Analysis of Data Structures on the Ethereum Blockchain


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Analysis of Data Structures on the Ethereum Blockchain

Supervisor(s) Josef Noll
Due date 2016/05/02
Status Finished
Problem description: The web is becoming increasingly more centralized with data congregating towards big players e.g. Google. This is not the decentralized web Tim Berners-Lee envisioned. Having a couple of companies deciding what is 'truth' and what data is available is undemocratizing. It is also endagering peoples privacy. Centralized data is more valuable to hackers and to government agencies, with the potential value of a successful hack reaching into the millions.

The web can be re-decentralized with the blockchain technology. Blockchains allow for consensus in peer-to-peer networks, removing the need for centralized servers to decide consensus. The blockchain is how Bitcoin is able to transfer money without a bank as an mediator. Ethereum allows for Turing complete applications (called smart contracts) on the blockchain, giving developers the tools needed to move anything to the blockchain.

Miners, special nodes reaching consensus on the network, have to run all smart contracts. With the code in these smart contracts being measured in "gas" instead of temporal complexity and spatial complexity, means that what we know about the efficiency of different data structures, might have to be revisited. Therefor will this thesis compare various data structures on the blockchain in a theoretical and an empirical manner.

Methods and Tools: The tools and methods in this thesis are based on
  • A scenario
  • A list of requirements being extracted from the scenario
  • A detailed description of the Ethereum blockchain
  • Analysis for various data structures
  • Implementation of the test bed
  • An evaluation of the study, including a critical review of the decisions taken earlier
  • Conclusions
  • References
Time schedule The envisaged time schedule is:
T0 0 November. Starting month. TOC established. Necessary technologies listed.
T0+0: 1 page scenario.
T0+1: Start of December; Provide a draft of chapter 2: Detailed scenario and requirements, and chapter 3: Description of the Ethereum blockchain
T0+2: January. Establish a draft on what to implement. Set-up an implementation, testing and evaluation plan.
T0+4: March. Evaluate your solution based on a set of parameters
T0+6: May. Deliver the thesis
Pre-Knowledge This thesis includes a reasonable amount of programming.
Approved Pending by
Keywords Blockchain, Encryption, Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, Privacy, Information Security, Big-O, Bitcoin

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The thesis was abandoned


1. Introduction, containing: short intro into the area, what is happening
1.1 Motivation, containing: what triggered me to write about what I'm writing about
1.2 Scenario Overview
1.3 Research Approaches
1.4 Related works
1.5 Problem Statement
1.6 Proposal for Solution
1.7 Structure of this Thesis
2. Detailed Scenario and Requirements
2.1 Scenario
2.2 Requirements/Technological challenges
3. Description of the Ethereum Blockchain (State-of-the art)
4. Implementation
4.1 Testbeds
4.2 Description of Prototypes
4.3 Achievements and Prototype Demonstration
5. Analysis
5. Evaluation and Lessons Learned
6. Conclusions

Current draft