Bitcoin Transaction Malleability and MtGox

  • Christian Decker
  • Roger Wattenhofer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8713)


In Bitcoin, transaction malleability describes the fact that the signatures that prove the ownership of bitcoins being transferred in a transaction do not provide any integrity guarantee for the signatures themselves. This allows an attacker to mount a malleability attack in which it intercepts, modifies, and rebroadcasts a transaction, causing the transaction issuer to believe that the original transaction was not confirmed. In February 2014 MtGox, once the largest Bitcoin exchange, closed and filed for bankruptcy claiming that attackers used malleability attacks to drain its accounts. In this work we use traces of the Bitcoin network for over a year preceding the filing to show that, while the problem is real, there was no widespread use of malleability attacks before the closure of MtGox.


Bitcoin Transaction Signature Malleability MtGox Theft 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Decker
    • 1
  • Roger Wattenhofer
    • 1
  1. 1.ETH ZurichSwitzerland

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