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Contract networking for crowdsourced connectivity

TitleContract networking for crowdsourced connectivity
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDimogerontakis, E, Navarro, L, Selimi, M, Mosquera, S, Freitag, F
Conference Name2020 IEEE International Conference on Decentralized Applications and Infrastructures (DAPPS)
Conference LocationOxford, UK
Keywordsblockchain, Crowdsourcing, mesh networks, reliable monitoring, service pricing, smart contracts
AbstractUniversal connectivity is still unavailable or expensive for half of the global population, despite being critical for social participation. The deployment of crowdsourced networking infrastructures creates an opportunity for local development, where anyone can deploy a new device. In such infrastructures connectivity offer can expand incrementally and be sustainable through investment and fees resulting from the demand and consumption of content and services, including Internet access, that compensate the cost of the underlying network. While routing coordinates network data flows, economic flows can be coordinated by smart contracts built over a local distributed ledger. We define crowdsourced networks, the concept, architecture, and implementation using a local Ethereum PoA blockchain with Solidity smart contracts that compensate the data traffic contribution and consumption recorded by a traffic monitoring system, on a wireless mesh network. The prototype software has been validated in a controlled mesh network environment. Functional tests show its ability to account and route economic flows with small resource consumption, and therefore confirms these networks can develop organically by the addition of consumer and provider participants to reach the typical scale of most wireless mesh access networks and deliver networking services that aim to be socially and economically sustainable.