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1 EdgeChain: An Edge-IoT Framework and Prototype Based on Blockchain and Smart Contracts Jianli Pan, Member, IEEE Jianyu Wang, Member, IEEE Austin Hester, Member, IEEE Ismail Alqerm, Member, IEEE Yuanni Liu, Member, IEEE Ying Zhao Member, IEEE Abstract —The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is facing significant scalability and security challenges. On the one hand, IoT devices are “weak” and need external assistance. Edge com- puting provides a promising direction addressing the deficiency of centralized cloud computing in scaling massive number of devices. On the other hand, IoT devices are also relatively “vul- nerable” facing malicious hackers due to resource constraints. The emerging blockchain and smart contracts technologies bring a series of new security features for IoT and edge computing. In this paper, to address the challenges, we design and prototype an edge-IoT framework named “EdgeChain” based on blockchain and smart contracts. The core idea is to integrate a permissioned blockchain and the internal currency or “coin” system to link the edge cloud resource pool with each IoT device’ account and resource usage, and hence behavior of the IoT devices. EdgeChain uses a credit-based resource management system to control how much resource IoT devices can obtain from edge servers, based on pre-defined rules on priority, application types and past behaviors. Smart contracts are used to enforce the rules and policies to regulate the IoT device behavior in a non-deniable and automated manner. All the IoT activities and transactions are recorded into blockchain for secure data logging and auditing. We implement an EdgeChain prototype and conduct extensive experiments to evaluate the ideas. The results show that while gaining the security benefits of blockchain and smart contracts, the cost of integrating them into EdgeChain is within a reasonable and acceptable range. Index Terms —Edge computing, fog computing, EdgeChain, Internet of Things, IoT, blockchain, smart contracts, scalability, security. I. I NTRODUCTION It is predicted that the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) will connect more than 50 billion smart devices by the year 2025 [1]. It will inevitably change the way we live and work with smart houses, workspaces, transport and even cities on the horizon. However, such trends create significant scalability and security challenges. First, the IoT devices are relatively “weak” and most of their data are sent to remote clouds to be processed. Examples include the majority of the smart phones applications and smart home devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. But the existing centralized cloud comput- ing model is very difficult to scale with the projected massive number of devices due to the large amount of generated data First manuscript: June 1st, 2018.
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