Could Block Chain Technology Help Resolve the Cloud Forensic Problem?

Bob Duncan, Yuan Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


Many cloud users are blindly heading into a potentially devastating regulatory disaster zone. Given the shortcomings of the cloud due to the cloud forensic problem, this is likely to mean many cloud users will be unable to be compliant with the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation when it comes into effect on 25th May, 2018. We consider the possible use of a crypto-currency based mechanism to address the as yet unsolved cloud forensic problem. Crypto-currencies are becoming a global phenomenon, and gaining more attention from media, venture capitalists, financial and government institutions. We focus on the operational risk and the market risk related to cryptocurrencies, especially the dominating Bitcoin. The operational risk encompasses the actions that undermine the technological infrastructure and security assumptions of crypto-currencies. We discuss how the implementation of block chain technology could improve the efficiency of financial infrastructure, as well as the inevitable vulnerabilities of operational risk of software, open-source governance, and code maintenance. The market risk associated with crypto-currencies denotes the fluctuation in the exchange rate between crypto-currency and other currencies or financial asset classes. We summarise the literature findings on the co-movement of crypto-currencies with different currencies, indices, and commodities, to show the role of crypto-currency as a commodity, currency, or a speculative investment under portfolio diversification theory. In the light of the robustness of this approach, we consider whether the underlying block chain technology could, in turn, be practically applied to addressing the cloud forensic problem. This paper looks at the pros and cons of the blockchain/bitcoin approach, the potential benefits offered versus the additional resource costs involved, the increased latency necessarily introduced and considers whether there is any mileage in using such an approach to secure cloud forensic trails.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ninth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization
EditorsBob Duncan, Yong Woo Lee, Aspen Olmsted
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-61208-607-1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018
EventThe Ninth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization - Barcelon, Spain
Duration: 18 Feb 201822 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameCloud Computing 2018
ISSN (Print)2308-4294


ConferenceThe Ninth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization


  • Cloud Forensic Problem
  • GDPR
  • Blockchain/bitcoin technology


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