Over the past few years, Internet of Things has become more than a buzzword. This technology has connected billions of devices and analyzed terabytes of resulting data. In the process, we have seen a new community of sorts where devices talk to each other and throw up data that helps organizations serve their customers better.
In the meantime, blockchains, crypto-currencies and smart contracts have redefined the way humans conduct business with each other. Starting with financial transactions, blockchains have disrupted many other industries. Decentralization, trust and verification are the three pillars of the blockchain technology.
Smart organizations like IBM have been quick to understand the utility of blockchains enforcing a regime of transparency, trust and verification. This innovation is needed because millions of devices are talking to each other and one doesn’t know whether any information exchange is going on the expected lines or not.
This new IoT blockchain service from IBM enables the asset data to validate business conditions in an immutable decentralized ledger. These business conditions can be related to time, place and origin. When one element of the blockchain makes a promise, then this Internet of Things –Blockchain initiative enforces it and ensures that all the transactions adhere to a standard set of instructions.
Why Must Iot Need the Blockchain Technology?
In 2016, roughly 8.7 billion devices were connected in the IoT ecosystem. By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion connected devices. It would be a mammoth task identifying, verifying and authenticating these sensors and other devices. Equally daunting will be the task of creating foolproof IoT applications that can withstand malware and other forms of cyber-attacks. Interestingly, roughly 37% of these devices would be used by enterprises and the rest by consumers.
In a recent survey, 90 % developers said that there was little or no safety in the present Internet of Things devices. Another 95% said that they felt pressured into rushing IoT applications into the marketplace without any adequate safeguards.
They are so right. Only last year, hackers forced Netflix and Twitter to shut down their services after launching a series of DDos attacks.
Blockchain can solve this problem. Till date, this technology has saved $10 billion worth of cryptocurrencies from being attacked by hackers and scamsters. Blockchain is based on trustworthiness and decentralization and all transactions taking place on this platform are verified by the members of the network.
In the IoT ecosystem, where billions of devices are connected with each other, the information interchange can be verified by blockchain technology. The decentralized nature of this technology removes the need for centralized control. This in turn ensures that all the devices act smartly with nil chances of a system failure. Hackers cannot launch DDos attacks and neither can they upload malware to stop the network from functioning.
The new blockchain service for IoT rests on four pillars or benefits. These can be used by industry as part of implementing the IIoT strategy.
a) Share– When companies collaborate in a large ecosystem, say many interconnected cars, then they can check the status of what is being delivered, whom is it being delivered and by what date will the product, service or code be delivered.
b) Accounting– When a product is delivered then its delivery is checked and finally recorded on the blockchain network. Note that every time a product or service changes hands, that transaction is recorded on the blockchain ledger. This means that an audit trail is generated.
c) Verification– Fake products can be identified and weeded out from the system. Original certificates can be viewed and later recorded on the network.
d) Execute– Once a product or service is delivered, this event is finally recorded on the platform. This transaction is verified by the Smart Contract feature of the blockchain technology.
IBM has indeed re-imagined the blockchain technology. Its new service ensures that the IoT industry will be immune to system shutdowns, delays and external attacks.