Blockchain & Internet of Things (IoT)
Going over how blockchain technology can be applied to further develop the internet of things
We’ve said it time and time again and will continue to do so: blockchain technology has the potential to significantly revolutionize the way a lot of things work, including internet connectivity. As the world continues to innovate and globalize, connectivity has never been easier and we are starting to see more and more things have the ability to connect to the internet. So what would happen if we introduced the capabilities of blockchain technology to the equation? Well, let’s go over that and more, as we discuss how blockchain can be applied to further develop the internet of things.
This is not financial investment advice.
This article will touch upon key aspects of how blockchain technology can impact connectivity through internet of things.
At the current rate that society is evolving, it’s not weird to discuss the potential implementation of blockchain when it comes to connectivity and internet of things. For those of you who may be wondering what IoT — “The Internet of things” — refers to, it actually isn’t complicated at all. IoT refers to the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet — and sometimes to each other. This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, and almost anything else you can think of.
The communication between these devices with each other and the internet can be facilitated through blockchain technology. The distributed ledger technology allows for a list of interactions between the devices and the internet. This way, we can keep track of not only which devices interact with each other and the internet, but also what is being done through each interaction. Blockchain is designed as a basis for applications that involve transactions and interactions, so you can see why and how this might help when it comes to IoT.
One of the ways in which blockchain can actually improve connectivity and IoT is through the utilization of smart contracts. These smart contracts are automatically carried out when a specific condition is met. For example, it could be regarding the conditions of goods, environmental conditions, or any other smart application that supports specific Internet of Things processes. This way, blockchain technology can not only just improve the compliance in the IoT but also its features and cost-efficiency as well.
Blockchain has a role in improving connectivity through IoT. The distributed ledger system allows one to track which devices are connected and what is done through each interaction.
Blockchain & IoT
Blockchain technology solves many issues when it comes to enabling peer-to-peer contractual behavior without any third party to “certify” the IoT transaction. Some of the biggest issues include scalability, threat of single point failure, time stamping, and securing transactions. This is where blockchain technology comes into play, essentially solving each on these issues in a rather consistent way.
So how would it actually work then? Well, blockchain technology could be utilized to basically provide a simple infrastructure for two devices to directly transfer a piece of property — such as money or data — between one another. On top of that, it would all be done with a secured and reliable time-stamped contractual handshake. If we wanted to take it one step further, smart contracts could be leveraged by IoT devices to enable message exchanges between the two parties.
This feature enables the autonomous functioning of smart devices without the need for an actual centralized authority, which is what you usually hear when blockchain is being applied to something. If you then extend this peer-to-peer transaction to human-to-human or human-to-objects, you end up with a fully distributed trustworthy digital infrastructure capable of connecting, transacting, and interacting with each other.
IoT devices can leverage smart contracts to interact with each other and connect to the internet. This way, there’s no need for an actual central authority to verify each interaction or transaction between the two parties.
Future Use Cases
In addition to using blockchain to improve connectivity between IoT devices, there are also several other use cases which could be explored in the future. The first potential use case of integrating blockchain into IoT devices is security. Especially as of late, security issues have been plaguing both the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, since hackers usually look for holes within a company’s infrastructure.
Furthermore, the recent emergence of hype surrounding data science has led to the exploration of blockchain-based IoT devices in the analysis of the information which they receive. There are a ton of companies who are essentially revolving around data. Specifically, they are seeking to make it interoperable and leverage it for immediate purposes. As such, broader ecosystems whereby data exchanges are utilized are also looked at in an IoT data perspective and beyond.
IoT and blockchain can be used to increase security infrastructure for large companies. Additionally, they can be used for the extraction and analysis of data.
In today’s society, internet access and general connectivity have never been more apparent or important. Anyone with a laptop or computer should have access to the internet, but now that can be expanded even more, which is where the topic of the internet of things comes into play. How can we increase internet connectivity between everyday devices and other popular objects without sacrificing security, scalability, or accessibility? Of course, blockchain once again can be applied to help out in this situation, especially when it comes to increasing the efficiency and productivity of digital infrastructures.
How else do you think that blockchain can improve IoT?
Let us know why in the comments!