The blockchain emerged as a novel distributed consensus scheme that allows transactions, and any other data, to be securely stored and verified without a centralized authority. For some time, the notion of blockchain was tightly coupled with Bitcoin, a well-known proof of work hash-based mechanism. Today, there are more than one hundred alternate blockchains. Some are simple variants of Bitcoin, whereas others significantly differ in their design and provide different functional and security guarantees. This shows that the research community is in search of a simple, scalable, and deployable blockchain technology. Various reports further point to an increased interest in the use of blockchains across many applications and a significant investment by different industries in their development.
The blockchain will likely induce considerable change to a large number of systems and businesses.
Distributed trust, and therefore security and privacy, is at the core of the blockchain technologies and has the potential to either make them a success or cause them to fail.This special issue of IEEE Security and Privacy aims to collect the most relevant ongoing research efforts in blockchain security and privacy. Topics include, but aren’t limited to:
- Platforms for decentralized consensus (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple, Open Blockchain, etc.)
- New threat models and attacks on existing blockchain technologies
- Defenses and countermeasures
- Simple payment verification modes and lightweight blockchain clients
- Anonymity and privacy issues and measures to enhance anonymity and privacy
- Proof-of-work, -stake, -burn, and other consensus alternatives
- Scalability issues and solutions
- Incentive mechanisms for blockchains
- Economic, monetary, legal, ethical, and societal aspects
- Applicability of the technology in financial markets
- Regulation and law enforcement
- Fraud detection and financial crime prevention
- Case studies (for instance, of adoption, attacks, forks, and scams)
- New applications
- Manuscript submission: 1 February 2017
- Publication date: January/February 2018
Submissions will be subject to the IEEE Computer Society’s peer-review process. Articles should be at most 6,000 words, with a maximum of 15 references, and should be understandable to a broad audience of people interested in security, privacy, and dependability. The writing style should be down to earth, practical, and original. Authors should not assume that the audience will have specialized experience in a particular subfield. All accepted articles will be edited according to the IEEE Computer Society style guide. Submit your papers to ScholarOne at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cs-ieee.
- Ghassan Karame, NEC Laboratories Europe, Germany
- Srdjan Capkun, ETH Zurich, Switzerland