Tradeoff Analysis and Applications of Blockchain Technology

Sammanfattning: Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that stores data in a peer-to-peer decentralized and distributed network. The traditional banking system is all about trusting the central authorities for secure transactions between two or more parties. Whereas blockchain facilitates a trust-less system, where users can transfer money to each other without relying on centralized trusted intermediaries. Blockchain technology has received a lot of attention over the last decade, mainly due to its most successful cryptocurrency application named Bitcoin. Apart from cryptocurrency, blockchain can be used for supply chain, logistics, healthcare, energy industries, and other financial services. However, the mainstream organizations are still quite skeptical towards blockchain technology for concerns such as the transaction processing time, resource-consuming network protocols (consensus algorithms), performance and scalability of the network, government regulations, etc. The government and private sectors are yet to consider blockchain-based solutions as a sustainable approach to build their business models. Inadequate insights about the tradeoffs and governance model for selecting the proper blockchain platforms have hindered the mass adoption of this technology. In this thesis, we have four major contributions. First, we conducted a literature survey of blockchain from the perspective of applications, challenges, and opportunities. This study presents the tradeoffs of blockchain, comparison among different consensus mechanisms, and discusses challenges, including scalability, privacy, interoperability, energy consumption, and regulatory issues. Second, we evaluated the mobility gap for Electric vehicle (EV) charging transactions by leveraging blockchain-based solutions.  We also implemented a proof of concept using the Hyperledger consortium platform for the technical feasibility of the proposed approach. Third, we conducted a quantitative performance and scalability analysis of some popular private blockchain platforms, including Ethereum Quorum, Corda, and Hyperledger Fabric. Each of these platforms is assessed by varying the workloads and determining the performance evaluation metrics such as throughput and network latency. Finally, we propose a taxonomy guideline that provides critical insights for determining a suitable blockchain platform.  This licentiate thesis provides a tradeoff analysis considering the performance and scalability aspects of different blockchain platforms. This research study also facilitates important architectural considerations about blockchain systems, based on the governance model and quality attributes.

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