University of Oulu

S. K. Taskou, M. Rasti and P. H. J. Nardelli, "Blockchain Function Virtualization: A New Approach for Mobile Networks Beyond 5G," in IEEE Network, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 134-141, November/December 2022, doi: 10.1109/MNET.009.2100473

Blockchain function virtualization : a new approach for mobile networks beyond 5G

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Author: Taskou, Shiva Kazemi1; Rasti, Mehdi1,2; Nardelli, Pedro H. J.2,3
Organizations: 1Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran
2University of Oulu, Finland
3Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-24


Many of the key enabling technologies of the fifth-generation (5G), such as network slicing, spectrum sharing, and federated learning, rely on a centralized authority. This may lead to pitfalls in terms of security or single point of failure. Distributed ledger technology, specifically blockchain, is currently employed by different applications related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G to address the drawbacks of centralized systems. For this reason, mobile blockchain networks (MBNs) have recently attracted a great deal of attention. To add a transaction to the blockchain in MBNs, mobile or IoT users must perform various tasks like encryption, decryption, and mining. These tasks require energy and processing power, which impose limitations on mobile and IoT users’ performance because they are usually battery powered and have a low processing power. One possible solution is to perform the tasks virtually on commodity servers provided by mobile edge computing (MEC) or cloud computing. To do so, all tasks needed to add a transaction to the blockchain can be treated as virtual blockchain functions that can be executed on commodity servers. We introduce a blockchain virtualization framework called blockchain function virtualization (BFV), through which all blockchain functions can be performed virtually by MEC or cloud computing. Furthermore, we describe applications of the BFV framework and resource allocation challenges brought by the BFV framework in mobile networks. In addition, to illustrate the advantages of BFV, we define an optimization problem to simultaneously minimize the energy consumption cost and maximize miners’ rewards. Finally, simulation results show the performance of the proposed framework in terms of total energy consumption, transaction confirmation rate, and miners’ average profit.

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Series: IEEE network
ISSN: 0890-8044
ISSN-E: 1558-156X
ISSN-L: 0890-8044
Volume: 36
Issue: 6
Pages: 134 - 141
DOI: 10.1109/MNET.009.2100473
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This article is partly supported by the University of Oulu and the Academy of Finland Profi6 336449, and partly by Academy of Finland via: FIREMAN consortium CHIST-ERA-17-BDSI-003/n.326270, EnergyNet Research Fellowship n.321265/ n.328869/n.352654, X-SDEN Academy Project n.349965, and 6G Flagship n. 346208; and by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation via STREAM project.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 346208
Detailed Information: 346208 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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