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The Internet of Things (IoT) is experiencing an exponential growth in a wide variety of use-cases in multiple application domains, such as healthcare, agriculture, smart cities, smart homes, supply chain, and so on. To harness its full potential, it must be based upon a resilient network architecture with strong support for security, privacy, and trust. Most of these issues still remain to be addressed carefully for the IoT systems. Blockchain technology has recently emerged as a breakthrough technology with the potential to deliver some valuable properties such as resiliency, support for integrity, anonymity, decentralization, and autonomous control. A number of blockchain platforms are proposed that may be suitable for different use-cases including IoT applications. In such, the possibility to integrate the IoT and blockchain technology is seen as a potential solution to address some crucial issues. However, to achieve this, there must be a clear understanding of the requirements of different IoT applications and the suitability of a blockchain platform for a particular application satisfying its underlying requirements. This chapter aims to achieve this goal by describing an evaluation framework which can be utilized to select a suitable blockchain platform for a given IoT application.
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Integrated Platforms for Blockchain-Enablement
Md Sadek Ferdousa,b,
, Kamanashis Biswasc,
, Mohammad Jabed Morshed Chowdhuryd, Niaz
Chowdhurye, Vallipuram Muthukkumarasamyf
aShahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh
bImperial College London, UK
cAustralian Catholic University, Australia
dSwinburne University of Technology, Australia
eOpen University, UK
fGrith University, Australia
Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) is experiencing an exponential growth in a wide variety of use-
cases in multiple application domains, such as healthcare, agriculture, smart cities, smart homes,
supply chain and so on. To harness its full potential, it must be based upon a resilient network
architecture with strong support for security, privacy and trust. Most of these issues still remain
to be addressed carefully for the IoT systems. Blockchain technology has recently emerged as
a breakthrough technology with the potential to deliver some valuable properties such as re-
siliency, support for integrity, anonymity, decentralisation and autonomous control. A number
of blockchain platforms are proposed that may be suitable for dierent use-cases including IoT
applications. In such, the possibility to integrate the IoT and blockchain technology is seen as a
potential solution to address some crucial issues. However, to achieve this, there must be a clear
understanding of the requirements of dierent IoT applications and the suitability of a blockchain
platform for a particular application satisfying its underlying requirements. This chapter aims to
achieve this goal by describing an evaluation framework which can be utilised to select a suitable
blockchain platform for a given IoT application.
Keywords: IoT, Blockchain, Healthcare, Supply Chain, Smart Home, Smart City
1. Book Chapter
This chapter is the author’s abridged version. The full chapter is to be published
as a book chapter in Elsevier Advances in Computer (ADCOM) Volume 115: Role of
Blockchain Technology in IoT Applications.
Corresponding author
Email addresses: s.ferdous@imperial.ac.uk (Md Sadek Ferdous),
kamanashis.biswas@acu.edu.au (Kamanashis Biswas), mjchowdhury@swin.edu.au
(Mohammad Jabed Morshed Chowdhury), niaz.chowdhury@open.ac.uk (Niaz Chowdhury),
v.muthu@griffith.edu.au (Vallipuram Muthukkumarasamy)
1
The book can be purchased from the following location:
https://www.elsevier.com/books/role-of-blockchain-technology-in-iot-applications/kim/978-0-12-817189-
9
2. Requirements, Comparison & Evaluation Framework
In this chapter, we have selected four IoT application domains: Healthcare, Supply chain ,
Smart city and Smart home. Each of these application domains and their corresponding use-
cases have been analysed to identify several functional, security and privacy requirements. The
functional requirements are:
F1 - Scalability: Scalability refers to the ability to grow in size and functionalities without
degrading the performance of the original system.
F2 - Multiple Sources: The systems must be able to handle data generated from multiple
heterogeneous sources and transmit such data with minimal to no latency.
F3 - Data Sharing: All the stakeholders within each application should be able to exchange
and share information, generated by heterogeneous data sources, internally within the
organisation as well as externally to other entities without any intermediary.
F4 - Inter-operability: A system developed for a particular application should be inter-
operable among a wide range of stakeholders of the application.
F5 - Identity Management: Every IoT devices and other human entities must be properly
identied within the systems. Therefore, a proper identity management framework must
be embedded into the systems of every use-case within an application.
F6 - Transparency: Systems for these applications should be able to create an auditable
chain of custody/activities from the data producer to the data consumer to ensure trans-
parency in supply chain and healthcare systems.
F7 - Traceability: For supply chains, traceability has become increasingly important due
to the growth in consumers’ interest about the origin of the products or services.
F8 - External Interface: Systems in a particular application domain should expose an
external interface by which it can be connected to the entities of other application domains
so as to enable novel business cases.
F9 - Payment Mechanism: Some application domains such as supply chain will inher-
ently require a payment system built into its system. Whereas, the support of payment
will enable additional business cases in other application domains.
F10 - Performance: Systems for these applications should maintain certain level of per-
formance in terms of response time, available storage or capacity so that they have the
capability to process high volume and high frequency data generated by plethora of IoT
devices.
2
F11 - Reliability: The reliability requirement of an application ensures the availability of
the system, up-do-date and accurate information as well as consistent ow of information
among all entities in the system.
The identied security requirements (denoted with S) and privacy requirements (denoted
with P) are
S1 - Secure Transmission: Data generated in an application must be transmitted, both
internally and externally, securely - that is with appropriate crypto mechanisms.
S2 - Fine-grained Access Control: Among these applications, healthcare and smart home
system would require authorising the right user and providing the appropriate access to
the data. Hence, a ne-grained access control mechanism would be mandatory.
S3 - Data Provenance and Integrity: The provenance and integrity of data generated
from a specic source must be guaranteed.
S4 - Fault Detection and Patching: There must be mechanisms to identify and trace
every faulty IoT device in the system.
P1 - Privacy Protection: Systems must protect the privacy of users and organisations
with appropriate mechanisms.
Next, based on our analysis, we summarise the requirements for dierent IoT applications
in Table 1. As per the table, we dierentiate between explicit and implicit requirements which
denote the mandatory and optional requirements respectively for a particular application.
Table 1: Summary of functional requirements for dierent applications
Application Explicit Requirement Implicit Requirement
Healthcare F1-F6, F11 F7-F10
Supply chain F1-F7, F9-F11 F8
Smart city F1-F5, F10, F11 F6-F9
Smart home F1-F5, F11 F6-F10
Similarly, we summarise the security and privacy requirements for dierent applications in
Table 2. In the table, the symbol ‘ ’ is used to denote that a specic requirement is crucial for
an application whereas a single ‘ ’ is used to denote that the requirement is desirable but not
mandatory for the corresponding application.
Recently, we have experienced the emergence of dierent blockchain platforms, specically
to support dierent IoT applications. To identify the suitability of these platforms for our selected
application domains, we need to analyse if these platforms satisfy the requirements presented
above. The selected blockchain platforms are: Waltonchain (https://www.waltonchain.org/), Orig-
inTrail (https://origintrail.io/), IOTA (https://www.iota.org/), Slock.it (https://slock.it/), IBM Watson
(https://www.ibm.com/watson) Moeco (https://moeco.io/) and NetObjex (https://www.netobjex.com/).
3
Table 2: Summary of security and privacy requirements for dierent applications
Application S1 S2 S3 S4 P1
Healthcare
Supply chain
Smart city
Smart home
Next, we have evaluated these blockchain platforms using a set of properties. The result
of the evaluation and the set of properties used are presented in Table 3. We have used the
’ to indicate a certain property is satised and the ‘x’ to indicate the property is not sup-
ported by the respective platform. The ‘-’ is used to signify that the property is not applicable
for the platform. Moreover, the term ‘+Eth’ is used to indicate that the respective platform in-
herits the values of the properties from Ethereum (a public smart-contract blockchain platform,
https://www.ethereum.org/). Finally, numerical values or textual explanations, where appropri-
ate, have been provided for other properties for corresponding platforms.
Since there are a number of blockchain platforms designed to provide dierent functionali-
ties, it is important to evaluate their applicability with respect to the identied requirements of
the selected IoT applications. This core set of requirements are then analysed to evaluate the
suitability of dierent blockchain platforms for dierent IoT application scenarios. Our analysis
has resulted in an evaluation framework which is presented in Figure 1.
The evaluation framework serves two main purposes:
it can be used to identify which requirements are satised by which platforms and
it can be used to choose (a) suitable platform(s) satisfying dierent requirements.
However, we propose to use the Performance requirement in a tie-break situation among sev-
eral platforms. For example, if an application needs to support Scalability, Data Sharing capability
with payment support, there are a few options to choose from: IOTA, OriginTrail, Waltonchain
and NetObjex. In such cases, we propose to use the Performance requirement (based on TPS) to
select the best one from these. This mechanism also provides additional exibilities. We can even
consider dierent quantitative consensus characteristics as part of the Performance requirement
to impose other quantitative selection criteria to select the best platform for an application.
3. Conclusion
This chapter has explored four dierent IoT applications: Healthcare, Supply chain, Smart
city and Smart home. For each of these applications, dierent use-cases have been analysed.
Based on this, several functional, security and privacy requirements have been identied. Next,
seven IoT-focused blockchain platforms have been examined to identify their inherent proper-
ties. Finally, combining the requirements of the IoT applications and properties of the selected
blockchain platforms, an evaluation framework has been created which is presented as a gure
(Figure 1). The graphical representation provides an intuitive visualisation to identify the suitable
blockchain platform(s) for a particular application under certain requirements.
4
Table 3: Comparison of blockchain platforms using relevant properties
Properties IOTA Walton
chain
Origin
Trail
Slock.It Moeco IBM
Watson
NetObjex
Platform
Public x
Private x x x x
Transaction Speed 500-800
TPS
100 TPS
[?]
+Eth +Eth +Eth 160-
3,500
Platform
dependent
Fee x x Platform
dependent
Block creation time - 30sec +Eth +Eth Variable Platform
dependent
Consensus Tangle WPoC PoW +Eth +Eth PBFT.
How-
ever,
other
algo-
rithms
can be
plugged
in
Platform
dependent
Network Size Large Large +Eth +Eth +Eth small to
medium
Platform
dependent
Block Size - 225 +Eth +Eth +Eth can be
cong-
ured
using
BatchTime-
out and
Batch-
Size
Platform
dependent
Smart Contract +Eth +Eth +Eth Platform
dependent
Secure Channel x x x x x x
Veried identity - (For
private
net-
work)
x x
5
Usecases
Healthcare
PrivateNetwork VerifiedIdentity
DataSharing
MultipleSources
Interoperability
ExternalInterface
SecureChannel Payment Traceability
SmartContract
Provenance
Transparency
Reliability
Scalability
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
IBM Watson
NetObjex
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
IBM Watson
NetObjex
OriginTrail
NetObjex
IOTA
OriginTrail
Waltonchain
NetObjex
IBM Watson
SmartHome SmartCity SupplyChain
Figure 1: Blockchain platform
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... VOLUME 4, 2020 [9], [21], [23], [24], [33], [34] Security Privacy Privacy High N/A Requires protection against unauthorized access to the network and user data. [9], [25], [32], [35]- [37] Very High N/A Using the "Device-Of-Blockchain" protocol / using DTLS and / or TLS [6], [9], [45] Flexibility Compatibility Interoperability Very High N/A No need to keep a copy of the complete blockchain and do mining. IoT devices in the Blockchain network structure); Nodes of IoT devices do not need a direct connection to the blockchain network, the proxy server can act as a traffic regulator. ...
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Vaccine exposure to temperatures below recommended ranges in the cold chain may decrease vaccine potency of freeze-sensitive vaccines leading to a loss of vaccine investments and potentially places children at risk of contracting vaccine preventable illnesses. This literature review is an update to one previously published in 2007 (Matthias et al., 2007), analyzing the prevalence of vaccine exposure to temperatures below recommendations throughout various segments of the cold chain. Overall, 45 studies included in this review assess temperature monitoring, of which 29 specifically assess ‘too cold’ temperatures. The storage segments alone were evaluated in 41 articles, 15 articles examined the transport segment and 4 studied outreach sessions. The sample size of the studies varied, ranging from one to 103 shipments and from three to 440 storage units. Among reviewed articles, the percentage of vaccine exposure to temperatures below recommended ranges during storage was 33% in wealthier countries and 37.1% in lower income countries. Vaccine exposure to temperatures below recommended ranges occurred during shipments in 38% of studies from higher income countries and 19.3% in lower income countries. This review highlights continuing issues of vaccine exposure to temperatures below recommended ranges during various segments of the cold chain. Studies monitoring the number of events vaccines are exposed to ‘too cold’ temperatures as well as the duration of these events are needed. Many reviewed studies emphasize the lack of knowledge of health workers regarding freeze damage of vaccines and how this has an effect on temperature monitoring. It is important to address this issue by educating vaccinators and cold chain staff to improve temperature maintenance and supply chain management, which will facilitate the distribution of potent vaccines to children.