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Internet of things is growing at a rapid speed, network of physical devices are growing everywhere. With the number of IoT devices increasing 31% year over year, it is supposed there were around 8.4 billion IoT devices in the world in the year 2017 and it is supposed to increase at an every faster pace. In the last two decades, more than six billion devices have come online. All those connected "things" generate more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. But a widespread adoption of IoT applications has been somewhat slow mainly due to high deployment failure rates as well as security and data privacy concerns.
A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as 'completed' blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order; it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping.
It is no secret then, that when it comes to leveraging blockchain technology and Internet of Things together, the main use cases, naturally, revolve around security enhancements.
Security, privacy, and identity protection remain major concerns for the IoT ecosystem as IoT deployments expose huge amounts of personal data online, thus, posing a number of security threats to users, supply chain partners, and the community. To help solve these security and trust challenges, blockchain is being leveraged to bring scalability, decentralized security and trust less environment to IoT devices, platforms, and applications.
Blockchain and the cryptographic processes behind it could enhance IoT systems with innate security and automated resource optimizations. Blockchain technology can reduce the risks of IoT devices to be compromised as they would no longer be the single point of failure. Because of its decentralized nature, a security system based on distributed ledger technology should be more robust than a centralized one. Additionally, blockchain strong protection against data tampering and hacking would help prevent a compromised device from disrupting their ecosystem such as a home, smart car, transportation or healthcare system by sending misleading information.
Secure data exchange
Applying the blockchain model to IoT could provide a simple infrastructure for two devices to directly transfer digital assets or transaction data between one another with a secured and reliable time-stamped contractual agreement. Rather than going through a third party entity to establish trust, IoT sensors can exchange data automatically via smart contracts.
Blockchain shows promise for easing that burden. The technology not only enhances secure communication between IoT devices, it can also strengthen privacy agreements for companies.
Distributed ledgers could also offer an ideal, decentralized storage to host all kinds of data generated by Internet-connected devices. Such data when utilized effectively can help with energy consumption analysis, commercial advertising, product development, and city planning. For instance, when an IoT device like a refrigerator gets connected to an IOT-enabled blockchain system, the device automatically monitors itself and requests services as needed. These devices collect a large set of data such as energy consumption and consumer behaviour which can then be traded on the blockchain. Solution and hardware providers could even go a step further by applying artificial intelligence to the device to reduce its energy consumption.
Marketing firms and consumer brands interested in this data would be able to purchase it directly from device owners in compliance with necessary regulations such as the recently implemented GDPR.
Blockchain- based IoT frameworks can be used to securely track and register sensor data of individual items and packages, creating verifiable audit trails. By applying blockchain technology to IoT, data sensors can report on the status of various items in real-time while providing greater transparency through an end-to-end data trail. This approach simplifies business processes, improves end user experience, and cuts down operational costs. It can also solve the problems of poor accountability and the constant question of responsibility in the supply chain.