Complex network analysis of the Bitcoin transaction network

Bishenghui TAO, Hong-Ning DAI, Jiajing WU, Ivan Wang-Hei HO, Zibin ZHENG, Chak Fong CHEANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this brief, we conduct a complex-network analysis of the Bitcoin transaction network. In particular, we design a new sampling method, namely random walk with flying-back (RWFB), to conduct effective data sampling. We then conduct a comprehensive analysis of the Bitcoin network in terms of the degree distribution, clustering coefficient, the shortest-path length, connected component, centrality, assortativity, and the rich-club coefficient. We obtain several important observations including the small-world phenomenon, multi-center status, preferential attachment, and non-rich-club effect of the current network. This work brings up an in-depth understanding of the current Bitcoin blockchain network and offers implications for future directions in malicious activity and fraud detection in cryptocurrency blockchain networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1013
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Agency: Science and Technology Development Fund, Macau SAR (Grant Number: 0028/2021/A1)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004-2012 IEEE.


  • Bitcoin
  • Blockchain
  • complex network
  • network analysis


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