Zhiyi Zhang, Vishrant Vasavada, Randy King and Lixia Zhang

Over the last few years, blockchain-based technologies have flourished in many application areas. One of them is the creation of distributed ledgers where records of immutable objects are widely replicated for both transparency and availability. However, the Proof-of-Work (PoW) approach, a popular gating control that determines who can add new records into a ledger, is deemed infeasible for IoT devices with resource constraints.

In this paper, we present the design of DLedger, a private distributed ledger system designed for an experimental solar network developed by Operant Networks. DLedger records both individual customers’ solar energy production/consumption as well as all other noteworthy system events, such as certificate issuance and revocations. Compared to today’s centralized record keeping solutions, DLedger brings the benefits of information transparency and availability to both customers and the system vendor. Operant’s solar network uses the Named Data Networking (NDN) protocol, based on which DLedger controls the addition of new records using a lightweight Proof-of-Authentication (PoA). PoA leverages the properties of NDN where (i) every entity in the system possesses a name and a digital certificate, and (ii) they share the same trust anchor and thus can authenticate each other. DLedger further leverages NDN’s data-centric design to keep the ledger synchronized in a truly distributed and efficient manner.

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