Proof-of-Work Difficulty Readjustment with Genetic Algorithm

Zi Hau Chin*, Timothy Tzen Vun Yap, Ian K. T. Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger technology. It can be visualized as a gradually increasing list of “blocks” which contains data that are linked together using cryptographic hash. Each transaction is verified by several participating nodes to compute a complex mathematical problem. The complexity of this computation, also known as Proof-of-Work (PoW), is governed by the difficulty set on a periodic basis. If the hash rate of the blockchain’s PoW grows or declines exponentially, the blockchain will be unable to maintain the block creation interval. The utilization of genetic algorithm (GA) in addition with the existing difficulty adjustment algorithm is proposed as a response to this by optimizing the blockchain parameters. A simulation of 3 scenarios as well as the default, were performed and the results were recorded. Based on the results, we are able to observe that the blockchain is able to reach the expected block time 74.4% faster than the blockchain without GA. Moreover, the standard deviations of the average block time and difficulty decreased by 99.4% and 99.5% respectively when block and difficulty intervals were considered for optimization, when compared to the default blockchain without GA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cyber Security
Subtitle of host publicationSecond International Conference, ACeS 2020, Penang, Malaysia, December 8-9, 2020, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsMohammed Anbar, Nibras Abdullah, Selvakumar Manickam
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-33-6835-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2nd International Conference on Advances in Cyber Security 2020 - Penang, Malaysia
Duration: 8 Dec 20209 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference2nd International Conference on Advances in Cyber Security 2020
Abbreviated titleACeS 2020


  • Bitcoin
  • Blockchain
  • Difficulty
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Proof-of-Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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