Privacy Preservation in Permissionless Blockchain: A Survey

Li Peng, Wei Feng, Zheng Yan*, Yafeng Li, Xiaokang Zhou, Shohei Shimizu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Permissionless blockchain, as a kind of distributed ledger, has gained considerable attention because of its openness, transparency, decentralization, and immutability. Currently, permissionless blockchain has shown a good application prospect in many fields, from the initial cryptocurrency to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networking (VANET), which is considered as the beginning of rewriting our digital infrastructure. However, blockchain confronts some privacy risks that hinder its practical applications. Though numerous surveys reviewed the privacy preservation in blockchain, they failed to reveal the latest advances, nor have they been able to conduct a unified standard comprehensive classification of the privacy protection of permissionless blockchain. Therefore, in this paper, we analyze the specific characteristics of permissionless blockchain, summarize the potential privacy threats, and investigate the unique privacy requirements of blockchain. Existing privacy preservation technologies are carefully surveyed and evaluated based on our proposed evaluation criteria. We finally figure out open research issues as well as future research directions from the perspective of privacy issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalDigital Communications and Networks
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Anonymity
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Privacy


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