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Blockchain for economically sustainable wireless mesh networks

TitleBlockchain for economically sustainable wireless mesh networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKabbinale, ARao, Dimogerontakis, E, Selimi, M, Ali, A, Navarro, L, Sathiaseelan, A, Crowcroft, J
JournalConcurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Date Published05/2019
Keywordsblockchain, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, mesh networks, Performance evaluation
AbstractSummary Decentralization, in the form of mesh networking and blockchain, two promising technologies, is coming to the telecommunications industry. Mesh networking allows wider low-cost Internet access with infrastructures built from routers contributed by diverse owners, whereas blockchain enables transparency and accountability for investments, revenue, or other forms of economic compensations from sharing of network traffic, content, and services. Crowdsourcing network coverage, combined with crowdfunding costs, can create economically sustainable yet decentralized Internet access. This means that every participant can invest in resources and pay or be paid for usage to recover the costs of network devices and maintenance. While mesh networks and mesh routing protocols enable self-organized networks that expand organically, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts enable the economic coordination among network providers and consumers. We explore and evaluate two existing blockchain software stacks, Hyperledger Fabric (HLF) and Ethereum geth with Proof of Authority (PoA) intended as a local lightweight distributed ledger, deployed in a real city-wide production mesh network and in laboratory network. We quantify the performance and bottlenecks and identify the current limitations and opportunities for improvement to serve locally the needs of wireless mesh networks, without the privacy and economic cost of relying on public blockchains.