This is a quote from the book "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" by Satoshi Nakamoto
...f his own transactions to take back money he recently spent.
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The race between the honest chain and an attacker chain can be characterized as a Binomial Random Walk. The success even
t is the honest chain being extended by one block, increasing its lead by +1, and the failure event is the attacker's chain being extended by one block, reducing the gap by -1.
The probability of an attacker catching up from a given deficit is analogous to a Gambler's Ruin problem. Suppose a gambler with unlimited credit starts at a deficit and plays potentially ...