Blockchain for Mobile Edge Computing: Consensus Mechanisms and Scalability

Jorge Peña Queralta and Tomi Westerlund

Mobile edge computing (MEC) and next-generation mobile networks are set to disrupt the way intelligent and autonomous systems are interconnected. This will have an effect on a wide range of domains, from the Internet of Things to autonomous mobile robots. The integration of such a variety of MEC services in a inherently distributed architecture requires a robust system for managing hardware resources, balancing the network load and securing the distributed applications. Blockchain technology has emerged a solution for managing MEC services, with consensus protocols and data integrity checks that enable transparent and efficient distributed decision-making. In addition to transparency, the benefits from a security point of view are evident. Nonetheless, blockchain technology faces significant challenges in terms of scalability. In this chapter, we review existing consensus protocols and scalability techniques in both well-established and next-generation blockchain architectures. From this, we evaluate the most suitable solutions for managing MEC services and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the available alternatives.