A survey on privacy protection in blockchain system

Qi Feng, Debiao He, Sherali Zeadally, Muhammad Khurram Khan, Neeraj Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

491 Scopus citations


Blockchain, as a decentralized and distributed public ledger technology in peer-to-peer network, has received considerable attention recently. It applies a linked block structure to verify and store data, and applies the trusted consensus mechanism to synchronize changes in data, which makes it possible to create a tamper-proof digital platform for storing and sharing data. It is believed that blockchain can be utilized in diverse Internet interactive systems (e.g., Internet of Things, supply chain systems, identity management, and so on). However, there are some privacy challenges that may hinder the applications of blockchain. The goal of this survey is to provide some insights into the privacy issues associated with blockchain. We analyze the privacy threats in blockchain and discuss existing cryptographic defense mechanisms, i.e., anonymity and transaction privacy preservation. Furthermore, we summarize some typical implementations of privacy preservation mechanisms in blockchain and explore future research challenges that still need to be addressed in order to preserve privacy when blockchain is used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Network and Computer Applications
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2017YFB0802500 , in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61501333 , Grant 61572379 , Grant 61472287 , and Grant 61772377 , and in part by the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province of China under Grant 2017CFA007 and Grant 2015CFA068 . We thank the anonymous reviewers for the valuable comments and suggestions which helped us improve the content, organization, and presentation of this paper.

Funding Information:
Neeraj Kumar received his Ph.D. in CSE from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, India in 2009. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Thapar University, Patiala, India. He has guidedmany students leading to M.E. and Ph.D. He has more than 200 technical research papers in leading journals such as IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL INFORMATICS, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON DEPENDABLE AND SECURE COMPUTING, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER SYSTEMS, IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, IEEE Transaction on Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, IEEE SYSTEMS JOURNAL, IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, the IEEE Network Magazine, and conferences including IEEE ICC, IEEE Globecom etc. His research is supported by Department of Science and Technology, Tata Consultancy Services, and University Grants Commission. His research interests include mobile computing, parallel/distributed computing, multiagent systems, service oriented computing, routing, and security issues in mobile ad hoc, sensor, and mesh networks. He is associate editor of JNCA, Elsevier, IJCS, Wiley and Security and Privacy, Wiley.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anonymity
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Cryptography
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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