Infoscience

Conference paper

Poster: LocalCoin: An Ad-hoc Payment Scheme for Areas with High Connectivity

The popularity of digital currencies, especially cryptocurrencies, has been continuously growing since the appearance of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency protocol enabling transactions between individuals without the need of a trusted authority. Its network is formed from resources contributed by individuals known as miners. Users of Bitcoin currency create transactions that are stored in a specialised data structure called a block chain. Bitcoin's security lies in a proof-of-work scheme, which requires high computational resources at the miners. These miners have to be synchronised with any update in the network, which produces high data traffic rates. Despite advances in mobile technology, no cryptocurrencies have been proposed for mobile devices. This is largely due to the lower processing capabilities of mobile devices when compared with conventional computers and the poorer Internet connectivity to that of the wired networking. In this work, we propose LocalCoin, an alternative cryptocurrency that requires minimal computational resources, produces low data traffic and works with off-the-shelf mobile devices. LocalCoin replaces the computational hardness that is at the root of Bitcoin's security with the social hardness of ensuring that all witnesses to a transaction are colluders. It is based on opportunistic networking rather than relying on infrastructure and incorporates characteristics of mobile networks such as users' locations and their coverage radius in order to employ an alternative proof-of-work scheme. Localcoin features (i) a lightweight proof-of-work scheme and (ii) a distributed block chain.

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