Secure Blockchains for Dynamic Spectrum Access: A Decentralized Database in Moving Cognitive Radio Networks Enhances Security and User Access

Khashayar Kotobi, Sven G. Bilen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we propose a blockchain verification protocol as a method for enabling and securing spectrum sharing in moving cognitive radio (CR) networks. The spectrum-sharing mechanism is used as a medium-access protocol for accessing wireless bandwidth among competing CRs. We introduce a virtual currency, called Specoins, for payment to access the spectrum. An auction mechanism based on a first-come-first-served queue is used, with the price for the spectrum advertised by each primary user in a decentralized fashion. The blockchain protocol facilitates the transactions between primary and secondary users and is used to validate and save each user's virtual wallet. Also important for mobile networks, the blockchain serves as a distributed database that is visible by all participating parties, and any node can volunteer to update the blockchain. The volunteer nodes are called miners, and they are awarded with Specoins. We propose diverse methods to exchange the Specoins to make leasing possible even by CRs that are not miners. We show the improvement of the proposed algorithm compared with the conventional Aloha medium-access protocol in terms of spectrum usage. This difference is investigated using small-scale fading variation in the wireless channel to compare the performance of our secure method with the conventional medium access used in vehicular communications. The secure blockchain verification protocol is not only secure but also outperforms the conventional system in moderate cases of small-scale fading. In the case of severe small-scale fading, the blockchain protocol will outperform the conventional system if multipath diversity is not used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering

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