Tweetchain: An Alternative to Blockchain for Crowd-Based Applications

  • Francesco BuccafurriEmail author
  • Gianluca Lax
  • Serena Nicolazzo
  • Antonino Nocera
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10360)


The assurance of information in the crowdsourcing domain cannot be committed to a single party, but should be distributed over the crowd. Blockchain is an infrastructure allowing this, because transactions are broadcast to the entire community and verified by miners. A node (or a coalition of nodes) with high computational power can play the role of miner to verify and approve transactions by computing the proof of work. Miners follows a highest-fee-first-served policy, so that a provider of a Blockchain-based application has to pay a non-negligible fee per transaction, to increase the likelihood that the application proceeds. This makes Blockchain not suitable for small-value transactions often occurring in the crowdsourcing paradigm. To overcome this drawback, in this paper we propose an alternative to Blockchain, leveraging an online social network (we choose Twitter to provide a proof of concept). Our protocol works by building a meshed chain of public posts to ensure transaction security instead of proof of work, and no trustworthiness assumption is required for the social network provider.


Crowdsourcing Blockchain Twitter Public ledger 



This work has been partially supported by the Program “Programma Operativo Nazionale Ricerca e Competitività” 2007–2013, Distretto Tecnologico CyberSecurity funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.


  1. 1.
    Bahack, L.: Theoretical bitcoin attacks with less than half of the computational power (draft) (2013). arXiv preprint: arXiv:1312.7013
  2. 2.
    Buccafurri, F., Lax, G., Nicolazzo, S., Nocera, A.: A model to support design and development of multiple-social-network applications. Inf. Sci. 331, 99–119 (2016)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Buccafurri, F., Lax, G., Nocera, A., Ursino, D.: A system for extracting structural information from social network accounts. Softw. Pract. Exp. 45(9), 1251–1275 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cramer, R., Gennaro, R., Schoenmakers, B.: A secure and optimally efficient multi-authority election scheme. Eur. Trans. Telecommun. 8(5), 481–490 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Faye, Y., Niang, I., Noel, T.: A survey of access control schemes in wireless sensor networks. Proc. World Acad. Sci. Eng. Tech. 59, 814–823 (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ron, D., Shamir, A.: Quantitative analysis of the full bitcoin transaction graph. In: Sadeghi, A.-R. (ed.) FC 2013. LNCS, vol. 7859, pp. 6–24. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-39884-1_2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shultz, B.L., Bayer, D.: Certification of witness: mitigating blockchain fork attacks (2015)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Swan, M.: Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy. O’Reilly Media, Inc., Sebastopol (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Swanson, T.: Consensus-as-a-service: a brief report on the emergence of permissioned, distributed ledger systems (2015)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vasek, M., Thornton, M., Moore, T.: Empirical analysis of denial-of-service attacks in the bitcoin ecosystem. In: Böhme, R., Brenner, M., Moore, T., Smith, M. (eds.) FC 2014. LNCS, vol. 8438, pp. 57–71. Springer, Heidelberg (2014). doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-44774-1_5 Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zwierko, A., Kotulski, Z.: A light-weight e-voting system with distributed trust. Electron. Notes Theor. Comput. Sci. 168, 109–126 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Buccafurri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gianluca Lax
    • 1
  • Serena Nicolazzo
    • 1
  • Antonino Nocera
    • 1
  1. 1.DIIES, University Mediterranea of Reggio CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly

Personalised recommendations