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HOW BLOCKCHAIN CAN IMPROVE THE INTERNET OF THINGS

by Susan James
by Susan James

If you’ve ever wanted to discover the impact of blockchain on the internet of things, then you’re reading the right article.

That’s because you’re about to discover 5 major ways blockchain can have an impact on the internet of things.

And the good news is that the possibilities are fascinating though at first glance it might seem as though there might be a few connections between the two of them.

With that said, let's get started..

1. Decentralized registries

A centralized endpoint identity and discovery is one of the biggest hindrances to a fully distributed IoT devices.

If you have a small, private IoT deployment, a whitelist of endpoint keys can be used to configure peer-to-peer trust.

Also, based on proximity, devices can discover one another.

However, if you have larger deployments or public networks, this method would be efficient.

Currently, the DNS system is being used to solve this problem since it has proven to be effective for millions of internet nodes.

But the effectiveness of the DNS might be challenged when there would be billions of IoT nodes including those with irregular connectivity.

Another disadvantage of using DNS is that it makes use of a decentralized trust model depends on 13 root name servers compared with open blockchains and bitcoin which are decentralized technologies.

This makes it possible for devices to be registered directly which is in direct contrast to a centralized system where addresses are assigned based on some specific criteria.

The blockchain technology also provides adequate security because each registered identity can be directly linked to the device's public key.

Thus, the bootstrapping of communication becomes more secure and there is more trust in the general network.

2. Solve issues related to competition

Managing IoT devices will eventually become a very big task as more devices are deployed in it.

A device would need to check in with a centralized service to know that it has authority to continue its operation.

But this is a big challenge since many IoT devices are not always online and their connectivity to wider networks is not regular.

In fairness to them, they are not always online because they want to conserve battery.

Also, the constant switch of talents from one tech company to its competitor is also another major problem.

For example, when the team of Revolvhub devices was absorbed by Google nest.

When such talents are lost and there is no centralized server, then, it is highly likely that the product will no longer function efficiently.

But an IoT device powered by blockchain can help solve this problem by moving the identity of the device to an open network infrastructure from a private and centralized server.

3. Improvements in the aggregation of information

It is a proven fact that many IoT applications are used to gather bits of data from edge nodes.

Over time, this data is uploaded to a time-series database.

Thus, it will make perfect sense for many IoT applications to add this database to a blockchain-based ledger.

Bear in mind that due to scalability, cost, and privacy, such data will not be stored in the public Bitcoin blockchain.

A suitable alternative will be a private blockchain which is distributed to the rightful owners.

Examples of industry where blockchain can improve the aggregation of information obtained through IoT;

  • Transportation: the tracking of intermodal containers can be automated
  • Operation of an oil refinery:
  • Production amounts can be traced down to individual wellhead by taxation authorities. Thus, revenue is allocated accurately and with greater efficiency.
  • Rather than rely on false audits of a bulky paper trail, regulatory agencies can use assured data from instrumentation on site to determine compliance.
  • Safety records can be authenticated since insurance companies are now able to provide reduced rates.

Conclusion

There are important business and security benefits to be realized from the combination of blockchain and IoT regardless of the fact that there is hype around both technologies.

This guide serves as an introduction to the possibilities between these technologies in terms of applications in supply chain management, reduction of risk, and distributed energy production.

If you want to discover other areas where the combination of these two technologies will be deployed in the future, watch out for this space.

This article was originally published on @susan_james