On Bitcoins and Red Ballons

Bitcoin relies on a peer-to-peer network to track transactions that are performed with the currency. For this purpose, every transaction a node learns about should be transmitted to its neighbors in the network.  As the protocol is currently defined and implemented, it does not provide an incentive for nodes to broadcast transactions they are aware of. In fact, it provides a strong incentive not to do so. Our solution is to augment the protocol with a scheme that rewards information propagation. Since clones are easy to create in the Bitcoin system, an important feature of our scheme is Sybil-proofness.

http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/156072/bitcoin.pdf

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