Proof of adjourn (PoAj): a novel approach to mitigate blockchain attacks

Sarwar Sayeed, Hector Marco-Gisbert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


The blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that is growing in importance since inception. Besides cryptocurrencies, it has also crossed its boundary inspiring various organizations, enterprises, or business establishments to adopt this technology benefiting from the most innovative security features. The decentralized and immutable aspects have been the key points that endorse blockchain as one of the most secure technologies at the present time. However, in recent times such features seemed to be faded due to new attacking techniques. One of the biggest challenges remains within the consensus protocol itself, which is an essential component to bring all network participants to an agreed state. Cryptocurrencies adopt suitable consensus protocols based on their mining requirement, and Proof of Work (PoW) is the consensus protocol that is being predominated in major cryptocurrencies. Recent consensus protocol-based attacks, such as the 51% attack, Selfish Mining, Miner Bribe Attack, Zero Confirmation Attack, and One Confirmation Attack have been demonstrated feasible. To overcome these attacks, we propose Proof of Adjourn (PoAj), a novel consensus protocol that provides strong protection regardless of attackers hashing capability. After analyzing the 5 major attacks, and current protection techniques indicating the causes of their failure, we compared the PoAj against the most widely used PoW, showing that PoAj is not only able to mitigate the 5 attacks but also attacks relying on having a large amount of hashing power. In addition, the proposed PoAj showed to be an effective approach to mitigate the processing time issue of large-sized transactions. PoAj is not tailored to any particular attack; therefore, it is effective against malicious powerful players. The proposed approach provides a strong barrier not only to current and known attacks but also to future unknown attacks based on different strategies that rely on controlling the majority of the hashing power.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6607
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2020


  • blockchain attacks
  • attack techniques
  • 51% attack
  • vulnerability


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