Blockchain of Things - The applications and use-cases of blockchain technology in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the top emerging technological solutions of this decade. The current expansion of IoT devices signifies unprecedented change in communication with devices. By redefining the interaction and communication across machines, we are exploring IoT in a way like never before.

As per Business Insider’s report, there will be more than 41 billion devices by 2027. The Internet of Things (IoT) industry is likely to create an impact in multiple industries including telecom, energy, healthcare, transportation, retail, manufacturing, and more. However, the sector currently faces multiple challenges that need to be addressed.

In this article, we review some of the current issues facing the Internet of Things (IoT) sector and the applications of Blockchain in IoT.

Internet of Things (IoT) Challenges

From security challenges to bandwidth, the IoT sector faces several ongoing challenges, including:

  • Security - In cybersecurity, most of the devices tend to lack the security infrastructure required. With increased personal information stored on devices, the raw data is prone to security threats.
  • Bandwidth - Connectivity can be quite a challenge, and the growing size of the market takes a heavy toll on bandwidth. This is usually because the server-client model uses a centralized server for authentication and generating direct traffic.
  • Centralized storage - The data from IoT devices is stored on centralized cloud platforms, thereby making them vulnerable towards loss or theft.

All of these challenges require solutions, and that’s where Blockchain comes in.

Blockchain of Things

Blockchain technology helps in addressing challenges faced by the IoT sector, and many industries are looking to integrate the two leading technologies to create scalable and secure solutions.

Blockchain demonstrates several key characteristics that are valuable to IoT:

  • Security - Blockchain leverages cryptographic protocols within its infrastructure to provide security to data. Data is stored on the blockchain in a cryptographically-enabled secure manner.
  • Distribution - The data collected on the ledger is stored on the hardware or nodes operating that particular blockchain. Instead of a centralized server, the data is distributed among multiple nodes. This process eliminates a single point of failure in the system.
  • Immutable - The data is stored on the blockchain network in an immutable manner. In other words, once stored, the data can never be modified or deleted. This helps reduce the possibility of fraud.
  • Reliable - Blockchain acts as a reliable platform to analyze the data. As the data is stored on a transparent network, blockchain provides a secure medium to store the information from IoT devices.

Applications of Blockchain in Internet of Things (IoT)

Supply chain and logistics

The vast chain of the network comprises varied stakeholders, from raw material providers to brokers. Due to multiple varied stakeholders, delays have primarily become the biggest hurdle. Hence, companies are increasingly working to make the vehicles track any movement throughout the shipment process.

Blockchain and IoT combined can meet the transparency challenges and enhance traceability and reliability. The sensor-related data gets stored in the blockchain, and once it gets saved, the stakeholders gain access to data in real-time.

Automotive industry

Digitization is trending with automotive industries using IoT-enabled sensors to create automated vehicles. The IoT-enabled vehicles allow users to exchange information rapidly. With the IoT sectors calculating the parking duration charges, you can witness the billing take place directly through crypto-wallet.

Smart homes

Smart IoT-enabled devices play a major role in our daily lives, such as enabling the security system to operate remotely. However, the traditional approach lacks the necessary security standards. Blockchain can elevate smart home automation by resolving security concerns and getting rid of centralized infrastructure.

Pharmaceuticals

Counterfeit medicines in the sector are on the rise every day with the development, manufacturing, and distribution of drugs. While the journey can get strenuous, the technology's traceable nature can benefit by monitoring the origin's shipment to the destination.

Agriculture

Blockchain and IoT can help reshape the agriculture industry from tracking its food supply chain from farm to grocery to home. By installing the sensors in farms, it sends out data directly to the blockchain, further enhancing the food supply chain and to a large extent.

Water management

Leaking water fixtures result in a trillion gallons of wastewater. IoT devices can help track metrics including the water used and if there are any leakages. An IoT water sensor can automatically shut down the operations in the event of a leak.

Bottom Line

With varied industries already exploring the best IoT and Blockchain to improve efficiency and automate the sectors, we cannot deny the robust impact of the emerging technology. Several industries have begun to explore the potential applications of IoT and Blockchain to improve efficiency and bring automation. Both technologies are here to digitize sustainable rapid growth across sectors.