Bitcoin and the Theory of Computation

  IJCTT-book-cover
 
International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT)          
 
© 2021 by IJCTT Journal
Volume-69 Issue-10
Year of Publication : 2021
Authors : Martin V. Sewell
  10.14445/22312803/IJCTT-V69I10P107

How to Cite?

Martin V. Sewell, "Bitcoin and the Theory of Computation," International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology, vol. 69, no. 10, pp. 43-46, 2021. Crossref, 10.14445/22312803/IJCTT-V69I10P107

Abstract
Bitcoin is assessed from the perspective of the theory of computation. Specifically, the computational power of Bitcoin is determined in the context of both computability theory and automata theory. In computability theory, there exists a hierarchy of functions, from the most powerful to the least powerful: partial recursive, total recursive, primitive recursive, elementary recursive, and lower elementary recursive. Whilst in automata theory, there exists a hierarchy of automata, from the most to least powerful: Turing machine, linear bounded automaton, non-deterministic pushdown automaton, deterministic pushdown automaton, and finite automaton. In both instances, Bitcoin lies within or below the least powerful category. Bitcoin is essentially a finite automaton that employs a scripting language for data manipulation that is even less powerful than a lower elementary recursive programming language. Bitcoin is not Turing-complete, either in whole or in part. For security reasons, Bitcoin was designed to be only as powerful as necessary.

Keywords
Automata theory, Bitcoin, Computability theory, Theory of computation, Turing-complete.

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