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Issue No. 03 - May-June (2014 vol. 12)
ISSN: 1540-7993
pp: 54-60
Arthur Gervais , ETH Zurich
Ghassan O. Karame , NEC Laboratories Europe
Vedran Capkun , HEC Paris
Srdjan Capkun , ETH Zurich
Bitcoin has achieved large-scale acceptance and popularity by promising its users a fully decentralized and low-cost virtual currency system. However, recent incidents and observations are revealing the true limits of decentralization in the Bitcoin system. In this article, the authors show that the vital operations and decisions that Bitcoin is currently undertaking are not decentralized. A limited set of entities currently controls the services, decision making, mining, and the incident resolution processes. The authors explore explore possible avenues to enhance the decentralization in the Bitcoin system.
Cryptography, Proposals, Peer-to-peer computing, Internet, Online banking

A. Gervais, G. O. Karame, V. Capkun and S. Capkun, "Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Currency?," in IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 54-60, 2014.
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