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Blockchain in Internet of things?

Merging technologies is the key to make new technologies work.

But the chaotic growth of IoT will introduce several challenges, including identifying, connecting, securing, and managing so many devices.

It will be very challenging for the current infrastructure and architecture underlying the Internet and online services to support huge IoT ecosystems of the future.

Australian telecommunication giant Telstra is another company leveraging blockchain technology to secure smart home IoT ecosystems. Cryptographic hashes of device firmware are stored on a private blockchain to minimize verification time and obtain real-time tamper resistance and tamper detection.

Since most smart home devices are controlled through mobile apps, Telstra further expands the model and adds user biometric information to the blockchain hashes in order to tie in user identity and prevent compromised mobile devices from taking over the network. This way, the blockchain will be able to verify both the identity of IoT devices and the identity of the people interacting with those devices.

Convergence of technologies will make IoT implementation much easier and faster, which in turn will improve many aspects of our life at home and at work and in between.

  • Sensors
  • Networks
  • Standards
  • Intelligent Analysis
  • Intelligent Actions

Problems of the IoT connected devices

Some of the challenges:

  • Standard for handling unstructured data.
  • Regulatory standards for data markets:
  • Security and privacy issues: There is a need for clear guidelines on the retention, use, and security of the data as well as metadata (the data that describe other data). Specialy in the access, and the identification of users. The detection of interoperability is beeing a big issue lately.

The blockchain security model

While the centralized model has worked perfectly in the past decades, it will become problematic when the number of network nodes grows into the millions, generating billions of transactions, because it will exponentially increase computational requirements — and by extension the costs.

The servers can also become a bottleneck and a single point of failure.

Moreover, centralized networks will be difficult to establish in many industrial settings such as large farms, where IoT nodes will expand over wide areas with scarce connectivity gear.

Fog computing is a term created by Cisco that refers to extending cloud computing to the edge of an enterprise's network. Also known as Edge Computing or fogging, fog computing facilitates the operation of compute, storage and networking services between end devices and cloud computing data centers. Diversified data storage is the solution for the exces of data, and slow answer. What if we apply decentralized systems into security.

Blockchain technology will enable the creation of secure mesh networks, where IoT devices will interconnect in a reliable way while avoiding threats such as device spoofing and impersonation.

With every legitimate node being registered on the blockchain, devices will easily be able to identify and authenticate each other without the need for central brokers or certification authorities, and the network will be scalable to support billions of devices without the need for additional resources.

Several companies are already putting blockchain to use to power IoT networks.

Filament’s wireless sensors, called Taps, create low-power autonomous mesh networks that enable enterprise companies to manage physical mining operations or water flows over agricultural fields without relying on centralized cloud alternatives. Device identification and intercommunication is secured by a bitcoin blockchain that holds the unique identity of each participating node in the network.

Practical examples

Shared Machinery

A blockchain system could enable the collaborative ownership and usage of machinery like 3d printers, laser cutters, and woodworking tools that populate maker spaces worldwide. Smart contracts could determine whether the individual had the appropriate reputation to use the laser cutter to craft their embroidery pattern on a leather bomber jacket. The rules of the machine would depend upon the owners agreements between themselves, and the current status of those agreements.

A shared maple sugar processing machine could be controlled by smart contracts that calculate an individual’s ability to use the machine based upon their balance of community credits. They could have earned credits by letting others in the community use another shared resource, like a tractor.

One example is Filament, a startup that provides IoT hardware and software for industrial applications such as agriculture, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries.

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