When evaluating the security of a network, various scenarios can be developed based on assumptions regarding how the actors on the network are likely to behave, the level of coordination between actors and the potential budget an attacker would be willing to spend. Typical scenarios include:

  • Honest majority model – assumes that more than 50% of the actors are honest
  • Coordinated choice model – assumes that all actors will behave in exactly the same way
  • Uncoordinated choice model – assumes that each actor has their own goals and do not coordinate actions. It also assumes that actors do not form coalitions above a certain size
  • Bribing attacker model – this starts with the uncoordinated choice model but also assumes that there is a potential attacker with enough resources to bribe at least some of the actors into taking certain actions

Cryptoeconomics provides useful theories for evaluating the security of networks. However, it should be noted that all systems have at least some vulnerabilities and given enough time and resources an attacker will always be able to do some level of damage to the network. The cryptoeconomic approach to this is to ensure that the costs of conducting an attack are far greater than the potential rewards so that a rational attacker will not look to attack the system. It is thus possible to define a cryptoeconomic security margin for each attack vector:

Cryptoeconomic Security Margin = attack vector cost - expected reward

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