Blockchain applications in smart homes

Won’t you like a smart coffee maker that prepares the perfect coffee for you as soon as you wake up or a microwave that can differentiate between a perfectly cooked pizza from a burnt pizza or a smart air conditioner that can send a maintenance service request on its own in case it breaks down. All of this sounds exciting, right? Many of you might assume it to be a thing of the future, but this technology — the Internet of things or IoT — has arrived and is staring right in our faces. It is just a matter of some more time before it gets adopted on a mass level.

Smart homes or IoT-enabled homes, where smart devices can talk to each other, are soon going to take over our traditional homes. It is estimated that by 2022, each American will have 50 devices connected to wi-fi. So a safe, flexible and robust method must be explored to make IoT more user-friendly and reliable for the owners of these future smart homes. There will be many situations in these super-connected homes where you will want to give limited access instead of complete access of your home to the other party. For example, when you hire a pet sitter for paying a half an hour visit to feed and look after your dog. In such a situation, you would want him to access your lobby only and not the entire house.

In today’s IoT-enabled smart homes, this pinpoint access is not feasible. We can give complete access of our home to the sitter through our mobile app, but we can’t choose what devices or services he can access and what devices and services should be kept off-limits for him.

Blockchain-The solution

But with blockchain technology, this is feasible. A blockchain-powered smart home will give the user more power and flexibility. After implementing this technology, the user will be able to easily grant and revoke access to any of the smart devices in his home. He can take a decision on the accessibility of each IoT device separately. He can further decide the duration for which a third party can access each individual device.

Because of the decentralized property of the Blockchain, the accessibility to these devices can be granted or revoked dynamically from anywhere on the globe safely and securely. IoT represents a technological advancement where multiple small devices, RFID tags, sensors are interlinked and connected via a common communication medium. Often different wireless communication protocols are used by these IoT devices to interact with each other, thus making them vulnerable to hacking.

This vulnerability of these devices results in serious security and privacy breach challenges. These challenges can be classified under these major five headings:

1. Network Security

2. Identity Management

3. Trust

4. Privacy

5. Resilience

These security issues are a big pain point for the IoT devices but with the implementation of Blockchain, these issues can be mitigated, and the IoT networks can be made more secure, reliable, and robust.


The first important issue that Blockchain mitigates is trust. Each device on the IoT network is given a unique Device ID, created through a smart contract. Similarly, each user on the network is assigned a unique User ID. A user can revoke or grant access to every IoT device separately based on his requirements.

With Blockchain and smart contracts, all data exchanged by the individual devices on the network are recorded as transactions on the shared ledger.

For better clarity, let us understand it through a real-life scenario, Jaime got a new thermostat for his smart home. When the device is added to the network — the device is given a unique ID, say TH1. His cousin Jane visits his home for the weekend, but Jaime has to leave for a colleague’s party. He gives access of the thermostat to his cousin so that she can feel comfortable in his absence. As soon as Jane is granted access to the thermostat, a unique user ID, say C1, will be generated for her. All her interactions with the thermostat will be recorded on the ledger as immutable transactions.

Network Security

The second critical issue that Blockchain mitigates is network security. The software of any IoT device is the most crucial component that supports its functioning. Once a specific device is installed in the IoT network, its software needs to be updated with time to address the identified issues or to further add new functionalities. For a better understanding, you can compare this with the updates that your mobile apps get to fix the latest identified issues or add new functionalities. These upgrades in the IoT devices are not secure and are prone to hacking which can result in a compromised network. Any hacker can use this lacuna in the security to introduce a harmful update instead of the manufacturer’s proposed update, thus leading to a serious security breach.

But with the implementation of the Blockchain, the whole network can be made secure and robust. It is much easier to validate the authenticity of the software update once Blockchain is introduced into the network. Blockchain can further ensure that all the devices on the network are updated and are using the latest software version released by the manufacturer.

Identity Management

The third critical issue that Blockchain mitigates is Identity Management. Every device on the IoT network is authenticated for satisfying its identity management requirement.

Only trusted devices are added to the network during the authentication process, and unsecured or unauthorized devices are rejected. However, current IoT systems don’t have a foolproof mechanism to enforce these measures. But with the implementation of smart contracts, this can be made foolproof and much more robust.


The fourth critical issue that Blockchain mitigates is Privacy. IoT devices in the smart home network generally capture sensitive and very personal data of the users. Therefore permission handling process is a must-have requirement in the network. In such a scenario, whenever a third-party entity tries to exchange data with any of the devices in the smart home network, the user is required to authorize this exchange. This exchange can either be Approved or Rejected by the user using a smart contract.

The user can even define a time limit for the data exchange, after which the data exchange status will be changed. Let us take a scenario to understand it in a better way: Jaime has a lovely dog named Miller. He knows that he will be late from work today. Therefore he hires Smith, a pet sitter, for Miller’s evening walk. In addition, he gives Smith a digital key to his house, and that too is only for today, to avoid any unwanted accident. This time-bound access can only be granted with the implementation of Blockchain, which is not possible otherwise.


The fifth critical issue that Blockchain mitigates is Resilience. Resilience into the system is built through the detection and mitigation of unauthorized access and intrusion. For this purpose, a private blockchain network can be used where network access to any unauthorized user will be prohibited. Thus, keeping the network robust and resilient.

If you liked this article and want to know more about Blockchain, NFTs, Metaverse, and their applications, click the below link.

Happy learning!



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