Invented by Yaron Kanza, Divesh Srivastava, Tamraparni Dasu, AT&T Intellectual Property I LP
The AT&T Intellectual Property I LP invention works as followsThe concepts and technologies disclosed in this document are directed at location-based Blockchain. Localized corroborator systems can receive an initiation message from a device user, including a public-key, and can then generate and send a random session identifier back to the device user. The system can then receive a signed session identification signed by the device with a private key. The system can verify the time between sending the random session ID to the device and receiving the signed identifier. The public key can be used by the system to verify the authenticity of the signed session identification. The system can provide a location certification to the device if the time is less than the pre-defined threshold. The user device may use the location certificate in order to perform a certified transaction on a blockchain.
Background for Location-based blockchain
Blockchain is gaining increasing attention among researchers, practitioners and organizations. Blockchain was initially developed to combat the problem of “double spending”. Blockchain was initially developed to address the?double spending? Blockchain is a way to share data decentralized, transparent, and unalterable, through a peer-topeer network. This allows you to do so without having any need to trust anyone. In a public blockchain where peers are unknown a priori, efficiency and scalability is often sacrificed.
Cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity recently, and the value of Bitcoin, which is a popular payment method for a growing number organizations and businesses, has increased. Cryptocurrencies allow micropayments and anonymity for both payers and payees. They also provide the foundation of an economy that is unregulated. This is a challenge to the traditional economic system.
Blockchain has gained increasing attention, not only as the technology behind cryptocurrencies but also as an open ledger for various domains. Financial institutions are, for instance, examining the use blockchain as a public ledger to streamline transactions and reduce costs. Blockchain can also be used to manage digital assets such as land titles, stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. The stored transactions are a record of the transfer of assets from one user to another. Blockchains can store documents and data, in their entirety or as a digest (e.g. a cryptographic hash such as SHA-256), to prove the existence of documents and data, including contracts, patents and scientific publications. The blockchain can also be used to manage identity through hashed attributes (e.g. verifiable characteristics of a person) stored using a public key, or other means, to sign documents electronically, or to access remote services, to protect against identity theft and fraud. Blockchain can be used to create a safe infrastructure for smart cities, and it could also facilitate the creation a social data marketplace where people are willing to share their personal data with the public. Blockchain has many commercial applications, including tracking diamonds as they move from the mine to the market, managing data provenance for Internet of Things systems (?IoT?) Blockchain can also be used for commercial purposes, such as tracking diamonds from mine to market, managing data provenance in Internet of Things (?IoT?)
While blockchains are gaining in importance, they still have limitations and drawbacks that raise questions about their scalability. The creation and maintenance of public blockchains is a major energy waste due to the excessive work of the peers involved. Blockchains such as Bitcoin are based upon proof-of-work, where peers (called miners) must perform a complex computation in order to create a new block. The energy required to maintain Bitcoin is estimated to be greater than the energy consumed by Ireland. Energy consumption is increasing as more miners join this network.
Another issue with blockchain is its low transaction rate. For example, in Bitcoin a new block is created every 10 minutes. The size of the block is also fixed (1 MB for Bitcoin, 2MB for SegWit2x and 8MB for Bitcoin Cash). And the rate at which transactions are added to the blockchain hovers around 7 per second. This limitation is also present in other blockchains. For example, in Ethereum it is estimated that the transaction rate is between 10-30 transactions per seconds. This is several orders-of-magnitude lower than the rate of transactions that modern financial institutions can process (for example, VISA’s network processes more than 30,000 transaction per second). It is hard to change the block size or creation rate because blockchains are decentralized. There is no entity that can enforce or force changes. Rapid block creation can also lead to frequent forks which will make the blockchain more unstable and vulnerable to attacks.
Anonymity is a feature of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that has some benefits, but it also comes with risks. Money transfers from a coin owner to a recipient are made by signing with the private key. The private key of the coin owner can be revealed or stolen. Losing a private key is the same as losing money. “Cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to theft and loss of money.
The concepts and technologies disclosed in this document are directed at location-based Blockchain. A localized corroborator can, according to an aspect of concepts and technologies described herein, receive from a device a message containing a public-key. The localized corroborator can send a random session ID to the user device in response to receiving an initiation message. Localized corroborator can receive a signed session identification from the user’s device. This signed session identifier includes the random session ID signed by the device using the private key of the user. Localized corroborator can verify the time between sending the random session ID to the user and receiving the signed session ID from the user. The localized system can use the public key to verify the authenticity of the signed session ID. The localized corroborator can provide a location certification to the device if the time is less than the pre-defined threshold.
In some embodiments, a location certificate can be used to identify a specific location that is associated with the localized corroborator system. In some embodiments the localized system can include a base station cellular that services the location. In some embodiments the location can be a sub-area within a group of sub-areas in a geographic area. The set of subareas is a hierarchy. The blockchain may include multiple sub-chains, each of which is associated with a sub-area from the set of areas.
In some embodiments, a certified blockchain transaction on the blockchain involves a transfer from a wallet associated with an initial user device to another wallet associated with a secondary user device. In some embodiments, the asset can be a cryptocurrency, such as coins. Alternative assets include those associated with real estate transactions, supply chains, and data management within a smart-city context. Other digital or virtual assets such as tickets (e.g. flight, concert, amusement parks, etc.) can be included in the assets. Digital art assets and specific rights are also available. Investments (e.g. bonds, stocks and other investment vehicles) and digital art assets are also included. In some embodiments the transfer can be a lateral one within a sub-area. In some embodiments the transfer can be an ascending one from a sub-area within the set to the parent subarea. In some embodiments the transfer can be a descending one from a sub-area to the child subarea. In some embodiments the certified blockchain transaction may include multiple transfers of the asset.
It should be noted that the subject matter described above may be implemented in a computer controlled apparatus, computer process, computing system, or an article of manufacture, such as a machine-readable storage medium. The following detailed description and the accompanying drawings will reveal these and other features.
This Summary presents a few concepts in simplified form. They are described in detail below. This Summary does not identify the key features or essential features in the claimed subject matter. It is also not intended to limit the claims subject matter. The claimed subject matter does not include implementations that eliminate all or some of the disadvantages described in this disclosure.
Blockchain” is a ledger decentralized that stores transactions as a series of blocks. In cryptocurrency, a transaction may be a payment to the block creator or a transfer from the owner of the coin to a recipient. Each transaction contains the public key for the payee. The transactions form a series of coin transfers. The owner of the coin signs the transfer with the private key which matches the public key from the transaction in which the coin was granted. Only someone with the private key matching the public key of the transaction, and coins, can transfer them to another entity. For anonymity, in many blockchains user identities are hidden. This means that money transfers between wallets can only be made by users who have multiple wallets. In Bitcoin, a user’s?address” is used. The public key is also used as a pseudonym for the user. A ‘wallet’ is also a type of software. The software that manages the addresses is called a?wallet’. The term “address” is not used here because it could be ambiguous in the context of geospatial data. The term?address’ is not used in this document because it may be ambiguous when applied to geospatial information. Some current and future systems may replace the term “wallet” with another name. With a different term, such as “address.” The same concept can be referred to by different terms. as used herein.
A transaction t which transfers m coins to wallet y from wallet x can be written as t= (x?y,m). A transaction t which grants m coins as a reward to wallet y can be denoted by t=(x? y, m). The transactions are then added to the Blockchain and made public in order to prevent double-spending. The blockchain defines serialization, which means that if there are two transactions that transfer the same coin (i.e. double spending), the second transaction will be invalid and not added to the chain after one of them is inserted into the blockchain. The blockchain represents the consensus among peers as to which transactions are valid.
Transactions are organized into blocks that are added to the Blockchain by members of peer-to-peer networks. These peers are known as’miners’ in Bitcoin. The genesis block is the first block of the chain. Every block after the genesis block has a hash value of the block before it (e.g. using SHA-256). A change to one block would result in a wrong chain, or require the hash values of all subsequent blocks to be changed. Decentralized maintenance is the mainstay of a blockchain. A blockchain is unalterable. It makes it virtually impossible to change past blocks. Blockchains such as Bitcoin use proof-of work to achieve this, and prevent forks where the chain is separated. Proof-ofwork is a computational task that takes a long time (such as a cryptographic puzzle). Each block in Bitcoin includes a nonce, such that the hash (with the nonce), has at least k zeros. The nonce can be difficult to compute, so it is used as a proof of work. The value of k is chosen so that all peers (i.e. miners) will need approximately 10 minutes to compute a block. The miners will be expected to add the blocks to the longest branch in case of conflict or fork. This prevents forks by causing short branches to be dropped. “A block that contains invalid transactions, such as double-spending, will be ignored by most peers and will eventually not be included in the chain.
An attacker who tries to alter a block on the blockchain must create a branch alternative and compete against all other miners to make that branch the longest. Due to the difficulty of creating blocks, there are few chances for success. It provides stability, immutability and reliability.
The concepts and technologies described herein describe the partitioning of a Blockchain into a hierarchy sub-chains that reflect a real-world subdivision, in order to increase the scalability of security and the blockchain. The technologies and concepts disclosed herein illustrate geospatial partitioning, and describe how location certificates and localization can be used for reliable association between sub-chains. The hierarchy levels allow for a trade-off between transaction confirmation speed and privacy. A novel proof-of location approach is described here to prevent excessive energy consumption when replacing one blockchain with many sub-chains. The proof-of location approach mitigates the energy-consumption problem inherent to current proof-of work approaches.
The concepts disclosed herein will be described as an example of a blockchain application for cryptocurrencies. The concepts and technologies disclosed in this document are applicable to many other domains. For example, digital asset and data management, proof of data and documents and identity management, data sharing, commercial use, and data sharing. The concepts and technologies disclosed in this document should not be construed to be limited to the cryptocurrency domain.
While the subject matter of this invention may sometimes be described in the context of general program modules that run in conjunction with an operating system or application program on a computer, those in the know will realize that other implementations can be combined with other types program modules. Program modules can be routines, components, programs, data structures or computer-executable instruction that perform specific tasks or implement abstract data types. “Those skilled in the art can appreciate that the subject matter described may be used with other computer systems including hand-held, mobile, or wireless devices, multiprocessor computers, distributed computing systems and consumer electronics based on microprocessors.
In the following detailed description references are made in the drawings which form part of this document and are used to illustrate specific embodiments or example. In the following, we will refer to the drawings in which the same numerals are used for the same elements across the various figures.
Geospatial partitioning is a natural part of many blockchain applications. The system is based on accurately mapping transactions with the time and location at which they occur, and then providing a certificate of location for verification. A location certificate is digital proof that an item was in a certain place at a certain time. Global positioning system (?GPS?) GPS cannot be used as a location certification because it can be spoofed. A method of producing location certificates relies on trusted localized corroborations that can provide the certificate. The method is described with the help of FIGS. “Figures 1 and 2
Turning to FIG. According to one embodiment, FIG. 1 describes an operating environment in which a location certification can be issued by a corroborator for a requester. The operating environment 100 illustrated includes a device 102 that acts as a requester and is associated with a person 104, whose location will be verified by a localized system 106. The user device can be or include a smartphone or tablet computer, portable video game console or other devices associated with the user. Localized corroborator systems 106 may be or include a server with a known location that is only accessible by the user device within a certain range, referred to as a “local range”. In some embodiments the localized system 106 is or includes a cell tower. This can include, for example, a base station such as an eNode B that operates in accordance to one or several wireless telecommunications standards. In other embodiments, a localized corroborator 106 can operate in accordance to a short-range wireless communication technology, such as IEEE 802.11x Wi-Fi, BLUETOOTH or Z-WAVE. In certain embodiments, localized corroborator systems 106 can be, or can include, an optical access-point that uses an optical communication technology, such as infrared, or other line-of-sight optical technology.
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