The Block Propagation in Blockchain-based Vehicular Networks

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 2021, PP, (99), pp. 1-1
Issue Date:
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Consensus is one of the most important issues of a blockchain system because it is a necessary process to reach an agreement between a group of separated nodes that do not trust each other in a decentralized framework. Most existing blockchain consensus works assume that the time of block propagation among separated nodes during the consensus process is ignorable, i.e., a block always successfully reaches every participating node during a period of time that is far shorter than the mining time. However, when blockchain is used in vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANET), the block propagation time is no longer negligible since the dynamic connectivity of the moving nodes in a wireless environment brings opportunistic communication to blockchain consensus. In this paper, we study the impact of mobility on block propagation under the single-chain structure in VANET. Specifically, we investigate the dynamics of block propagation from the macroscopic view and derive the closed-form expression of the single-block propagation time. Then, we characterize the blockchain forking as the multi-block competitive propagation. In this way, an approximate result on multi-block propagation time is discussed. An interesting finding is that higher mobility and more moving vehicles can speed up the block propagation. In addition, we also discover that distinct propagation capabilities of moving nodes contribute to the forking reduction in the blockchain consensus.
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