Amazon awarded patent for a proof-of-work cryptographic system

May 17, 2019, 10:54AM EDT

Tech giant Amazon has received a patent for “various techniques” to develop a proof-of-work system. Amazon first filed for the patent in 2016, and it has been finally approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week.

The patent outlines the generation of Merkle trees as an answer to a proof-of-work challenge. The solution worked out by Amazon could be used to counter denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. 

According to Amazon, “Requiring a valid proof-of-work may mitigate a DOS or DDOS attack by causing the participants of the DOS or DDOS attack to generate a valid proof-of-work solution, which may require the use of computational resources on the attacking systems and dramatically reduce the rate at which entities participating in the attack may send requests.”