A Blockchain-Based Human-to-Infrastructure Contact Tracing Approach for COVID-19

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


In a post-pandemic era with personal precautions and vaccination, the emergence of COVID-19 variants with higher transmissibility and the socio-economic reopening have raised new challenges to existing human-to-human digital contact tracing systems, where privacy, efficiency, and energy-consumption issues are major concerns. In this article, we propose a novel blockchain-based human-to-infrastructure contact tracing framework for the post-pandemic era. Specifically, our approach collects and records the interaction information between persons and predeployed anchor nodes to trace the possible contacts with confirmed patients, so as to capture the indirect contacts and reduces the energy consumption of users. To address the privacy leakage and reliability issues in contact tracing, we introduce a self-sovereign identity (SSI) model-based blockchain which enables users to gain full control of their own identities and eliminate the linkage between the identity and location information in interaction records. To further preserve the privacy of confirmed patients, we introduce the private set intersection cardinality (PSI-CA) protocol to estimate the risk of infection by only counting the number of encounters between users and confirmed patients. Two self-executed smart contracts are deployed on the SSI blockchain to perform contact tracing, which guarantees the robustness of the system. The performance analysis validates the effectiveness of our approach.

Publication Title

IEEE Internet of Things Journal