Log In Sign Up

Game theory on the blockchain: a model for games with smart contracts

by   Mathias Hall-Andersen, et al.

We propose a model for games in which the players have shared access to a blockchain that allows them to deploy smart contracts to act on their behalf. This changes fundamental game-theoretic assumptions about rationality since a contract can commit a player to act irrationally in specific subgames, making credible otherwise non-credible threats. This is further complicated by considering the interaction between multiple contracts which can reason about each other. This changes the nature of the game in a nontrivial way as choosing which contract to play can itself be considered a move in the game. Our model generalizes known notions of equilibria, with a single contract being equivalent to a Stackelberg equilibrium, and two contracts being equivalent to a reverse Stackelberg equilibrium. We prove a number of bounds on the complexity of computing SPE in such games with smart contracts. We show that computing an SPE is -hard in the general case. Specifically, in games with k contracts, we show that computing an SPE is Σ_k^-hard for games of imperfect information. We show that computing an SPE remains -hard in games of perfect information if we allow for an unbounded number of contracts. We give an algorithm for computing an SPE in two-contract games of perfect information that runs in time O(mℓ) where m is the size of the game tree and ℓ is the number of terminal nodes. Finally, we conjecture the problem to be -complete for three contracts.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Transactional Smart Contracts in Blockchain Systems

This paper presents TXSC, a framework that provides smart contract devel...

EVMPatch: Timely and Automated Patching of Ethereum Smart Contracts

Recent attacks exploiting errors in smart contract code had devastating ...

Designing Refund Bonus Schemes for Provision Point Mechanism in Civic Crowdfunding

Civic crowdfunding is a practice with which interested players can raise...

Smart Contract Synthesis Modulo Hyperproperties

Smart contracts are small but highly security-critical programs that imp...

A Framework for Collaborative Attack based on Criminal Smart Contract

In agreements among anonymous users, smart contracts eliminate the need ...

Limited Lookahead in Imperfect-Information Games

Limited lookahead has been studied for decades in complete-information g...

What Government by Algorithm Might Look Like

Algocracy is the rule by algorithms. This paper summarises technologies ...