Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Originally Published In

IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials

Embargo Period





This article surveys blockchain-based approaches for several security services. These services include authentication, confidentiality, privacy and access control list (ACL), data and resource provenance, and integrity assurance. All these services are critical for the current distributed applications, especially due to the large amount of data being processed over the networks and the use of cloud computing. Authentication ensures that the user is who he/she claims to be. Confidentiality guarantees that data cannot be read by unauthorized users. Privacy provides the users the ability to control who can access their data. Provenance allows an efficient tracking of the data and resources along with their ownership and utilization over the network. Integrity helps in verifying that the data has not been modified or altered. These services are currently managed by centralized controllers, for example, a certificate authority. Therefore, the services are prone to attacks on the centralized controller. On the other hand, blockchain is a secured and distributed ledger that can help resolve many of the problems with centralization. The objectives of this paper are to give insights on the use of security services for current applications, to highlight the state of the art techniques that are currently used to provide these services, to describe their challenges, and to discuss how the blockchain technology can resolve these challenges. Further, several blockchain-based approaches providing such security services are compared thoroughly. Challenges associated with using blockchain-based security services are also discussed to spur further research in this area.