How can Blockchain Transform the Internet of Things (IoT)?

IoTeX
June 23, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as one of the most promising use cases for blockchain. Today’s IoT is already transformational, allowing us to gather and use data from any Internet-connected device. So what does blockchain add to IoT? The answer is security and trust. With billions of IoT devices now generating half of all new data worldwide, we must think critically about data integrity and security. If IoT is the technology that generates data, blockchain will be the technology that guarantees our trust in it.

IoT Needs Blockchain To Evolve

Whether you are a consumer using wearables to live a healthier lifestyle or a business using sensors to track assets, IoT is rapidly changing our daily lives. Over the past few years, we have connected almost everything to the Internet but have not invested nearly enough in IoT security. Even standard things, like identifying all devices in a network and knowing a device has been hacked, are glaringly absent from most IoT systems. This leaves our IoT devices and data extremely vulnerable to attack.

Blockchain is here to solve these problems. As a decentralized, traceable, and hack-resistant data structure, blockchain acts as a “trust fabric” to authenticate devices and deliver security. Blockchain’s impact applies throughout the IoT data life cycle: 1) registration of devices on the blockchain, 2) traceability of data from edge device to gateway to blockchain, and 3) secure processing and transmission of data. Below are characteristics of IoT use cases that can benefit from blockchain

Data is the New Gold

There is a common saying nowadays that “data is the new gold.” If this is true, then IoT devices are the gold mines. Cisco estimates that 500 trillion gigabytes of IoT data will be generated by the end of this year. However, not all data is created equally. Some data is highly sensitive (e.g. geo-location, health),  some data is publicly available (e.g. weather), and the value of data is often subjectively defined.

There is a common misconception about blockchain & IoT use cases that ALL data must be stored on the blockchain. There are cheap, accessible, and relatively secure ways to manage non-sensitive data, such as cloud and shared databases. Blockchain makes the most sense for highly valuable or sensitive data.

Extending the “data is the new gold” analogy, it would not be wise to move something highly valuable like gold via public transportation (e.g. bus, subway). In reality, people would use an armored car to transport their gold. So if data is the new gold and IoT devices are the gold mines, then think of blockchain as the armored car that protects the transport of your gold.

Conclusion

With billions of new devices created every year, it’s critical to prioritize IoT security now more than ever. IoTeX, an IoT and privacy-focused blockchain platform, experienced this firsthand during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where 5,000+ innovative startups showcased their new consumer products. When IoTeX asked them how they manage device and data security … these companies simply didn’t have an answer. Security is not a priority until it’s too late – get started today!


New Content Contributor: IoTeX

We are excited to introduce our new content contribution partner: IoTeX (iotex.io). IoTeX is a privacy-IoT blockchain platform built from scratch by top-tier engineers and research scientists from Google, Uber, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, and Bosch. IoTeX’s mission is to empower the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual “things” — humans, machines, businesses, and dApps — can efficiently exchange information and value at a global scale. IoTeX is rapidly advancing in their mission, recently launching their Mainnet Alpha in April 2019.

The Internet of Trusted Things will change the world, and it takes a special blockchain to bring this vision to reality. IoTeX combines blockchain, in-house trusted hardware, and edge computing to deliver one-of-a-kind capabilities for DApp builders and enterprises. From Day 1, IoTeX has made upfront design decisions to tailor fit IoTeX to support privacy, large-scale IoT, and big data use cases. By serving as the decentralized fabric to unify all “things,” IoTeX will power the new decentralized economy. Read more about IoTeX here.


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About the author
IoTeX

Contributing Author

IoTeX was founded in 2017 to build the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual “things” — humans, machines, businesses, and dApps — can efficiently exchange information and value at global scale. Backed by a global team of research scientists and top engineers, IoTeX combines blockchain, trusted hardware, and edge computing to realize the full potential of IoT.

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