Understanding and designing for trust in Bitcoin Blockchain

Khairuddin, Irni and Sas, Corina (2019) Understanding and designing for trust in Bitcoin Blockchain. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has created a new revolution in peer-to-peer technology. Built upon decentralised technology known as Blockchain, it supports transparent, fast, cost-effective and irreversible transactions, without the need for trusting the third-party financial institution. The privacy of Bitcoin users is protected, by the pseudoanonymous transaction. At present, Bitcoin holds the largest market share in cryptocurrency and the Blockchain technology had captured the interest of multi-corporations, such as Microsoft, Dell, and T-Mobile. However, Bitcoins have no legal tender in most and it is even worse with the illicit use by the irresponsible people and the cyber-attacks towards the application. Hence, these are the primary motivation of this Ph.D. work, to explore the trust between people and Bitcoin technology as well as identify the opportunities to design for the trust challenges. This thesis investigates the challenges and design works with 80 Bitcoin stakeholders such as users, miners, Blockchain experts and novices in six different but interrelated studies. The first and second studies report in-depth preliminary studies with 20 Bitcoin users and 20 miners to identify the trust challenges in people’s daily practices in using Bitcoin. Based on the findings, users’ risk related to dishonest partner in peer-to-peer Bitcoins transactions is the highlighted trust challenges to be addressed in this thesis. With a strong understanding of Bitcoin mining process, a physical Blockchain design kit, namely BlocKit was developed based on the embodied cognition theories and material centred design. This BlocKit was evaluated by 15 Bitcoin Blockchain’s experienced users and one of the important outcomes proposed the principles to design for trust application in peer-to-peer Bitcoins transactions. Later the algorithms of trust for Bitcoin application were developed based on the suggested principles and were validated by 10 Bitcoin Blockchain’s experienced users. Finally, based on the designed algorithms as well as a newly identified heuristic evaluation for trust, a mock-up prototype of Bitcoin wallet application namely, BitXFps was developed and the interface was evaluated for trust by 15 Bitcoin Blockchain’s experienced users.

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Thesis (PhD)
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04 Sep 2019 08:00
Last Modified:
30 Apr 2024 00:27