To ascertain if blockchain can facilitate the Internet of Things security and scalability requirements

  • Beverley Mackenzie

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Several consensus algorithms have been proposed as a way of resolving the Byzantine General problem, with respect to the blockchain consensus process. However, when these consensus algorithms are applied to a distributed, asynchronous network, some suffer with security and/or scalability issues, while others suffer with liveness and/or safety issues. This is because many researchers have not considered the importance of liveness and safety, with respect to the integrity of the consensus decision. In this research first the requirements of a IoT blockchain consensus protocol is assessed. Next prevalent blockchain consensus protocols are evaluated against these requirements. Finally, a consensus protocol that meets IoT’s requirements of scalability, security, safety and liveness is designed, developed and built.

This research contains a novel solution to this challenge. A solution that protects blockchain transactions from fraudulent and/or erroneous mis-spends.

This consensus protocol uses a combination of probabilistic randomness, an isomorphic balance authentication, error detection and synchronised time restrictions, when assessing the authenticity and validity of IoT requests. Designed to operate in a distributed asynchronous network, this approach increases scalability while maintaining a high transactional throughput, even when faced with Byzantine failure.
Date of Award26 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorIan Ferguson (Supervisor), Abdul Razaq (Supervisor) & Xavier Bellekens (Supervisor)


  • Internet of Things
  • Blockchain
  • Consensus protocol
  • IoT
  • Cyber security
  • Safety and liveness
  • Immutability
  • Proof of work
  • Proof of stake

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