Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




There is a trend toward decentralized systems, but these systems are developed without conducting enough software tests. Also, the performance, scalability, and sustainability of the decentralized systems are not taken into account. One of the reasons is the time-consuming testing process. The other is the hardware requirements and the complexity of the software installations of the testing environment. Developer communities need stable and secure research networks to test and develop prototypes before releasing the working versions. Cloud-based blockchain test networks are available, but it allows using a specific framework. Also, users are required to learn how to use each framework. Blockchain test networks use public ledgers, and this is also not preferable in many project implementations because of privacy reasons. Testbeds are inflexible and unrealistic in terms of scalability and performance. There is a need for a physical test network to create a realistic test environment. This study aims to form a sustainable and scalable research environment where decentralized technologies are researched and developed. The method of this study will include three stages to create a decentralized research network. The first stage is to develop the decentralized foundation of the network by using the Quorum blockchain framework and RAFT consensus protocol. Node requirements are simplified to run on low-cost devices. The second stage will be to develop a web-based platform to serve as an efficient way for the developers to deploy smart contracts easily. The final stage will be ensuring the sustainability of the system. Usage policy is formed that includes management of the network, the system usage rules, and regulations. A decentralized governance model is proposed. Smart contracts are developed to manage and ensure the sustainability of the research network. The available test tools were not sufficient and not flexible to use in this system, so a new test tool was developed for this project. The new test tool will verify the research environment with scalability, latency, and performance tests. As a result, the "Decentralized Solutions for Humanity" (DS4H) research network is deployed in four different regions of Turkey. This network is tested with four initial nodes. New nodes are to be added worldwide. The developed tools named Chainex, GoHammer, and Scanner are shared as open-source. Future works will include adding multiple blockchain network support, working on consensus protocols and new decentralized services. Finally, the DS4H research network provides a test and development research environment for blockchain projects with sustainable and low-cost maintenance.

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