Blockchain and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are two subjects which are currently receiving a great deal of attention. Excitement and hype, not only in the tech sphere but in all facets of the macro business world springs from these themes.
Internet of Things – The Rise
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What is IoT?
Simply said, IoT is a network or chain of connected physical objects to the internet. These interconnections utilize sensors and embedded software to enable remote monitoring, collection of data and control of devices.
A little bit of History!
IoT was first mentioned at a 1999 Procter and Gamble presentation rendered by Kevin Ashton, a co-founder at MIT’s Auto-ID Center. Kevin went on to title his rendition “Internet of Things” to incorporate the rave of the moment at the time; the internet. It has, however, taken IoT another decade to live the vision.
Several publications have shown indications of the future of IoT. Such include a book titled “When Things start to Think,” curated in 1999 by Neil Gershenfield, a Professor at MIT. This publication did give an insight into the destination of IoT.
One of the very first IoT implementation was the attachment of Radio-Frequency Identification (R-FID) tags to expensive equipment in other to track their location when necessary. In recent times it has become a whole lot cheaper to interconnect objects via sensors and the internet.
The Internet of things quite started out on a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) basis, but the evolution in the tech space and the availability of smart objects here and there, IoT has transformed from M2M to Human-to-Machine interactions (pervasive intelligence) ; now making the tech relevant to everyone.
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Who or What benefits from the Internet of Things?
The applications of IoT goes beyond the connectivity between private smart homes and smart devices. As a matter of fact, it just about to receive industrial scale implementation; every equipment from farm tools to home appliances, vehicles and the likes will soon be transformed in manners unthinkable.
IoT is beneficial to both Industry and tech consumers.
Benefits To consumers
A smart environment is one of the many turnarounds promised by the Internet of Things. Smarter offices, vehicles, more secure homes etc. Typical examples of popular smart objects are Google Home and Echo from Amazon; both smart speakers make music play seamless – it is also easier to acquire information and set timers.
Embedded home security systems make indoor and outdoor surveillance easy. Smart lighting bulbs, smart fridges, smart cities, noise sensors, autonomous vehicles and smart thermostats are other examples of IoT benefits to consumers. Familiarity with the operability of your home and the ability to switch settings could amount to saving a lot in energy cost.
Benefits to Industry
Healthcare, energy, agriculture, electronics, manufacturing, transportation and retail are some of the industries in line to rapidly adopt IoT. By 2021, it is expected that investments in IoT would have doubled its value in 2017 ($235 Billion).
IoT will ensure greater transparency in Supply Chain Operations, by improving selection based on customer’s preference and reducing out-of-stock products. Enterprise systems such as CRM and ERP are also keying into the Internet of Things to rationalize their businesses.
IoT will help Organizations:
Increase revenue base
Conserve money and time
Improve the productivity of employees
Improve decision-making process
To properly monitor their business processes
Rethink business models and adapt productive strategies
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What then will be the significance of a Blockchain-IoT Convergence?
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Moving on, IoT meets new obstacles such as security, identification, connectivity, and the effective management of multiple devices. These challenges are the main reason why IoT is experiencing delayed mainstream adoption.
One could clearly see reasons why a combined Blockchain-IoT network becomes significant. The flaws in IoT security causes improper verification, improper connectivity, or improper spending on connected devices; all of which are software issues. It is noteworthy that IoT is also vulnerable to hardware and physical security flaws.
All these issues can be effectively alleviated by Blockchain distributed ledger network. Now, combining Blockchain and IoT has become a priority for many companies. In the cause of this year, it is expected that 20% of all implementations of the IoT will come with blockchain services at the basic level.
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Blockchain Security Model and the IoT
The most significant advantage of the IoT-Blockchain convergence is the security and privacy issues addressed. Smart objects can collect a lot of data and these data are subject to mutilation. Blockchain serves as a defense for all IoT interactions by creating a democratized, independent and secure platform.
Blockchain shares data across several sources thereby, limiting the risks of hacker attack damage. Supposing an attack occurs on the converged IoT-Blockchain network, it will be exposed publicly and immediately denied.
On the blockchain network, there are no centralized data hubs and each recorded transaction can be encrypted with a public key. This ensures that nobody can alter or delete any record and a greater trust is built in the Network a whole.
The Smart Contracts effect
How will humans and devices interact in a true business environment! Smart Contracts is poised to set up a true business model. The internet, machines, and humans will interact successfully by respecting deliverables, contractual terms, conditions and obligations.
Smart contracts will ensure that there are no violations, fraud, and confusion among devices. Most importantly, humans don’t have to audit contractual conditions among devices, the digital contracts now take charge.
The Blockchain Significance
Blockchain offers several opportunities for the Internet of Things. Data collected by Internet of Things are mostly personal – for instance, devices installed in smart homes collect intimate data and must share them with other smart devices and services. This obviously means that the potential for attacks is on the high.
Blockchain causes a paradigm by implementing an additional layer of robust and impenetrable encryption that will ensure that IoT is more secure and transparent. IoT takes a switch from its centralized nature and becomes Decentralized Internet of Things .
IoT is one of the most eye-catching developments in emerging technology. The idea of interconnecting billions of smart objects to an automated network in mouth-watering. As promising as the IoT seems, it’s inherent flaws makes it dangerous and objectively infeasible thereby, inhibiting its mainstream implementation.
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The significance of blockchain in IoT at this level cannot be overemphasized as it enhances trust in IoT devices and adds a variety of other features to the network.
Instead of storing data collected by actuators and sensors on a centralized cloud storage facility, all data is now recorded on a decentralized cloud storage environment. By so doing, the risk of attack from hackers is greatly combated.
No attempted data theft of mutilation can occur without receiving public attention. However, the truth still remains that blockchain has it own scalability issues to deal with.
Is the Blockchain technically fit to securely handle large IoT networks? Regardless, Blockchain technology benefits for IoT development holds great promises and it is foreseeable where that leads.
Denise Quirk is a Health Advisor who is fascinated by Crypto and Blockchain Revolution. She is a believer in transforming complex information into simple, actionable content. She is keenly interested in finding the value of the crypto world. She writes for Coin Review . You can find her on Linkedin , Twitter , and Facebook .
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