Author : Kate, Australia
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been much lauded about these days. With the ability to remotely connect devices embedded with some form of connectivity, efficiency and reduction in human interventions can be achieved. An example albeit a scary one would be in the 2016 movie called I.T. starring Pierce Brosnan who is well known for his James Bond films. In the movie, Pierce lives in an envy inducing smart home with almost everything including lights, camera, and sound systems all remotely connected but things turned upside down when a hacker invaded their smart home system. Noise suddenly blared out from the sound system giving them a fright and members of the family were secretly videoed at home without their knowledge.
By 2020, more than 20 billion IoT devices are expected and blockchain can be the missing gap here. Known for the ability to administrate decentralized smart contracts, data integrity can be achieved through a distributed ledger that prevents tampering. It is essential to solve the issue of security and trust when it comes to IoT especially with the majority of usage is being concentrated in healthcare and manufacturing. The integrity of the data gathered is essential for democratized IoT activities and the blockchain system fits perfectly here by not allowing records to be altered nor deleted.
The chart below shows the solutions blockchain can delivery for IoT applications: –
|IoT Applications||Blockchain Solution|
|Linked devices can have automated payment authorization to purchase products and/or services.||The smart contract enabled by blockchain can execute payments when conditions are met for e.g. upon delivery of products and/or services.|
|Linked devices can share data in order to work together.||Blockchain improves the security of the vast data shared by linked devices, which oftentimes includes sensitive and intimate details.|
|Devices are linked via multiple networks and data passes through many points of contact in the supply chain.||Blockchain can ensure the accountability of the records as it can be tracked and analyzed back to any possible suspicious activities.|
|Data are transferred between linked devices without human interventions.||The distributed ledger and encryption ensures the integrity of data, as humans cannot overwrite the records unless with private keys.|
The proliferation of IoT is here to stay and can already be seen in smart homes as mentioned earlier with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home being quickly adopted by consumers. Wearable watches like Apple Watch and FitBit are another good example of IoT that tracks the number of steps being taken and the number of calories burned while wirelessly syncing with other devices. Cars now comes with Internet access and connectivity such as BMW’s Connected Drive and smart cities like Tallinn and Barcelona connects various devices around its environment to solve issues like crime and traffic congestions.
IoT and blockchain technology will continue to collaborate side by side to fuel these changes in our everyday lives. Trust and security issues are central in the development of this architecture. According to a GrowthEnabler & MarketsandMarkets analysis, growth is projected in the worldwide IoT demand from $157B in 2017 to $457B by 2020.