Blockchain and distributed ledger technology

Blockchain enables us to keep tamper-proof data without relying on a centralised authority. Together with Surrey’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, we are leading the way in distributed ledger technology (DLT) research for the public good, with a broad portfolio of projects to enable greater trust online.


We play an integral part in Surrey Blockchain, an interdisciplinary research hub across the University of Surrey, backed by £3m UKRI/EPSRC investment, which focuses on fusing blockchain with artificial intelligence technologies. This research is bringing innovative solutions in areas such as digital records, healthcare and online trust and identity.


    CUREX (seCUre and pRivate hEalth data eXchange)

    The Health sector’s increasing dependence on digital information and communication infrastructures renders it vulnerable to threats to privacy and cybersecurity, especially as the theft of health data has become particularly lucrative for cyber criminals. At the same time, a breach of integrity of health data can have dramatic consequences for the patients affected.

    • Budget: €4,987,825
    • Funding: H2020
    • Centre lead: Dr Manos Panaousis
    • Co-investigator: Dr Kaitai Liang
    • Timeframe: Dec 2018 - Dec 2021.

    TAPESTRY (Trust, Authentication and Privacy over a DeCentralised Social Registry)

    TAPESTRY aims to investigate, develop and demonstrate new ways to enable people, businesses and services to connect safely online, exploiting the complex ‘tapestry’ of multi-modal signals woven by their everyday digital connections. Using a de-centralised registry, users will be able to share portions of their digital activity to prove they are trustworthy without giving away excessive information that violates their privacy.

    Our research in TAPESTRY focuses on the design of cryptographic protocols for securing collection, storage and authorised sharing and integrity verification of machine-learned data that is used as trust evidence for online interactions.

    VOLT (Voting On Ledger Technologies)

    The fact that many elections are still run using paper ballots demonstrates that, despite the convenience and efficiency of electronic elections, there are unresolved security challenges around voting systems that could be vulnerable to malicious attack.

    This VOLT project explores the use of DLTs to enhance trust in electronic voting by providing transparency and an agreed tamper- proof record of the election. We are developing and piloting end-to-end verifiability into online voting, and also applying smart contracts to the management of voting rights for shareholders in the corporate environment – particularly for crowdfunded businesses.

    • Budget: £615,000
    • Funding body: EPSRC
    • Centre lead: Professor Steve Schneider
    • Partners: Kings College London, Electoral Reform Services, Crowdcube, Monax Industries
    • Timeframe: 2017-2020.

    Blockchains for internet of things (B-IoT)

    The B-IoT project, was part of the PETRAS IoT Research Hub, and focused on enabling simple, reliable communications between Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) such as automated vehicles, between each other and with their surrounding infrastructure. The project demonstrated the potential of distributed ledgers such as blockchain as a method of security the integrity of these communication systems.

    Our specific role was the design and verification of decentralised and blockchain-enabled key and certificate management, and the design of a Pseudonym scheme and Pseudonym swap scheme with demonstrable benefits over existing methods, validated both by simulations and in a testbed involving ITS units called Cohda.

    Some of the project outcomes were published in IEEE journals such as:

    1. Blockchain-Based Dynamic Key Management for Heterogeneous Intelligent Transportation Systems.  Published in the IEEE Internet of Things Journal.
    2. Pseudonym Management Through Blockchain: Cost-Efficient Privacy Preservation on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Published in IEEE Open Access.
    3. Paper title: A blockchain based certificate revocation scheme for vehicular communication systems. Published in the Elsevier Next Generation Computer Systems Journal.
    • Budget: £75,000
    • Funding body: EPSRC and partner contributions
    • Centre lead: Dr Haitham Cruickshank
    • Partners: Ordnance Survey, Wallet Services, Pinsent Masons, Telefonica, CISCO, XAIN, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh.

    Boosting charitable donations

    Surrey is currently collaborating with companies Streeva and Creditcall on Swiftaid – an Innovate UK-funded project which is using DLT to enable Gift Aid to be automatically added on to any card donation made on banking apps. This could significantly increase the amount of money charities are able to collect.