Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, but the currency might be overshadowed by a decentralized ledger system called “the blockchain,” which is starting to make its way into the Internet of Things (IoT) market.
The blockchain in IoT could solve the trust issues various developers, engineering firms, and businesses face when building smart devices that can communicate and operate autonomously. According to Pulse’s online editor, Sena Quashie, it might be the biggest innovation of the decade.
Instead of having a human verify each change in the system, the blockchain is able to verify each communication, transaction, and change. The ledger updates every 10 minutes (in Bitcoin), ensuring any illegitimate changes are redacted. The ledger also informs the entire system of these changes to strengthen the chain.
Some IoT developers are already pushing blockchain ideas, with Samsung and IBM announcing ADEPT at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas. In a draft paper, the team says:
“Applying the blockchain concept to the world of IoT offers fascinating possibilities. Right from the time a product completes final assembly, it can be registered by the manufacturer into a universal blockchain representing its beginning of life. Once sold, a dealer or end customer can register it to a regional blockchain (a community, city or state).”
This is only the beginning for the blockchain in IoT. In the draft paper, Samsung and IBM imagine how a washing machine could become a “semi-autonomous device capable of managing its own consumables supply, performing self-service and maintenance, and even negotiating with other peer devices.”
The IoT revolution is scheduled to happen in the next five years, with Gartner and IDC projecting 26 and 30 billion smart devices worldwide, respectively, in that time. The blockchain is bound to expedite the revolution, simply by being the backbone for most of the future IoT systems.