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The Role of Blockchain in 6G: Challenges, Opportunities and Research Directions

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The world transforms towards the intelligent information era by 2030. The key domains linked with human life such as healthcare, transport, entertainment, and smart cities are expected to elevate the quality of service with high-end user experience. Therefore, the telecommunication infrastructure has to meet unprecedented service level requirements for the connectivity of future systems such as extensive data rate and volume for the prominent future domains such as Virtual Reality (VR), Massive Input-Massive Output (MIMO), and massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC). There are significant challenges identifiable in the communication context in matching the future demand booms. The blockchain and distributed ledger technology is one of the most disruptive technology enablers to address most of the current limitations and facilitate the functional standards of 6G. In this work, we explore the role of blockchain to address significant challenges in 6G, future application opportunities and research directions.
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The Role of Blockchain in 6G: Challenges,
Opportunities and Research Directions
Tharaka Hewa, G¨
urkan G¨
ur, Anshuman Kalla, Mika Ylianttila§, An Braeken, Madhusanka Liyanagek
∗§ kCentre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland
Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland
School of Computing and Information Technology, Manipal University Jaipur, India
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Anderlecht, Belgium
kSchool of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Email: ∗§ k[firstname.lastname]@oulu.fi, gueu@zhaw.ch, anshuman.kalla@jaipur.manipal.edu,
an.braeken@vub.be, kmadhusanka@ucd.ie
Abstract—The world is going through a fundamental trans-
formation with the emergence of the intelligent information era.
The key domains linked with human life such as healthcare,
transport, entertainment, and smart cities are expected to elevate
the quality of service with high-end user experience. Therefore,
the telecommunication infrastructure has to meet unprecedented
service level requirements such as ultra high data rates and traffic
volume for the prominent future applications such as Virtual
Reality (VR), holographic communications, and massive Machine
Type Communications (mMTC). There are significant challenges
identifiable in the communication context to match the envisaged
demand surge. The blockchain and distributed ledger technology
is one of the most disruptive technology enablers to address most
of the current limitations and facilitate the functional standards
of 6G. In this work, we explore the role of blockchain to address
formidable challenges in 6G, future application opportunities and
potential research directions.
Index Terms—6G Networks, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger
Technology, massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC),
Industrial Internet
I. INTRODUCTION
6G mobile networks are envisioned to nurture the future
of ubiquitously connected data-intensive intelligent society [1]
powered with complete automation by seamless integration of
all sorts of wireless networks spread over ground, underwater,
air and space [2]. Moreover, 6G is also envisaged to keep up
with the explosive growth in mobile traffic which is estimated
to be 607 Exabyte/month by 2025 and 5016 Exabyte/month
by 2030 [3] for the emerging applications such as [4]–[7].
By and large, the next generation of mobile networks are
expected to be innately softwarized, virtualized and cloudified
systems [1], [8] with the motive to interconnect seamlessly a
staggering number of heterogeneous devices including massive
IoT/IoE devices, to cater anticipated explosive growth in data
traffic at ultra-high data rates along with ultra-low latency [2],
to create incredible range of new vertical network services
[9], [8], and to support the development of brand-new set of
real-time [2] and data-intensive [7] applications.
Undoubtedly, softwarization, virtualization and cloudifica-
tion of next generation mobile networks lead to enormous ad-
vantages like micro operator based business models [10], agile
and efficient management and network orchestration (MANO),
Fig. 1. The role of blockchain in 6G networks.
on-the-fly creation of vertical services, differentiated services
with network slicing [11], etc. However, they tend to exacer-
bate the issues like network reliability, security vulnerability,
data privacy and immutability [12], soft spectrum sharing,
multiple access control, authentic Virtual Network Functions
(VNFs) [13], legitimate resource utilization, and differential
security for differentiated services offered by different virtual
networks [11].
Lately, blockchain technology and in general distributed
ledger technology have gained momentum and have been
embraced by the industry and research communities across
the globe. Some of the offerings of blockchain technology
are: (i) decentralization by eliminating the need of central
trusted third parties and intermediaries, (ii) transparency with
anonymity, (iii) provenance and non-repudiation of the trans-
actions made, (iv) immutability and tamper-proofing of the
distributed ledger’s content, (v) elimination of single point-
of-failure (improving resiliency and resistance to attacks like
DDoS), (vi) comparatively less processing delay as well as
processing fee. Thus blockchain is regarded as an indispens-
able technology to establish trust in future networks.
Since blockchain has been envisioned as one of the key
enabling technologies for 6G mobile networks [1], [2], [8],
it is imperative to explore various benefits, opportunities and
challenges foreseen with its exploitation. Fig. 1 depicts the
role of blockchain in the 6G networks while the following
sections elaborate on identified aspects of that integration.
II. GE NE RA L CHALLENGES IN 6G
Some of the perceptible challenges in 6G are expounded by
Behnaam et al. in [1]. Moreover, challenges pertinent to M2M
communications are presented by Biral et al. [14].
A. Massive connectivity in future systems
1) Scalability: The industrial IoT enthusiasts predict that
billions of devices will be connected and operated in the future
industrial ecosystems with the emergence of concepts such
as massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC). Thus it
would be challenging to tailor the design of 6G systems for
such an unprecedented traffic demand.
2) Real-time communication with minimal latency: The
real-time communication is a crucial requirement in future
computing ecosystems. The device-to-device and machine-
to-machine communications require a robust accuracy with
near zero delays for precise operation. The use cases such as
autonomous driving and AR assisted healthcare systems may
require a consistent minimal delay communication enabled in
large-scale data exchange.
3) Higher throughput: The mission critical systems which
utilize the future 5G and beyond communication ecosystems
require concurrent connectivity of billions of devices. The
network infrastructure such as base stations should handle the
enormous volume of transactions in real time.
4) Synchronization: The synchronization is a significant
requirement in time critical industrial applications. The mis-
sion critical backbone systems of a country, including power
distribution systems and vehicular networks must synchronize
in real time for accurate operation.
B. Security requirements in future computing ecosystems
1) Confidentiality: The future computing infrastructure
such as IoT exposes immense threat surfaces with wireless
connectivity. The encryption techniques such as symmetric key
encryption algorithms require to be lightweight for the low
power IoT devices. However, the lightweight cryptographic
techniques may expose the data into privacy risks due to
computational restrictions [15].
2) Integrity: The massive volume of data produced by the
future systems require the data to be accessed and modified
by the authorized users when the data in transit. The eaves-
dropping and modification of data in transit will deviate the
system functionality from the expected behavior.
3) Availability: The service availability is a principal re-
quirement in future networks. Especially, the sophistication of
5G ecosystems with a large volume of interconnected devices
expands the risk of DDoS attacks. The speciality of the current
network security tools cannot directly apply into the 5G and
beyond networks to detect threats and breach attempts [16].
4) Authentication and access control: The data, either in
transit or store requires to secure with the access control
mechanisms in order to prevent unauthorized manipulations.
The conventional centralized authentication and access control
mechanisms will restrain in terms of scalability in the massive
futuristic demands anticipated in 6G.The sophisticated access
control requirements to match the diversification of future
tenants in the 6G ecosystem will be resource-intensive and
cause bottlenecks in the associated services.
5) Audit: An audit is required to evaluate the compliance
of the behavior of the tenants in the network ecosystem. For
the elevated security standards, deep packet level audit may
require to identify and flag the behavior of those tenants. The
auditing of a massive number of tenants will be challenging
from the perspective of enforcing security.
C. Higher data consumption in sophisticated solutions
The higher data rate is one of the most significant expecta-
tion in the future network ecosystems. The applications such
as VR, holographic communications, 16K video and 3D ultra
video require a higher data rate and data consumption.
D. Device resource restrictions
The computational and storage restrictions are anticipated
to limit the capabilities of cryptographic algorithms and even-
tually lead to deviation from the standard mechanisms. The
standard adoption of the security is harder with such device
resource constraints.
III. WHAT BLOCKCHAIN CAN BR IN G TO 6G
The blockchain is one of the most prominent technologies
to unleash the potential of 6G systems. The capabilities
and strengths of the blockchain technology to eliminate the
potential challenges discussed in Section II are explored in
this section.
A. Intelligent resource management
The network resource management is challenging in the
envisaged massive connectivity demands in the future telecom-
munication ecosystems. The resource management operations
such as spectrum sharing, orchestration and decentralized
computation requires to be compatible with massively-large
infrastructure. Zhang et al. [17] presented an edge intelli-
gence and IIoT framework with secured and flexible service
management in Beyond 5G. Maksymyuk et al. [18] proposed
an intelligent network architecture which utilizes blockchain
technology by handling the relationship between operators
and users applying smart contracts. The authors developed an
unlicensed spectrum sharing algorithm based on game theory.
Dai et al. [19] presented the application of blockchain and
deep reinforcement learning for efficient resource management
services including spectrum sharing and energy management.
Mafakheri1 et al. [20] applied blockchain for resource sharing
and demonstrated the utilization of smart contracts to provide
self-organizing network features.
B. Elevated security features
1) Privacy: The privacy is a significant consideration in the
perspective of security. Application of data privacy is diverse
in the complex security requirements in the future 6G network
ecosystem. In that regard, Fan et al. [21] proposed a privacy
preservation scheme based on blockchain for content-centric
5G networks.
2) Authentication and access control: The access control
of centralized systems suffer scalability limitations. Therefore,
access control with centralization is a significant challenge
in the design of future networks. Yang et al. [22] presented
blockchain based authentication and access control mecha-
nisms for cloud radio over fiber network in 5G.
3) Integrity: The data integrity of massive data volume
generated in the future computing ecosystems is a principal
concern. Adat et al. [23] presented a blockchain based solution
to prevent pollution attacks which violate the integrity of data.
Ortega et al. [24] proposed a blockchain based framework
to ensure the integrity of information exchanged over the
network.
4) Availability: The service availability is a significant
requirement in the future communication ecosystems. Espe-
cially, with the broader threat surface and massive connectivity
in the 5G ecosystem, the risk for DDoS attacks is comparably
higher. Rodrigues et al. [25] presented a DDoS prevention
mechanism with the support of blockchain. Sharma et al. [26]
proposed the applicability of blockchain and SDN for the
enforcement of significant security services including DDoS
attack prevention, data protection, and access control.
5) Accountability: The accountability of the 5G and beyond
network ecosystem is a key requirement. The security, surveil-
lance, and governance of the network can be implemented
through the blockchain and distributed ledger technology in
general. The distributed ledger remains as an immutable and
transparent log for each event which can be utilized in the
auditing of events.
C. Scalability
The scalability is a major requirement in 5G and beyond
systems. The scalability limitations of centralized systems can
be eradicated by the blockchain and smart contracts to face
the envisaged massive connectivity demand in future. The
decentralized nature and the integration convenience of edge
and fog computing nodes will improve the service strengths
in those networks.
IV. APPLICATION AND SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES VIA
BLOCKCHAINS IN 6G SYS TE MS
As listed in Section I, 6G vision entails a multitude of
applications which can be enabled or improved via utiliza-
tion of blockchains. The premise of blockchains for provid-
ing/improving such applications in 6G stem from the capa-
bilities listed in Section III which are enabled by its core
attributes, i.e., decentralization, transparency, immutability,
availability and security.
A. Industrial Applications for Beyond Industry 4.0
In 6G, the industrial applications will be important drivers
for exploiting the envisaged 6G capabilities. The key attributes
of blockchains and the challenges discussed in Section II are
especially applicable to industrial environments. For example,
holographic communications for industrial use-cases such as
remote maintenance or massive connectivity of industrial
manufacturing equipment requires decentralized architectures
which are trustworthy at the same time [9]. Blockchains can
provide these capabilities when they are integrated into these
applications or use-cases. However, there are also impor-
tant research challenges regarding blockchain-based solutions,
namely latency and scalability. They are formidable due to
stringent performance requirements in industrial applications
and valid for industrial networks and IoT [8].
B. Seamless Environmental Monitoring and Protection
Blockchains allow decentralized cooperative environmental
sensing applications which can be realized in global scale
with 6G. Such capabilities can serve use-cases such as smart
cities or transportation as well as environmental protection for
green economy. Blockchains also facilitate secure data sharing
among parties (ranging from IoT devices to organizations).
Such massive scale trusted sensing and data sharing solutions
enabled by blockchains are crucial for environmental monitor-
ing [2]. Moreover, federated and shared learning implemented
via blockchains support the data analytics and inference pro-
cesses for environmental protection in a decentralized manner.
C. Smart Healthcare
Smart healthcare in 6G will need to take one step further
to solve incumbent issues in 5G networks. The deeper and
ubiquitous integration of blockchains in future networks can
advance current healthcare systems and improve performance
in terms of better decentralization, security, and privacy. The
forthcoming among these technical challenges is the privacy
issue. Moreover, integrity of healthcare data is possible due to
the immutability capability provided by blockchains. Specifi-
cally, user controlled privacy and secure data storage can be
enabled with blockchains without a centralized trusted third-
party [2]. In Europe, GDPR directives are important drivers
which will become more stringent in the coming years. Better
decentralization will enable higher security especially in terms
of availability for this critical domain.
D. Decentralized and Trustworthy 6G Communications In-
frastructure and Solutions
There is a plethora of application opportunities for exploit-
ing blockchains in 6G infrastructure itself for performance
gains or enabling new services/use-cases. Namely,
Decentralized network management structures: The de-
centralized blockchain-based network management will
provide better resource management and more efficient
system management [18].
Pricing, charging and billing of network services:
Blockchains can enable charging and billing without a
centralized infrastructure which is a more flexible and
efficient architecture compared to conventional systems.
Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA):
When massive scale connectivity with heterogeneous and
fragmented network elements are in place in 6G net-
works, AAA functions need to be decentralized and much
more robust for service continuity [22]. For instance,
(group) key management and access control mechanisms
can be offloaded to blockchain platforms for better scala-
bility (especially for resource-constrained end points) and
transparency.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) management: 6G net-
works will build on virtualized and sliced network ar-
chitecture similar to 5G networks but yet implement that
at a extremely large scale. Moreover, these networks
are expected to serve a very wide spectrum of use-
cases with diverse service level guarantees. Therefore,
SLA management is an important system requirement.
Blockchains will enable decentralized and secure SLA
management in this complex setting.
Spectrum sharing: Capacity expansion and spectrum
agility for 6G radio access (for bands ranging from
MHz to THz bands) is not evident with centralized man-
agement structures and uncoordinated sharing schemes.
Blockchains and smart contracts can alleviate the spec-
trum sharing related cooperation and tranparency issues
[12].
“Extreme edge”: 6G networks need to facilitate the
spatial translation of many core services from the cloud
to the edge networks for achieving extremely low latency
communications and instant networks. The trustworthy
coordination and transparent resource bookkeeping can
be attained with blockchains in these systems [20].
V. FUTURE RESEARCH OP PO RTU NI TIES
The research scope of 6G is immense with diverse combina-
tions of the computer science and telecommunication research
avenues. The most prominent research opportunities for 6G
with blockchain technology are discussed in this section.
A. Internet of Everything (IoE)
The IoE is more general than IoT and has the purpose to
seamlessly connect people, processes, data and things in an
intelligent way [15]. The distinguishing role of IoE discussed
in [27] It is expected that the IoE will re-invent business
processes and business models. First, processes are optimized
and automatized thanks to digital technology. Second, due
to the usage of digital technology, new business models in
different industries become possible.
It will be interesting to investigate from a business point
of view the consequences of the numerous possibilities when
introducing IoE. In particular, there will be a high need to
compete with unprecedented business velocity and agility.
Moreover, the impact of adding blockchain based technologies
for the purpose of interoperability among different businesses,
e.g. billing, requires further research.
B. Data storage and analytics
By implementing the IoE, millions of things and objects
will continuously generate real-time streams of new data.
As a consequence, in the first place sufficient and efficient
centralized and decentralized data storage technologies are
required. It is clear that blockchain enabled technologies can
play a major role there. However, it is not yet clear how to
distribute and combine these technologies in different domains
(edge, fog, and cloud).
Second, research on methods for data analytics will be
highly needed in order to analyze and extract the essential el-
ements out of this large heap of data for efficient and accurate
decision processing. The four main categories of methods are
descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics,
and prescriptive analytics, and mainly depend on the type
of application. Again, it will be interesting to investigate the
possibilities to combine these data analytics methods with a
distributed blockchain based data storage, where advantage of
the smart contracts can be exploited to automate the processes.
C. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In 4G, AI was not yet applied, while in 5G there is already
a limited partial use. We expect a much deeper integration of
AI on all levels of the 6G network communications with the
ultimate goal to make our society super smart, super efficient
and more green.
First, at the physical layer, AI and machine learning tech-
niques have been shown to improve channel coding [28],
ranging and obstacle detection [29], and physical layer security
[30]. Research in each of these domains is still in a preliminary
stage and requires further investigations. Next, at the network
layer, the currently applied 5G technologies like SDN, NFV,
and network slicing will need to be further improved in order
to obtain a more flexible and self-learning adaptive architecture
able to support the more complex and heterogeneous networks,
which are often also dynamically changing.
The role of the blockchain in this domain will mainly be
to make the decision process of the machine learning meth-
ods more understandable and coherent as all the underlying
elements on which the decisions are made can be traced back.
D. Dedicated applications
1) Vehicle to Vehicle Communications: Intelligent Trans-
port Systems (ITS) are certainly one of the important appli-
cations that will break through in the next decade and will
require the technical capabilities offered by a 6G network. A
blockchain based approach to define the trust management of
vehicles has been demonstrated and evaluated through simula-
tion in [31]. The main shortcoming of their approach was the
limitation to ad hoc networks, and thus further investigation
is required to ensure also the deployment in an autonomous
way, including challenging mobility settings such as a multi-
junction road network.
2) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV): UAVs or drones will
also present an important part in 6G as high-data-rate wireless
connectivity will be required. Here, blockchain can play a
major role to contribute to the protection of the security and
privacy of the drones and thereby collected information [32].
Li et al. [33] also illustrate the significance of 5G in UAV
context. IBM has even filed a blockchain patent to address
drone fleet security [34]. There are several blockchain based
application for drones. First of all, the blockchain technology
can help to arrange identity management. Next, air traffic
management can be arranged in a secure, accurate and efficient
way. Finally, insurance companies can use trusted records for
dispute resolution.
VI. CONCLUSION
The design of 6G wireless networks, driven by the enormous
and heterogeneous demands of hyper-connected existence of
everything, will indeed give rise to new business avenues. Ac-
cordingly, this paper highlights the new intriguing challenges
and canvassed the key role of blockchain to mitigate some of
them. Moreover, plausible future research directions are also
discussed.
ACK NOWLED GE ME NT
This work is partly supported by European Union in RE-
SPONSE 5G (Grant No: 789658), Academy of Finland in
6Genesis (grant no. 318927) and Secure Connect projects.
The research leading to these results partly received funding
from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and inno-
vation programme under grant agreement no 871808 (5G PPP
project INSPIRE-5Gplus). The paper reflects only the authors’
views. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may
be made of the information it contains.
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ibm-applies- for-blockchain- to-address- drone-fleet- security/
... Hewa et al. [178] indicated that the telecommunication infrastructure must satisfy more restrictive service level requirements in the future, including extremely high data rates and volumes for different types of applications (e.g., virtual reality, massive machine type communications, and holographic communications). The sixth generation (6G) communication networks encounter a variety of challenges, including massive connectivity, security requirements with scalability, high data consumption for the future tenants, device resource restrictions, and interoperability requirements (see Fig. 15). ...
... A number of critical issues surrounding the blockchain were discussed in detail, including risk, accuracy, trust, reliability, latency, and timeliness. 79 Hewa et al. [178] Assess the potential benefits of the blockchain and AI for the 6G. ...
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The blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) have been the focal point of innovations and received increasing attention of the community over the last years. The blockchain technology is a distributed ledger of reliable digital records that are shared by the participating networks. AI, on the other hand, and its applications have been used for developing futuristic machines that are capable of having human-like intelligence. The use of both technologies in transportation systems has seen a tremendous growth that resulted in transformation of the transportation industry. Various modes of transportation, such as new transit systems, metro rails, high-speed rails, connected and automated vehicles, autonomous trains, and other emerging transportation modes (hyperloop, e-scooters, hoverboards), still face many challenges, including but not limited to economic issues, energy efficiency, social adoption, data privacy, lack of regulatory standards, reliability, security, and ethical issues. The use of blockchain and AI technologies has the potential to fill the technology gaps in transportation systems and effectively address the existing challenges. The convergence of both technologies is likely to yield significant advantages and provide a common distributed platform for data sharing, reliability, and decision-making. The present study is focused on understanding both technologies and their convergence in various industrial domains with a specific emphasis on transportation systems. A detailed state-of-the-art review of the relevant literature is performed to identify the main advantages and challenges in the applications of blockchain and AI in transportation systems and other related domains along with the ways to overcome these challenges. This study also reveals some critical future research needs for successful development and implementation of these technologies in transportation systems.
... Blockchain, according to the researchers, is the most disruptive sort of technology, capable of enabling and ensuring the seamless operation of the 6G network. Intelligent resource management is one of the characteristics that blockchains can provide to 6G [17]. Spectrum sharing, orchestration, and decentralised operations, according to the researchers, cannot be made compatible with the current communication infrastructure. ...
... This 6G environment comprises three layers, including an (i) application layer, (ii) communication layer and (iii) blockchain layer. Similarly, Hewa et al. [17] discussed the blockchain as a powerful technology that can support and ensure the smooth working of 6G. The authors posited that the current telecommunication infrastructure could not support virtual reality massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC). ...
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Smart cities can be made into super-smart cities through IoT devices’ implication of energy-efficient 6G. IoT devices are expected to reach fifty billion, but limited information is available regarding the energy-efficient 6G wireless communication standard. This article highlights the key technologies, applications, and trends in the Internet of Things (IoT) for energy-efficient 6G wireless communication in smart cities. The systematic review helped to achieve the aim of the study by considering the 20 articles extracted from databases and Google that fell between 2015 and 2021 and are written in English. The findings identified that quantum communication, blockchain, visible light communication (VLC), 6G brain–computer interface (BCI), symbiotic radio, and others are the key technologies. The applications of IoT technologies and energy-efficient 6G are found in 15 Minute City, Industrial Town, Intelligent Transport systems and others. Furthermore, the trend of using 6G through IoT devices in smart cities is promising.
... By seamlessly integrating all applications of wireless communications scattered across the surface, underground, air, as well as space, 6G cell towers are projected to nurture the emergence of a widespread linked data-intensive enlightened society driven by total automation. Furthermore, 6G is supposed to come up with the enormous growth of wireless traffic, which is expected to reach 607 exabytes per month by 2025 and 5016 exabytes per month by 2030 for developing apps [1]. In general, the next development of cellular connectivity will be intrinsically software, virtualisation, and cloudified structures, with the goal of flawlessly interconnecting a staggering amount of heterogeneous systems, along with tremendous IoT/IoE devices, to accommodate anticipated exponential increase in data traffic at ultra-high data rates with ultra-low delay, to establish a new variety of real-time as well as data-intensive apps and to generate an unbelievable variety of new vertical communication networks. ...
Conference Paper
With the birth of the cognitive digital world, the universe is undergoing a profound transition. Healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and smart cities are among the primary categories where high-end user interaction is projected to improve service quality. As a result, for significant potential developments such as "Virtual Reality (VR)", "graphical telecommunications", and "massive Machine Type Communications ormMTC", the communication infrastructure must meet extraordinary customer requirements such as extreme high data speeds and traffic volume. There are considerable issues in the ability to establish that must be addressed in order to meet the anticipated demand rise. Amongst the most disruptive digital accelerators to overcome most of the present restrictions and support the functional requirements of 6G is blockchain networks public blockchain. This research has considered secondary data analysis method to collect role of Blockchain technology in 6G network from various journals and articles.
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Chapter
In the coming era, 6G is expected to bring a new reality that contains billions of things, humans, connected cars, robots and drones that will produce Zettabytes of digital data. 6G is mainly used to design an inclusive digital and physical environment, which is able to sense it, understand it and programme it. Several countries around the world are competing to own 6G infrastructures and solutions since this new technology provides huge capabilities that will reshape how enterprises operate. Although 6G provides several advantages over existing technologies, security and privacy issues still need to be addressed. This is because 6G provides automatization of most critical processes, which produce a more wide and complex attack surface. Also, with 6G, the network becomes more vulnerable not only to direct security attacks but also to misbehaviour of automated processes that require to be recognized, and their effect should be minimized. This chapter provides a discussion of security and privacy issues in 6G and how the integration of blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with 6G can provide possible solutions to overcome these issues. The chapter starts by providing an overview of wireless communications technologies from 0 to 6G. This is followed by discussing the main security and privacy issues in 6G networks. Then, the integration of blockchain with 6G will be discussed by highlighting possible solutions to overcome security and privacy issues associated with 6G. The integration of 6G with AI will be also discussed by highlighting the importance of AI in 6G and how AI with 6G can provide better and effective security and privacy solutions. In the end, healthcare with 6G is presented as a use case by highlighting security issues and discussing the role of AI and blockchain in providing effective security solutions in the healthcare sector.
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Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET) are also known as intelligent transportation systems. VANET ensures timely and accurate communications between vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) to improve road safety and enhance the efficiency of traffic flow. Due to its open wireless boundary and high mobility, VANET is vulnerable to malicious nodes that could gain access into the network and carry out serious medium access control (MAC) layer threats, such as denial of service (DoS) attacks, data modification attacks, impersonation attacks, Sybil attacks, and replay attacks. This could affect the network security and privacy, causing harm to the information exchange within the network by genuine nodes and increase fatal impacts on the road. Therefore, a novel secure trust-based architecture that utilizes blockchain technology has been proposed to increase security and privacy to mitigate the aforementioned MAC layer attacks. A series of experiment has been conducted using the Veins simulation tool to assess the performance of the proposed solution in the terms of packet delivery ratio (PDR), end-to-end delay, packet loss, transmission overhead, and computational cost.
Book
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As fifth generation (5G) research is maturing towards a global standard, the research community has started to focus on the development of beyond-5G solutions and the 2030 era, i.e. 6G. In the future, our society will be increasingly digitised, hyper-connected and globally data driven. Many widely anticipated future services will be critically dependent on instant, virtually unlimited wireless connectivity. Mobile communication technologies are expected to progress far beyond anything seen so far in wireless-enabled applications, making everyday lives smoother and safer while dramatically improving the efficiency of businesses. 6G is not only about moving data around — it will become a framework of services, including communication services where all user-specific computation and intelligence may move to the edge cloud. The white paper presents key drivers, research requirements, challenges and essential research questions related to 6G. The focus is on societal and business drivers; use cases and new device forms; spectrum and key performance indicator targets; radio hardware progress and challenges; physical layer; networking; and new service enablers. Societal megatrends, United Nations’ sustainability goals, lowering carbon dioxide emissions, emerging new technical enablers as well as ever increasing productivity demands are introduced as critical drivers towards 2030 solutions. This white paper is the first in a series of 6G Research Visions based on the views that 70 invited experts shared during a special workshop at the first 6G Wireless Summit in Finnish Lapland in March 2019.
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As fifth generation (5G) research is maturing towards a global standard, the research community must focus on the development of beyond-5G solutions and the 2030 era, i.e. 6G. It is not clear yet what 6G will entail. It will include relevant technologies considered too immature for 5G or which are outside the defined scope of 5G. This white paper is the first version for the annually revised series of 6G research visions and can be phrased in one vision statement from the first 6G Wireless Summit: Ubiquitous wireless intelligence. It is envisioned that we will need new KPI drivers besides the current 5G technical KPIs. Societal megatrends, United Nations (UN) sustainability goals, lowering carbon dioxide emissions, emerging new technical enablers as well as ever increasing productivity demands are critical drivers towards 2030 solutions.
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In this paper, we discuss the security issues revolving around the management of VNFs in 5G optical networks; and present a high-level view of work-in-progress by leveraging a Blockchain-over-optical network to mitigate these issues.
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The fifth generation (5G) of wireless communication is in its infancy, and its evolving versions will be launched over the coming years. However, according to exposing the inherent constraints of 5G and the emerging applications and services with stringent requirements e.g. latency, energy/bit, traffic capacity, peak data rate, and reliability, telecom researchers are turning their attention to conceptualize the next generation of wireless communications, i.e. 6G. In this paper, we investigate 6G challenges, requirements, and trends. Furthermore, we discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can contribute to 6G. Based on the requirements and solutions, we identify some new fascinating services and use-cases of 6G, which can not be supported by 5G appropriately. Moreover, we explain some research directions that lead to the successful conceptualization and implementation of 6G.
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The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of the countless physical devices that have the possibility to connect and exchange data. Among the various security requirements, authentication to the IoT is the first step to prevent the impact of attackers. IoT Security offers an important guide into the development of the many authentication mechanisms that provide IoT authentication at various levels such as user level, device level and network level.
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