PLEDGER: ENABLING SECURE DISTRIBUTED LEDGERS ON THE EDGE

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Nikolaos Kapsoulis, Innov-Acts Ltd.

The introduction of blockchains and their decentralized nature is high-promising for the edge computing domain due to their pairing natures, though it remains to be seen whether and when the market adoption will fall in between the predictions.

Apart from the significant attention received through cryptocurrencies, blockchain actually constitutes a core and suitable technology to manage decentralized systems. Blockchain is increasingly gaining popularity to develop and deploy such applications as Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart cities, healthcare systems and financial technology (FinTech), namely decentralized applications (DApps). In such context, blockchain-based techniques are keen to offer strong countermeasures in order to protect data from tampering through ledger immutability while supporting the distributed nature of the edge computing. Privacy issues and challenges are expected to be addressed under the security umbrella of the blockchain while their combination of the two will balance current performance and security trade-offs.

Edge computing is introduced to extend the cloud resources and services to be distributed at the edge of the network, but currently faces challenges in its decentralized management and security. As edge computing networks grow intensively, distributed applications are the de facto solution to highly centralized and congestive networks where single point of failure such as servers and centralized systems are of forbidden nature. The integration of blockchain and edge computing into one system can enable reliable access and control of the network, storage and computation distributed at the edges, hence providing a large scale of network servers, data storage and validity computation near the end in a secure manner. Despite the prospect of integrated blockchain and edge computing systems, anonymity, adaptability, integrity, scalability enhancement and self organization issues remain to be addressed before widespread deployment in order to attain and establish practical and secure blockchain-based edge computing systems.

Tuli et al.[1] propose a framework that facilitates end-to-end IoT-Fog-Cloud integration. The platform offers independent application programming interfaces (APIs) to build IoT applications and manage cloud resources through blockchain authentication and encryption techniques that perform secure operations on sensitive data. Through enabled cross-platform integrations the platform is comparatively lightweight and responsive while different configurations are able to tune the computing environment as per the situation demands.

Nyamtiga et al.[2] studied peer-to-peer and blockchain networks in order to achieve the IoT design necessary to support edge computing with the acquired security and scalability features deriving from integration. The investigations were focusing on existing blockchain and associated technologies to discover solutions that address anonymity, integrity and adaptability issues for successful integration of blockchain in IoT systems. The discovered solutions were incorporated in a conceptual design that led in a holistic approach of the proposed decentralized application prototype for secure storage of IoT data and transactions.

Jayasinghe et al.[3] suggested a novel privacy-preserving blockchain which leverages the secure and decentralized nature of blockchains and combines it with trust concepts in order to eliminate issues associated with traditional blockchain architectures. The outcome blockchain platform can be deployed in the edge computing environments in order to eliminate delays and privacy concerns associated with centralized processing and preserve the resources in IoT networks.

An important part of Pledger innovation focuses on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and the permissioned blockchains integration with existing cloud, fog and edge computing systems and infrastructures. The deployment of project-specific smart contracts that define new ways of interactions between stakeholders, devices and other network actors, together with the involvement of DLT concepts in cloud computing and edge environements are defining the future landscape of the ever growing industry. Innov-Acts Ltd. is offering through their invoicing and paywall services and products significant business and blockchain technologies acumen. The company is actively developing its digital innovation tier and maintaining permissioned blockchain networks and mechanisms for rapid micro-transactions and secure and private decentralized storage of important data.

Pledger is also investigating the development and establishment of custom-made tokens for the project purposes of edge nodes interoperability. Through such mechanisms the edge systems can exchange data value through tokens and support automatic advanced resource reservation. Pledger is aiming to address the performance-security trade-off in its blockchain-based edge computing architecture.

 


[1]       Shreshth Tuli, Redowan Mahmud, Shikhar Tuli, Rajkumar Buyya, "FogBus: A Blockchain-based Lightweight Framework for Edge and Fog Computing", Journal of Systems and Software, Volume 154, 2019, Pages 22-36, ISSN 0164-1212. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0164121219300822)

[3]       Upul Jayasinghe, Gyu Myoung Lee, Áine MacDermott, Woo Seop Rhee, "TrustChain: A Privacy Preserving Blockchain with Edge Computing", Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, vol. 2019, Article ID 2014697, 17 pages, 2019. (https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2014697 )

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