Blockchain Glossary

Selfish Mining Attack

Published on August 28th, 2021

A selfish mining attack, also known as a block withholding attack, describes a malicious attempt to discredit blockchain network integrity.

Selfish mining attacks occur when an individual in a mining pool attempts to withhold a successfully validated block from being broadcast to the rest of the mining pool network.

After the selfish miner withholds their successfully mined block from the group, they continue to mine the next block, resulting in the selfish miner having demonstrated more proof-of-work compared to other miners in the mining pool.

This allows the selfish miner to claim the block rewards (and financial rewards) while the rest of the network adopts their block solutions.