Blockchain for IoT in Business

A new horizon in data sharing

Blockchain is a shared distributed database for peer-to-peer transactions. At the core of this technology is Bitcoin, a digitally encrypted wallet to control transactions and a payment system that was introduced in 2009. This transaction management system is decentralized and usually works without intermediaries. These transactions are approved by a set of network nodes and documented in a shared ledger known as a blockchain.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cyber-physical network of interconnected computing devices, digital objects, and individuals with unique system identifiers. The goal of the IoT space is to serve as a single point of integration and data transfer across the Internet without the need for human or computer intervention.

There is a complex relationship between blockchain and IoT. IoT enablers can find solutions using blockchain technology. A collaborative system can develop and record a cryptographically protected data set. Such database and records are protected from alteration and theft provided they are highly secured and protected from malware. The duo can create transparency and accountability by moderating business development mechanisms. Blockchain itself can help reduce workplace mismanagement, overhead and business unpredictability through interconnected servers. A digital ledger can develop a cost-effective business and management system where everything can be efficiently shared, properly controlled and tracked. This process eliminates the need for a central management system, which essentially eliminates a lot of red tape and streamlines business processes. The commercial implementation of this innovation offers an exciting platform in the IoT and enterprise domains.

Blockchain essentially allows interconnected IoT devices to engage in secure data exchange. Companies and business entities can use blockchain to manage and process data from edge devices such as RFID (radio frequency identification) based assets, machine readable barcode and QR code, infrared blaster (IR Bluster) or device information. If integrated into business settings, IoT edge devices will be able to transmit blockchain-based records to update contracts or verify the communication network. For example, when IoT-enabled and RFID-tagged assets with sensitive geographic location and sensitive information are moved to another unassigned point, the information will be automatically stored and updated in the blockchain ledger, and the necessary actions will be taken when the system is assigned. As the product moves to different locations, the system allows interested parties to receive information about the location of the package.

To reap the benefits of a blockchain-enabled IoT framework, business organizations must adhere to four key principles:

1. Price Abbreviation

Edge devices should reduce transaction processing time and eliminate IoT gateways or Internet intermediaries in the system. As data is exchanged and information is transferred within the system, eliminating additional protocols, programs, hardware, channels, nodes, or communications reduces overhead.

2. Acceleration of data exchange

Blockchain-enabled IoT can do away with the IoT gateway or any filtering device needed to create a network between the cloud, the administrator, sensors and devices. Cutting out such a “middleman” could enable peer-to-peer contracts and data sharing. In this process, the digital ledger eliminates the additional time required for device synchronization and information processing and collection. However, eliminating the IoT gateway provides channels for malware and security breaches. A blockchain-enabled IoT network can handle this by installing features such as malware detection and encryption mechanisms.

3. Building trust

Through the blockchain-enabled IoT space, devices and devices can virtually and physically transact and communicate as trusted parties. Unlike conventional business, where transactions require approval and verification, blockchain does not need central authentication or peer-to-peer recommendations. As long as the network is secured and trusted parties own the technology, the IoT space requires no additional paperwork. For example, Team A may not know Team B, may not physically meet or trust that can be verified, but stamped records of online transactions and information exchange in the blockchain ledger prove the trustworthiness of the business. It enables individuals, organizations and devices to earn the mutual trust that is vital to building a sustainable business and eliminating administrative clutter.

4. Strengthening security for IoT

Blockchain gives way to a decentralized network and technology that promises to store, process and retrieve information from billions of connected devices. This system should provide a highly secure network that is both encrypted and easy to use. A decentralized network should provide high throughput, permissions, low latency and requests. Installing a blockchain in an IoT network can regulate and moderate the exchange of data across edge devices, keeping the same secure transactions and information exchange between connected devices.

Eliminating points of failure in the IoT space

Blockchain-enabled IoT can modernize the supply chain by tracking tagged goods as they move through various points in an import store or warehouse, while enabling safe and accurate product delivery. Blockchain deployment provides accurate and detailed product validation and reliable traceability of relevant data across the supply chain. Instead of searching for papers to identify the country of origin (COO), the IoT can verify the physical proof of each product with a virtual “visa” that contains relevant information such as the authenticity and origin of the product. Blockchain can also make records of products subject to verification and help organizations track or create a history of records. It can also provide secure access to the data network for administrative records or alternative plans.

Blockchain-enabled IoT is not limited to enterprise disruption or use cases. Any business entity with an IoT footprint can increase business productivity by marginalizing costs, eliminating bottlenecks, additional loops, and single points of failure in the system through process innovation. It is in the best interests of such organizations to understand, adopt and implement blockchain into their corporate solutions.

More to come…

The start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Blockchain-enabled IoT now represents the most dominant innovation after the integration of transistors and computing systems. It is a disruption that heralds a “second machine age” in terms of digitization and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). Business organizations are the favorites to reap the benefits of this revolution. It will be a shame if these organizations fail to realize the potential of this mega-integration that can bring intelligence to systems anywhere and everywhere. Along with the new integration, this system also solves important adaptation challenges related to the distributed network, such as maintaining privacy and data networks, coordinating security appliances and managing intellectual property. While many technology developers are creating an open source framework to solve these problems, organizations and business actors must adopt and spread this technology to increase mobility and improve the integration of products and services.