Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications

A special issue of Smart Cities (ISSN 2624-6511). This special issue belongs to the section "Internet of Things".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 14738

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Via Sommarive 18, 38123 Trento, Italy
2. Faculty of Engineering, eCampus University, Via Isimbardi 10, 22060 Novedrate, Italy
Interests: computational intelligence; soft-computing techniques; Internet of Things; power-aware engineering design; embedded systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Centralized, cloud-based architectures are the current choice for IoT applications, where a validating third party provides services such as authentication, authorization, and data handling for both sensing devices (i.e, the producers) and end-users (i.e., the consumers). These architectures simplify the design and deployment of IoT systems and applications. However, they introduce additional data management and privacy concerns and an overexposure to several cyber security threats. Moreover, the presence of the intermediary decreases the efficiency of interactions between devices, reducing the potential growth of IoT applications. These challenges require radically new architectures for next-generation IoT systems and applications. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in integrating blockchain technologies into IoT for enabling trustless architectures without a validating central authority. Furthermore, blockchain directly benefits several business processes by enabling the seamless inclusion of several actors and making their interactions leaner, faster, and more transparent. Moreover, thanks to smart contracts, novel decentralized and fully autonomous applications appear every day. Such applications carry new opportunities, but they also introduce major challenges for traditional IoT system tools and methodologies that need to adapt. This Special Issue welcomes contributions describing tools and methodologies that emphasize blockchain's key aspects for IoT systems, applications, use cases, and challenges; additionally, this Special Issue aims to provide the opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share their latest work on emerging use cases of blockchain-based IoT systems.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Blockchain-based distributed IoT systems and applications.
  • Use of smart contracts for intelligent IoT systems.
  • Experimental evaluations of blockchain-based IoT systems and applications.
  • Testbeds and simulators related to blockchain-based IoT systems.
  • Crypto chips and IoT devices.
  • Novel IoT architectures for hybrid on-chain/off-chain environments.
  • IoT as oracles for blockchain-based systems.
  • Trustless intelligent applications in IoT environments.
  • L2 solutions and inter-ledger protocols for IoT and AI applications.
  • Lightweight protocols and algorithms for blockchains in IoT and AI applications
  • Use cases for IoT blockchain-based applications in agriculture, industry, smart cities, and smart grids.
  • Privacy-preserving solutions for blockchain-based IoT applications.

Dr. Miguel Pincheira
Prof. Dr. Massimo Vecchio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Smart Cities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • IoT
  • blockchain
  • next-generation IoT
  • blockchain-based IoT applications
  • smart contracts for IoT

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 678 KiB  
Article
Trustworthy Users: Using IOTA and IPFS for Attribute Validation in CP-ABE and dCP-ABE Schemes
by Aintzane Mosteiro-Sanchez, Marc Barcelo, Jasone Astorga and Aitor Urbieta
Smart Cities 2023, 6(2), 913-928; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6020044 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Attribute spoofing is a major security threat in information exchange solutions based on Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based-Encryption (CP-ABE) and distributed CP-ABE (dCP-ABE), which can compromise privacy and security. This threat occurs when an attacker forces the Attribute Authorities to generate keys for attributes they do [...] Read more.
Attribute spoofing is a major security threat in information exchange solutions based on Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based-Encryption (CP-ABE) and distributed CP-ABE (dCP-ABE), which can compromise privacy and security. This threat occurs when an attacker forces the Attribute Authorities to generate keys for attributes they do not possess. This paper analyzes the threat of attribute spoofing and identifies the primary attack vectors, including direct interference with the Attribute Authority and compromise of the shared attribute storage database. The authors propose a solution based on IOTA, a DAG-type DLT, and Interplanetary File System (IPFS) to prevent attribute spoofing. The solution requires distributed attribute storage, validation, and user authentication to counteract the two attack vectors effectively. The proposed solution mitigates the consequences of attribute spoofing, including privilege escalation and reduction, acquisition of private keys, and cutoff of data access. The authors also evaluate their proposal through a value-chain use case and conclude that it effectively mitigates the consequences of attribute spoofing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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16 pages, 497 KiB  
Article
ChronoEOS 2.0: Device Fingerprinting and EOSIO Blockchain Technology for On-Running Forensic Analysis in an IoT Environment
by José Álvaro Fernández-Carrasco, Xabier Echeberria-Barrio, Daniel Paredes-García, Francesco Zola and Raul Orduna-Urrutia
Smart Cities 2023, 6(2), 897-912; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6020043 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
In industrial environments there are critical devices, so their correct operation must be ensured. In particular, having a secure record of the different events related to these devices is essential. Thus, this record can be used in future forensic investigations in case of [...] Read more.
In industrial environments there are critical devices, so their correct operation must be ensured. In particular, having a secure record of the different events related to these devices is essential. Thus, this record can be used in future forensic investigations in case of accidents or production failures. In this sense, blockchain technology can bring reliability to the event log. In this paper, ChronoEOS 2.0, an extension of ChronoEOS, is presented. This new version can record the events that occur in multiple industrial robotic arms by deploying a Smart Contract in the EOSIO blockchain so that all events are immutably recorded in the blockchain. Furthermore, the new version allows using a unique fingerprint of the robot before registering an event in the blockchain. This fingerprint depends only on the characteristics of the operation and configuration of the robot. For this reason, ChronoEOS 2.0 not only increase the ability of ChronoEOS in terms of handling multiple devices but also increases the security and reliability of the operations. Finally, in this study, we verify that the new improvements have little impact on the hosting resources (RAM and Network are not altered, while CPU consumption is slightly higher due to the device fingerprinting module). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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32 pages, 1744 KiB  
Article
An Extensive Preliminary Blockchain Survey from a Maritime Perspective
by Rim Abdallah, Jérôme Besancenot, Cyrille Bertelle, Claude Duvallet and Frédéric Gilletta
Smart Cities 2023, 6(2), 846-877; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6020041 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3692
Abstract
The maritime industry is moving towards a digital ecosystem to achieve substantial mutual profits. To achieve this, there have been attempts to combine existing, disjointed systems into more efficient, standardized platforms that can be scaled up. However, this transition has faced challenges. To [...] Read more.
The maritime industry is moving towards a digital ecosystem to achieve substantial mutual profits. To achieve this, there have been attempts to combine existing, disjointed systems into more efficient, standardized platforms that can be scaled up. However, this transition has faced challenges. To address these issues, it is suggested that innovative technologies such as blockchain be utilized due to their alignment with the sector’s needs. This study uses a triangulation approach by examining a mix of literature, web-based data, applications, and projects to showcase the contribution of blockchain and its potential use cases. We also explore its potential use cases based on other sectors using projection and parallelism. Additionally, the study delves into limitations and possible solutions. This research acts as a preliminary study for the implementation of blockchain in the maritime industry, and advocates for its use as a revolutionary approach. The findings will be beneficial for scholars, policy makers, and practitioners in the maritime industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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24 pages, 9927 KiB  
Article
Blockchain Orchestration and Transformation for Construction
by Mohammad Darabseh and João Poças Martins
Smart Cities 2023, 6(1), 652-675; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6010031 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
Blockchain-related studies that focus on solving AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation) digital management environment issues, such as data protection and data ownership, show the projected benefits of Blockchain-based digital construction environments. However, adopting such technology will require a holistic approach to ensure [...] Read more.
Blockchain-related studies that focus on solving AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation) digital management environment issues, such as data protection and data ownership, show the projected benefits of Blockchain-based digital construction environments. However, adopting such technology will require a holistic approach to ensure it does not result in data redundancy, leading to digital system inefficiencies. This article studies the Blockchain construction synergies from the infrastructure point of view to understand its future in construction. The article visualises Blockchain infrastructure elements and fits them within the construction project’s digital environment. A novel framework for Blockchain orchestration and implementation and a blueprint for developing Blockchain applications for construction are presented. The proposed blueprint is then used to develop a Blockchain application using Hyperledger Firefly. The article builds on the previous literature and Blockchain applications on the Ethereum public Blockchain. The expected benefit of such a framework is providing a practical perspective on the implementation side of Blockchain in construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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25 pages, 1244 KiB  
Article
On the Implementation of a Blockchain-Assisted Academic Council Electronic Vote System
by João Alves and António Pinto
Smart Cities 2023, 6(1), 291-315; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6010014 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
The digitisation of administrative tasks and processes is a reality nowadays, translating into added value such as agility in process management, or simplified access to stored data. The digitisation of processes of decision-making in collegiate bodies, such as Academic Councils, is not yet [...] Read more.
The digitisation of administrative tasks and processes is a reality nowadays, translating into added value such as agility in process management, or simplified access to stored data. The digitisation of processes of decision-making in collegiate bodies, such as Academic Councils, is not yet a common reality. Voting acts are still carried out in person, or at most in online meetings, without having a real confirmation of the vote of each element. This is particularly complex to achieve in remote meeting scenarios, where connection breaks or interruptions of audio or video streams may exist. A new digital platform was already previously proposed. It considered decision-making, by voting in Academic Councils, to be supported by a system that guarantees the integrity of the decisions taken, even when meeting online. Our previous work mainly considered the overall design. In this work, we bettered the design and specification of our previous proposal and describe the implemented prototype, and validate and discuss the obtained results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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28 pages, 1272 KiB  
Article
Industrial Data Homogenization and Monitoring Scheme with Blockchain Oracles
by Denis Stefanescu, Patxi Galán-García, Leticia Montalvillo, Juanjo Unzilla and Aitor Urbieta
Smart Cities 2023, 6(1), 263-290; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities6010013 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Research efforts on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) for industrial applications have constantly been increasing over the last years. The use of DLTs in the Industry 4.0 paradigm provides traceability, integrity, and immutability of the generated industrial data. However, Industry 4.0 ecosystems are typically [...] Read more.
Research efforts on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) for industrial applications have constantly been increasing over the last years. The use of DLTs in the Industry 4.0 paradigm provides traceability, integrity, and immutability of the generated industrial data. However, Industry 4.0 ecosystems are typically composed of multiple smart factory clusters belonging to several companies, which are immersed in constant interaction with other business partners, clients, or suppliers. In such complex ecosystems, multiple DLTs are necessarily employed to maintain the integrity of the data throughout the whole process, from when the data is generated until it is processed at higher levels. Moreover, industrial data is commonly heterogeneous, which causes compatibility issues, along with security and efficiency issues in the homogenization process. Thus, the data needs to be pre-processed and homogenized in a secure manner before being exploited. Consequently, in this work, we address the issues mentioned above by providing an industrial raw data pre-processing and homogenization process according to a standard data model. We employ decentralized blockchain oracles to guarantee the integrity of the external data during the homogenization process. Hereafter, we design an interoperable plant blockchain for trustworthy storage and processing of the resulting homogenized data across several industrial plants. We also present a prototype implementation of the aforementioned scheme and discuss its effectiveness. Finally, we design a monitoring scheme to overview the usage the performance of the architecture processes and identify possible performance and security issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Next-Generation Internet of Things Applications)
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