Delayed Proof Of Work (dPoW): Explanation, Features, Alternatives & Limitations

What is Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW)?

Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) is a consensus mechanism that aims to improve upon the traditional Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm used by many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. dPoW is intended to provide additional security for PoW-based cryptocurrencies by allowing them to utilize the security of a more robust and secure PoW blockchain, such as Bitcoin, to secure their own transactions.

Komodo, a blockchain platform, is one of the first projects to use dPoW as a consensus mechanism. The idea behind dPoW is to provide additional security to the child chain by using the security of a more robust and secure PoW chain, like Bitcoin, to secure its own transactions.

Delayed Proof Of Work Features:

The basic idea or feature behind dPoW is that transactions on the “child” blockchain, which uses dPoW, are recorded not only on the child blockchain but also on the “parent” blockchain, which is more secure. This is done by periodically taking a snapshot of the child blockchain and recording it on the parent blockchain using a process called “notarization.” By recording the child blockchain on the parent blockchain, dPoW aims to provide an additional layer of security for the child blockchain, making it more difficult for attackers to alter or corrupt the child blockchain’s transaction history.

It’s worth noting that dPoW is not without controversy, as some argue that it centralizes security on the parent chain and that it may be less secure if the parent chain is attacked or compromised.

Delayed Proof Of Work Alternatives:

There are several alternatives to delayed proof of work (dPoW) which are as follows:

There are several alternatives to the Delayed Proof Of Work (dPoW) consensus mechanism that has been proposed to address some of its limitations. Some examples include:

Proof of Stake (PoS): In a PoS system, validators are chosen to create new blocks based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold and are willing to “stake” as collateral. This eliminates the need for miners to compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles in order to validate transactions.

Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS): In a DPoS system, token holders vote for a limited number of individuals or organizations to validate transactions and create new blocks. These elected delegates are responsible for maintaining the network.

Proof of Authority (PoA): In a PoA system, transactions are validated by a pre-selected group of individuals or organizations that have been vetted and authorized to do so. This is typically used in private or permissioned blockchain networks.

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT): PBFT is a method of consensus that ensures that the network reaches consensus on the state of the distributed ledger. In PBFT, a designated leader is responsible for proposing the next block, and all other validators must agree on it.

All these alternatives have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best one for a particular application will depend on the specific requirements and goals of that application.

Delayed Proof Of Work Advantages & Limitations:


  • dPoW provides added security to the network by using a PoW algorithm to secure a small subset of the network, called the “notary nodes”, and then using the notary nodes to secure the rest of the network using PoS.
  • dPoW allows for the integration of multiple different blockchain networks, as the notary nodes can be used to add the blocks of one blockchain to another.
  • dPoW can increase the scalability of the network by allowing for faster confirmation times and reducing the amount of computational power required to validate transactions.


  • dPoW still requires a significant amount of computational power to secure the notary nodes, which can be costly in terms of energy consumption.
  • dPoW relies on the security of the notary nodes, which can be a single point of failure if they are compromised.
  • dPoW can be more complex to implement and maintain than other consensus mechanisms.
  • dPoW may be less decentralized, as the notary nodes are typically selected by a central authority, rather than being chosen through a competitive process like in PoW or PoS.


dPoW (delayed Proof of Work) is a consensus mechanism that combines the security of Proof of Work (PoW) with the scalability of Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) to improve the overall security and performance of a blockchain network. It works by using a secondary blockchain (called the “notary chain”) to periodically “notarize” the blocks on the primary blockchain (the “main chain”). This allows the main chain to rely on the security of the PoW algorithm used by the notary chain, while still maintaining the scalability and fast confirmation times of a DAG-based main chain.

In conclusion, I would like to add that dPoW is a promising approach to address some of the limitations of traditional blockchain designs, by providing a way to increase security and scalability while preserving the key features of both PoW and DAGs.

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