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Title: Blockchains and Databases: Opportunities and Challenges for the Permissioned and the Permissionless
Bitcoin [12] is a successful and interesting example of a global scale peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that integrates many techniques and protocols from cryptography, distributed systems, and databases. The main underlying data structure is blockchain, a scalable fully replicated structure that is shared among all participants and guarantees a consistent view of all user transactions by all participants in the system. In a blockchain, nodes agree on their shared states across a large network of untrusted participants. Although originally devised for cryptocurrencies, recent systems exploit its many unique features such as transparency, provenance, fault tolerance, and authenticity to support a wide range of distributed applications. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use permissionless blockchains. In a permissionless blockchain, the network is public, and anyone can participate without a specific identity. Many other distributed applications, such as supply chain management and healthcare, are deployed on permissioned blockchains consisting of a set of known, identified nodes that still might not fully trust each other. This paper illustrates some of the main challenges and opportunities from a database perspective in the many novel and interesting application domains of blockchains. These opportunities are illustrated using various examples from recent research in both permissionless and permissioned blockchains. Two main themes unite the various examples: (1) the important role of distribution and consensus in managing more » large scale systems and (2) the need to tolerate malicious failures. The advent of cloud computing and large data centers shifted large scale data management infrastructures from centralized databases to distributed systems. One of the main challenges in designing distributed systems is the need for fault-tolerance. Cloud-based systems typically assume trusted infrastructures, since data centers are owned by the enterprises managing the data, and hence the design typically only assumes and tolerates crash failures. The advent of blockchain and the underlying premise that copies of the blockchain are distributed among untrusted entities has shifted the focus of fault-tolerance from tolerating crash failures to tolerating malicious failures. These interesting and challenging settings pose great opportunities for database researchers. « less
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Darmont, J; Novikov, B.; Wrembel, R.
Award ID(s):
1703560 1815733
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Advances in Databases and Information Systems
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
3 - 7
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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