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This is an extended abstract to be presented at the 2nd Symposium on Distributed Ledger Technology - SDLT'2018 at Griffith University. In this research, we have briefly explored the feasibility of three major public blockchain systems suitable for IoT use-cases against a set of chosen criteria.
Blockchain Platforms for IoT Use-cases
Mohammad Chowdhury, Md. Sadek Ferdous, Kamanashis Biswas,,
IoT & Blockchain: The Internet of Things (IoT) is
experiencing an exponential growth in a wide variety of use
cases, such as wearable devices, agriculture, smart cities,
smart homes, supply chain and so on. IoT technology is
fundamentally different, mainly due to its decentralized
topology and the resource-constraints devices. Thus, IoT
systems often rely on centralized computing and storage
system (e.g., cloud infrastructure) for processing distributed
data. This computation model usually suffers from privacy
and security vulnerabilities. In addition, such devices
depend on a heterogeneous underlying network
infrastructure which is easy to attack as evident in several
recent cyber attacks. Recently, blockchain technology has
gained popularity in different domains because of its
multiple properties such as resiliency, support for integrity,
anonymity, decentralisation and autonomous control. Thus,
blockchain technology can be an effective mechanism to
address the issues involving IoT. Hence, there has been
enthusiasms to combine blockchain technology with IoT.
Existing IoT-focused blockchain platforms: Towards this
aim, several blockchain solutions for IoT environments have
been proposed: IOTA [1], Waltonchain [2] and OriginTrail
[3]. IOTA uses a special consensus algorithm, called
Tangle, which uses Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) and is
much lighter than conventional consensus algorithms such
as Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stack. Waltonchain
combines blockchain with IoT (specifically RFID) to create
a management system for supply chains. It uses their own
Proof of Stake & Trust (PoST) consensus along with a node
reputation mechanism. Finally, OriginTrail is used in the
supply chain domain where different IoT devices are
expected to create a network to track the state of a product
within the supply chain network. To enable this, OriginTrail
utilizes a layer-based approach where a blockchain platform
functions in the bottom layer with the option to attach any
blockchain platform as required by the application.
Analysing & comparing IoT use case requirements:
Different IoT use-cases need different requirements. For
example, requirements in smart cities are different to that of
the wearable fitness tracking or goods tracking system in
supply chain management. Even so, we can identify several
core requirements prevailing in all use-cases:
Transaction speed & cost
Data security & privacy
Trust establishment
Virtual network among partners
Among these, transaction speed and cost, and scalability
will mainly determine if a particular blockchain platform
can handle the amount of data generated by multitude of IoT
devices as well as if it feasible in terms of the associated
cost. Data security and privacy will need to consider the
confidentiality, integrity, access control and ownership of
data and IoT devices in the network. Trust establishment
will consider how a platform can establish trust. Finally, the
virtual network among partners will consider the scenarios
when different partners need to share their data generated
from their corresponding IoT devices just within
themselves. Table 1 shows a brief analysis of the derived
general requirements and the coverage of the existing
blockchain solutions. It is evident from the table that the
existing platforms do not address all our identified
Future work: In future, a detailed analysis of each of the
requirement in the table will be done. The proposed concept
level requirements and comparison of blockchain platforms
will lay the foundation for understanding and developing
blockchain platforms.
Table 1: Comparing IoT requirements and Blockchain
and cost
per second.
0 Fees.
per second.
Uses side
chain to
speed up.
Depends on
IOTA, Ethereum,
or NEO for
Support data
security but
not privacy
of data
Support data
security but
not privacy
of data
ZKP [4]
to provide
privacy of the
transacted data.
IDoT [1] is
used to build
Use node
has to be
approved by the
previous node
Does not
plan is in the
Does not
Does not support
[1]. IOTA White Paper,
[2]. Waltonchain, White Paper,
[3]. OriginalTrail White Paper,
[4]. Feige, U., Fiat, A. and Shamir, A., 1988.Zero-knowledge
proofs of identity.Journal of cryptology, 1(2), pp.77-94.
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