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Systematic Literature Review of Challenges in Blockchain Scalability

Department of Computer and Information Science, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Seri Iskandar 32610, Malaysia
High Performance Cloud Computing Center (HPC3), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Seri Iskandar 32610, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gianluca Lax
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(20), 9372;
Received: 10 August 2021 / Revised: 15 September 2021 / Accepted: 3 October 2021 / Published: 9 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Blockchain Technology)
Blockchain technology is fast becoming the most transformative technology of recent times and has created hype and optimism, gaining much attention from the public and private sectors. It has been widely deployed in decentralized crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is the success story of a public blockchain application that propelled intense research and development into blockchain technology. However, scalability remains a crucial challenge. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are encountering low-efficiency issues with low throughput, high transaction latency, and huge energy consumption. The scalability issue in public Blockchains is hindering the provision of optimal solutions to businesses and industries. This paper presents a systematic literature review (SLR) on the public blockchain scalability issue and challenges. The scope of this SLR includes an in-depth investigation into the scalability problem of public blockchain, associated fundamental factors, and state-of-art solutions. This project managed to extract 121 primary papers from major scientific databases such as Scopus, IEEE explores, Science Direct, and Web of Science. The synthesis of these 121 articles revealed that scalability in public blockchain is not a singular term. A variety of factors are allied to it, with transaction throughput being the most discussed factor. In addition, other interdependent vita factors include storages, block size, number of nodes, energy consumption, latency, and cost. Generally, each term is somehow directly or indirectly reliant on the consensus model embraced by the blockchain nodes. It is also noticed that the contemporary available consensus models are not efficient in scalability and thus often fail to provide good QoS (throughput and latency) for practical industrial applications. Our findings exemplify that the Internet of Things (IoT) would be the leading application of blockchain in industries such as energy, finance, resource management, healthcare, education, and agriculture. These applications are, however, yet to achieve much-desired outcomes due to scalability issues. Moreover, Onchain and offchain are the two major categories of scalability solutions. Sagwit, block size expansion, sharding, and consensus mechanisms are examples of onchain solutions. Offchain, on the other hand, is a lighting network. View Full-Text
Keywords: blockchain; distributed ledger technology scalability; consensus model; scalability solution; throughput blockchain; distributed ledger technology scalability; consensus model; scalability solution; throughput
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, D.; Jung, L.T.; Hashmani, M.A. Systematic Literature Review of Challenges in Blockchain Scalability. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 9372.

AMA Style

Khan D, Jung LT, Hashmani MA. Systematic Literature Review of Challenges in Blockchain Scalability. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(20):9372.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khan, Dodo, Low T. Jung, and Manzoor A. Hashmani. 2021. "Systematic Literature Review of Challenges in Blockchain Scalability" Applied Sciences 11, no. 20: 9372.

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