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HRM smart contracts on the blockchain: emulated vs native

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Abstract

In the past years numerous scandals in hiring processes of public institutions revealed significant weaknesses of the existing process. This lead to a lose of trust of citizens and applicants in these processes. Besides that, even honest processes often lack transparency for applicants, the company and, in the case of public institutions, also for citizens. Distributed ledger technology has been used in numerous past projects to establish trust between entities. Especially smart contracts have been a useful tool to execute programs in this setting. Thus, in the context of this project we developed an approach based on smart contracts to decentralize this process and improve its transparency and reliability. We enhance the system with game theory mechanics to encourage reviewers and candidates to participate honestly, further increasing the likelihood of a fair selection process. Nonetheless, not all blockchains support smart contracts and their usage comes with an elevated additional monetary cost. Due to that, in the blockchain environment, many businesses only emulate smart contracts by executing them on external servers which improves the scalability but decreases the decentralization. In the context of this, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of emulating smart contracts compared to native smart contracts in our concrete usage example. Our approach, compared to existing solutions, can be employed on any distributed ledger which allows to store some sort of metadata on the chain resulting in a significantly lower creation and maintenance cost (up to 30 times cheaper). The developed solution and discussion gives useful insight into safety and cost considerations which have to be made when deciding between native and emulated smart contracts.

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Notes

  1. Selfish mining describes an attack scenario where an attacker forks a blockchain deliberately and continues mining on its own fork until it has the longer queue of blocks and then imposes its own view of the ledger on the remaining consensus replicas.

  2. Gas represents the execution cost of an operation on the Ethereum blockchain. This cost of Gas is fixed for each type of operation depending on the resource usage.

  3. All values in this context are given in US dollar and converted either from Ethereum with a conversion rate from 1:266 or from Brazilian Real with 1:0.26920.

  4. Where Steem is the name of the platform (blockchain) STEEM its cryptocurrency and STEEM POWER (SP) the staked form of STEEM.

  5. https://steemd.com for @hrm-user and @hrm-institution

  6. https://www.heroku.com/pricing

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Correspondence to Ray Neiheiser.

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Neiheiser, R., Inácio, G., Rech, L. et al. HRM smart contracts on the blockchain: emulated vs native. Cluster Comput 23, 2105–2122 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10586-020-03063-9

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