What are some ways a SPO can attack the Cardano blockchain? E.g. in Bitcoin, a miner could intentionally exclude certain transactions to the extend that the miner's hash power allows. Is something like this possible in Cardano? What about other forms of attack? What discourages such attacks or mitigates the harm they can cause?


I am still researching if it is possible for a SPO to choose and exclude transactions when they are elected to create the block. I am pretty sure it isn't something you can just do 'out of the box,' I believe you would need to modify the client code of your block producer. With that said, if they could do that, it still wouldn't cause much damage. The reason why is because there is enough entropy built into the slot leader selection that the next block would pick up the excluded transaction. This is because it would be a new slot leader, thus only causing a ~20 second delay. This kind of attack is also discouraged because there is not incentive for just 1 pool operator to cherry pick (choose some, exclude others) transactions because the rewards are pooled and distributed at the end of the epoch. Meaning that if there were a lot of full-blocks, you could very slightly increase the overall rewards. However, after dividing it out to all the SPOs who created blocks, it likely wouldn't be worth your time. Now if multiple SPOs worked together on something like this, and we were constantly creating full blocks there could be incentive to choose the transactions that have larger fees (like ETH).

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