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Nakamoto proposed a new solution to transact value via the internet. And since 2009, blockchain technology has expanded and diversified. It has, however, proven to be inefficient in the way it achieves its outcomes, especially through the proof of work protocol. Other developers are promoting alternative methods but, as yet, none has superseded proof of work. The competing protocols illuminate a key feature of the blockchain community, namely, its inability to create consensus in a decentralized community. Because of this lack of consensus, the formation of standards is particularly difficult to achieve. At best standards are contested sites, and we examine three such sites where some form of agreement over standards will be essential if blockchain is to evolve successfully. These three sites are blockchain governance, smart contracts, and interoperability of blockchains. We argue that because standards’ formation is a contested and contingent process, the blockchain community will persist in creating difficulties and barriers for itself until it is able to resolve internal conflicts.
The popularity of smart cars is increasing around the world as they offer a wide range of services and conveniences. These smart cars are equipped with a variety of sensors generating a large amount of data, many of which are critical. Besides, there are multiple parties involved in the lifespan of a smart car, such as manufacturers, car owners, government agencies, and third-party service providers who also generate data about the vehicle. In addition to managing and sharing data among these entities in a secure and privacy-friendly way which is a great challenge itself, there exists a trust deficit about some types of data as they remain under the custody of the car owner (e.g. satellite navigation and mileage data) and can easily be manipulated. In this article, we propose a blockchain-assisted architecture enabling the owner of a smart car to create an immutable record of every data, called the autobiography of a car, generated within its lifespan. We also explain how the trust about this record is guaranteed by the immutability characteristic of the blockchain. Furthermore, the article describes how the proposed architecture enables a secure and privacy-preserving mechanism for sharing of smart car data among different parties.
This paper presents an approach for the enactment of policies in digital health based on our earlier work on the implementation of digital contracts in distributed systems. A formal policy model and an abstract policy language for the expression of healthcare policies are first proposed, leveraging the semantics of the ISO Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing enterprise language standard. Healthcare consent policies included in the HL7 Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR®) standard are used to illustrate the modelling approach. Several distributed ledger and smart legal contract options were considered next as target platforms for implementation. Their benefits are highlighted along with considerations on their use reflecting business concerns of risk, trust and cost.
This research demonstrates financial derivative trade of unprocessed materials, for the mining industry through legal smart contracts. Within the mining supply chain, a stock of mined resources can reside in a mineral stockpile for over twenty years without gaining financial interest and without undergoing the mineral extraction process to derive value from the asset. This research elaborates on a blockchain solution implemented to increase miners’ short-term cash flow for business operations through the issuance of derivative assets on mineral stockpiles which can be traded through legally binding smart contracts. The system is the first to enable mining companies’ access to the underlying asset’s value earlier in the production lifecycle through smart contract technology whilst providing hedge funds with access to new financial products for investment portfolios.
Loyalty cards programs have been used by retailers to increase customer retention. Loyality cards provide means to identify a particular customer and to collect customer-specific data, thus enabling individualized marketing; however, operating a loyalty program is complicated for retailers since they require to manage balances, collections, and transfers of customers. This is exactly the same problem the retailers were facing before credit cards were readily available. A new problem is that customers now have too many cards, customers may forget, or even deliberately decide to carry only a selection of their cards. This paper proposes a loyalty program based on a blockchain that does not require a physical card for identifying customers as it associates customers to their phone numbers, since nowadays people always carry their phone. In this perspective, companies can reduce overhead costs associated to managing the loyalty program. This paper reviews the technology required and describes the implementation of a loyalty program based on blockchains. Finally, it also enumerates the reasons for choosing the blockchain technology for this application.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is regarded as a revolutionary solution that offers immutability, transparency, trust, and efficiency while ‘transcending law and regulation’. One of the potential applications of DLT is in the securities market. Share registration, settlement, regulatory compliance, information disclosure, payment systems, and market service requirements can be redesigned with the use of DLT. This paper will examine the impact that such changes will have on legal theories and governance, while also discussing the effects on enforcement techniques. In addition, general blockchain-legal issues will be critically analyzed in the context of securities markets.
Network providers either attempt to handle massive distributed denial-of-service attacks themselves or redirect traffic to third-party scrubbing centers. If providers adopt the first option, it is sensible to counter such attacks in their infancy via provider collaborations deploying distributed security mechanisms across multiple domains in an attack path. This motivated our work presented in this paper. Specifically, we investigate the establishment of trusted federations among adjacent and disjoint network domains, that is, autonomous systems (ASes) that collectively mitigate malicious traffic. Our approach is based on Distributed Ledger Technologies for signaling, coordination, and orchestration of a collaborative mitigation schema via appropriate blockchain-based smart contracts. Reputation scores are used to rank ASes based on their mitigation track record. The allocation of defense resources across multiple collaborators is modeled as a combinatorial optimization problem considering reputation scores and network flow weights. Malicious flows are mitigated using programmable network data paths within the eXpress Data Path (XDP) framework; this enables operators with enhanced packet processing throughput and advanced filtering flexibility. Our schema was implemented in a proof-of-concept prototype and tested under realistic network conditions.
Blockchain technology has rapidly emerged as a decentralized trusted network to replace the traditional centralized intermediator. Especially, the smart contracts that are based on blockchain allow users to define the agreed behaviour among them, the execution of which will be enforced by the smart contracts. Based on this, we propose a decentralized booking system that uses the blockchain as the intermediator between hoteliers and travellers. The system enjoys the trustworthiness of blockchain, improves efficiency and reduces the cost of the traditional booking agencies. The design of the system has been formally modelled using the CSP# language and verified using the model checker Process Analysis Toolkit. We have implemented a prototype decentralized booking system based on the Ethereum ecosystem.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has recently emerged as an innovative technology capable of empowering various areas such as healthcare, agriculture, smart cities, smart homes and supply chain with real-time and state-of-the-art sensing capabilities. Due to the underlying potential of this technology, it already saw exponential growth in a wide variety of use-cases in multiple application domains. As researchers around the globe continue to investigate its aptitudes, a collective agreement is that to get the best out of this technology and to harness its full potential, IoT needs to sit upon a flexible network architecture with strong support for security, privacy and trust. On the other hand, blockchain (BC) technology has recently come into prominence as a breakthrough technology with the potential to deliver some valuable properties such as resiliency, support for integrity, anonymity, decentralization and autonomous control. Several BC platforms are proposed that may be suitable for different use-cases, including IoT applications. In such, the possibility to integrate the IoT and BC 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 BC platform for a particular application satisfying its underlying requirements. This paper aims to achieve this goal by describing an evaluation framework which can be utilized to select a suitable BC platform for a given IoT application.
The software and hardware applications are clearly on the way of becoming an integral tool of business, communication and popular culture in many parts of the world. People are interacting with the environment via the Internet to perform physical activities remotely. These applications are hosted in the public or private servers under the control of the server admin. The users’ online usage data can be stored in public or private cloud platforms, used for processing and monitoring users’ online behaviour and emotional factors and shared with third parties to facilitate making their business decisions. When users allow their data to be collected via software applications and mobile devices, users need to have some level of trust and control over their data. But, software applications or mobile devices connected to the cloud server using client–server architecture does not ensure the reliability, security and integrity among their data. To get over these kinds of limitations, we propose a database management system using blockchain technology that can be used by any software applications. The blockchain database connected to the cloud server can be used to increase the trustfulness of the application. Blockchain has the capability to provide decentralization, immutability and owner-controlled digital assets among software applications. Since users can save their data in a shared transaction repository with tamper-resistant records, it enables related parties to access and control users’ data without the need for a central control system.
The blockchain is an emerging technology which has the potential to improve many information systems. In this regard, the applications and the platform they are built on must be able to connect and communicate with each other. However, the current blockchain platforms have several limitations, such as lack of interoperability among different systems. The existing platforms of blockchain applications operate only within their own networks. Even though the underlying technology is similar, it relies on centralized third-party mediators to exchange or retrieve information from other blockchain networks. The current third-party intermediaries establish trust and security by preserving a centralized ledger to track ‘account balances’ and vouch for a transaction’s authenticity. The inability for independent blockchains to communicate with one another is an inherent problem in the decentralized systems. Lack of appropriate inter-blockchain communication puts a strain on the mainstream adoption of blockchain. It is evident that blockchain technology has the potential to become a suitable solution for some systems if it can scale and is able to cross communicate with other systems. For the multisystem blockchain concept to become a reality, a mechanism is required that would connect and communicate with multiple entities’ blockchain systems in a distributed fashion (without any intermediary), while maintaining the property of trust and integrity built by individual blockchains. In this article, we propose a mechanism that provides cross-chain interoperability using transactions.
Distributed Ledger Technologies: Papers Arising from Three Australian Symposia
In software architectures, architectural design decisions (ADDs) strongly influence the quality of the resulting software system. Wrong decisions lead to low-quality systems and are difficult to repair later on in the development process. As of today, little is known about the impact of certain ADDs for the development of architectures for blockchain-based systems. Thus, it is difficult to predict the outcome of certain ADDs when developing architectures for such systems. In the following, we propose a simulation-based approach for blockchain architectures in which the impact of certain ADDs on certain quality attributes can be simulated. To this end, we first implemented a simulation environment for blockchain architectures. The simulation environment was then used to execute a series of experiments from which we derived a set of hypotheses about the impact of certain ADDs on quality attributes for blockchain architectures. Finally, we tested the hypotheses using statistical analyses and derived an empirical model for blockchain architectures based on the outcome of the analysis. The model can be used by architects to predict the effect of certain decisions in the design of blockchain architectures before implementing them.
Blockchain is an emerging technology framework for creating and storing transaction in distributed ledgers with a high degree of security and reliability. In this paper, we present a blockchain-based platform to create and store contracts in between students and their higher education sponsors facilitated by intermediary brokers denoted as fundraisers. The sponsorship might be in any form, such as scholarship, donation, or loan. The fund will be arranged and managed by a group of competitive fundraisers who will hold the distributed ledgers and act as the miners in the blockchain network.
A Coordination Blockchain is a blockchain that coordinates activities of multiple private blockchains. This paper discusses the pros and cons of using Ethereum MainNet, the public Ethereum blockchain, as a Coordination Blockchain. The requirements Ethereum MainNet needs to fulfil to perform this role are analyzed within the context of Ethereum Private Sidechains, a private blockchain technology which allows many blockchains to be operated in parallel, and allows atomic crosschain transactions to execute across blockchains. We found that Ethereum MainNet is best suited to storing long-term static data that need to be widely available, such as the Ethereum Registration Authority information. However, due to Ethereum MainNet’s probabilistic finality, it is not well suited to information that needs to be available and acted upon immediately, such as the Sidechain Public Keys and Atomic Crosschain Transaction state information that need to be accessible prior to the first atomic crosschain transaction being issued on a sidechain. Although this paper examined the use of Ethereum MainNet as a Coordination Blockchain within reference to Ethereum Private Sidechains, the discussions and observations of the typical tasks a Coordination Blockchain may be expected to perform are applicable more widely to any multi-blockchain system.