Double-spending is a failure mode of digital cash schemes, when it is possible to spend a single digital token twice. Since, unlike physical token money such as coins, electronic files can be duplicated, and hence the act of spending a digital coin does not remove its data from the ownership of the original holder, some other means are needed to prevent double-spending.
This is usually implemented using an on-line central trusted third party that can verify whether a token has been spent. This normally represents a single point of failure from both the technical and trust viewpoints. However, a number of distributed systems for double-spending prevention have been proposed. Bitcoin is an example of a digital cash system that uses a distributed system of this sort.
- Mark Ryan. "Digital Cash". School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- Jaap-Henk Hoepman (2008). "Distributed Double Spending Prevention". arXiv:0802.0832v1 [cs.CR].
- Osipkov, I.; Vasserman, E. Y.; Hopper, N.; Kim, Y. (2007). Combating Double-Spending Using Cooperative P2P Systems. p. 41. doi:10.1109/ICDCS.2007.91.
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