Blockchain-based chain of custody: Towards real-time tamper-proof evidence management

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Source of Publication

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Publication Date



© 2020 ACM. Evidence is a tangible demonstrative artifact that proves a fact and shapes the investigation of various misconduct cases involving for instance corruption, misbehavior, or violation. It is imperative to maintain proper evidence management to guarantee the admissibility of an evidence in a court of law. Chain of custody forms the forensic link of evidence sequence of control, transfer, and analysis to preserve evidence's integrity and to prevent its contamination. Blockchain, a distributed tamper-resistant ledger can be leveraged to offer a decentralized secure digital evidence system. In this paper, we propose a secure chain of custody framework by utilizing the blockchain technology to store evidence metadata while the evidence is stored in a reliable storage medium. The framework is built on top of a private Ethereum blockchain to document every transmission from the moment the evidence is seized, thus ensuring that evidence can only be accessed or possessed by authorized parties. The framework is integrated with the digital evidence system where evidence is physically stored and locked using smart locks. To secure the sequence of evidence submission and retrieval, only an authorized party can possess the key to unlock the evidence. Our proposed framework offers a secure solution that maintains evidence integrity and admissibility among multiple stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and forensic professionals. The research findings shed light on hidden opportunities for the efficient usage of blockchain in other realms beyond finance and cryptocurrencies.




Association for Computing Machinery


Computer Sciences


Blockchain, Chain of custody, Digital forensics, Distributed ledger, Security and privacy

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access