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Scalability Assessment in Blockchain-enabled IoT Applications

    Author: Heikki Santeri Sipilä

    Supervisors: Mubashar Iqbal, Abasi-amefon Obot Affia, Russell W. F. Lai

    Abstract: The use of blockchain in the Internet of Things (IoT) has pawed the way for creating decentralized IoT applications. However, integrating blockchain with the IoT is not straightforward and proposes various challenges. We performed a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to explore these potential challenges. The SLR resulted in two conclusions. The first conclusion was that potential scalability challenges with blockchain-enabled IoT applications include storage, networking, processing, and throughput challenges. The second conclusion was that the current literature lacks tools and methods to assess these scalability challenges. We address this research gap by first providing a method for creating a scalability assessment tool for blockchain-enabled IoT applications. This method is then showcased in this thesis by designing, implementing, and validating a tool that can be used for scalability assessments of these applications. Our proposed tool uses existing virtualization software to generate simulated IoT devices, which allows for testing the scalability of these applications without the need to use physical devices. We validated the tool by scalability testing a proof-of-concept blockchain-enabled Internet of Vehicles application developed as a part of this thesis. The results of these tests were then analyzed, and the feasibility of the tool was evaluated to be suitable for testing the scalability with a maximum of 24 devices.