“Blockchain needs IPv6” in the connected world

IPv6 will bring the world a safer and more connected internet. Bitcoin and IPv6 complement each other with similar transaction and packet header structures. The BSV blockchain is ideal for storing and managing data in the IPv6-enabled, all-connected world.

Exactly how this will happen was the topic of this week’s IEEE 5G/6G Cybersecurity Digital Trust Summit at Mohammed B University in Rabat, Morocco.

Speakers at the event included IPv6 Forum President, Professor Latif Ladid, nChain Licensing Chief Science Officer, Dr. Owen Vaughan, and Bharat IPv6 Forum Chair Dr. Satya Gupta. All emphasized the need for continued educational efforts and a determination to evolve the Internet into something more secure than the current model—using IPv6’s built-in security features and the time-stamped guarantees of blockchain transactions and recorded data.

“Generations” of Internet and Blockchain

Professor Ladid gave a brief overview of the “generations” that led to today’s Internet, from Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn’s original ARPAnet to the OSI Internet, IPv4/NAT Internet, which is still in widespread use today, and the new IPv6 Internet or “Global Internet”.

End-to-end communication and a proliferation of new devices on the Internet are creating a fully connected world composed of human users and IoT devices/sensors. The goal is to have an all-IPv6 Internet by 2025, and countries like France, Germany, India, and the United States have made strong strides toward that goal in recent years.

“IPv6 brings user experience from economy class to business class” (and NAT is baggage class), said Ladid.

Like the Internet, blockchain has seen several “generations” – the first was the decentralization of payments (money), the second was smart contracts and decentralization of markets, and the third brought entire smart cities, IoT, government and healthcare services, scientific research, and more art on a blockchain record secured with “digital keys.”

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Make payments and PKI more secure with Bitcoin

nChain’s Owen Vaughan presented more specific strategies for Bitcoin, noting that although three ledgers use this name, only the (perhaps less well-known) BSV offers the required unlimited scaling capacity and the ability to produce blocks of transactions in an energy-efficient manner.

“Bitcoin can only sustain itself through real-world use cases,” he said.

Bitcoin enables user-to-user payments using the more scalable BIP 270 method, where Bob and Alice (the parties to a transaction) first exchange data with each other and then send the transaction to the network, where it is processed and recorded forever in the chain. This way, there is no need for each party to monitor the network itself or keep complete blockchain records. As long as the validity of a transaction can be verified in the future, its data remains secure.

Vaughan went on to describe how blockchain can improve public key infrastructure (PKI). The model most commonly used today is based on certificates and certificate-issuing bodies. However, this presents several problems, including not always knowing when a certificate was issued, or having up-to-date information on whether a particular certificate has been revoked.

Blockchain can keep these records up to date and auditing processes can be automated. Revoking a certificate would be as simple as sending a transaction, and instant notifications could be provided to those who rely on the certificates. The blockchain also works as an independent timestamp, is more private and scalable, and allows for more versatile certificates, such as B. time-limited certificates or one-time access tokens.

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Answering a question from the audience about the possibility of malicious miners, Vaughan also mentioned the economic incentives behind running a large-scale Proof-of-Work (PoW) transaction processing (mining) operation, which would give them more accountability, and more specifically more than Proof-of-Stake (PoS) gave ) networks that are more vulnerable to tampering, since large “stakes” can be moved between unknown controllers.

India alone requires more than 10 billion unique IP addresses

dr Satya Gupta presented from his native India, where he said IPv6 would finally mean a “ubiquitous internet” that is open, agile, secure, trusted, accountable… and future-proof. This is necessary in the “new normal” world, where employees often need to work from a home network with the same security and multi-device capabilities of their office network.

NAT (Network Address Translation) is absent from IPv6 and is no longer required thanks to the massive proliferation of IPv6 unique IP addresses. Each device can have its own IP address, making it more visible and enabling a true “Internet of Things” (IoT) as everything from devices to simple sensors can have its own unique place in the network. Blockchain-based CGAs (cryptographically generated addresses) also prevent “spoofing” and “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

He referred to IPv6 and the blockchain architecture as “layers in the Internet of Value” and commended India for its initiatives and progress in raising awareness and deploying IPv6 nationwide. Ongoing collaboration between stakeholders such as the IPv6 Forum, ISPs, universities/research labs and business and government stakeholders. India has been at the forefront of IPv6 deployment out of necessity, he said: if 1 billion people have 10 devices each, 10 billion IP addresses are needed (with IoT needing billions more).

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As the worldwide network scales, it needs a scalable ledger to record all of its data. The BSV blockchain is the only one capable of this feat, with the potential to process trillions of transactions per day, with everything being time-stamped and recorded for verification at any point in time.

nChain is calling for research papers addressing the growing field of blockchain and artificial deal with intelligence (AI). The deadline for entries is March 15, 2023.

Check out why IPv6 is an important research program for nChain

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