TinyEVM: Off-Chain Smart Contracts on Low-Power IoT Devices
Paper in proceedings, 2020

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), billions of devices ranging from simple sensors to smart-phones will participate in billions of micropayments. However, current centralized solutions are unable to handle a massive number of micropayments from untrusted devices.

Blockchains are promising technologies suitable for solving some of these challenges.
Particularly, permissionless blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin have drawn the attention of the research community.
However, the increasingly large-scale deployments of blockchain reveal some of their scalability limitations. Prominent proposals to scale the payment system include off-chain protocols such as payment channels. However, the leading proposals assume powerful nodes with an always-on connection and frequent synchronization. These assumptions require in practice significant communication, memory, and computation capacity, whereas IoT devices face substantial constraints in these areas. Existing approaches also do not capture the logic and process of IoT, where applications need to process locally collected sensor data to allow for full use of IoT micro-payments.

In this paper, we present TinyEVM, a novel system to generate and execute off-chain smart contracts based on sensor data.
TinyEVM's goal is to enable IoT devices to perform micro-payments and, at the same time, address the device constraints.
We investigate the trade-offs of executing smart contracts on low-power IoT devices using TinyEVM.
We test our system with 7,000 publicly verified smart contracts, where TinyEVM achieves to deploy 93 % of them without any modification.
Finally, we evaluate the execution of off-chain smart contracts in terms of run-time performance, energy, and memory requirements on IoT devices.
Notably, we find that low-power devices can deploy a smart contract in 215 ms on average, and they can complete an off-chain payment in 584 ms on average.

Off-chain

Blockchain

Smart Contracts

Ethereum

Payment Channels

Internet of Things

Author

Christos Profentzas

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Magnus Almgren

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Olaf Landsiedel

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

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Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories

Embedded Systems

Computer Systems

Related datasets

TinyEVM: Off-Chain Smart Contracts on Low-Power IoT [dataset]

More information

Latest update

7/13/2020