition, such transactions are not yet included in it. In this paper, we propose a double-spending prevention mechanism for Bitcoin zero-confirmation transactions. Our proposal is based on exploiting the flexibility of the Bitcoin scripting language together with a well-known vulnerability of the ECDSA signature scheme to discourage attackers from performing such an attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-463
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Bitcoin
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Double-spending


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