Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have each received a lot of attention from industry researchers and investors alike over the past few years. However, it is only recently that the two technologies have begun to be considered together allowing participants to reimagine the potential for both, blockchain and IoT.
The major benefit that IoT offers blockchain is in its ability to act as a bridge between the physical and the digital worlds. In use cases like supply chain or insurance where participants envision smart contracts being triggered by certain events in the physical world, there will need to be a network of connected devices and sensors to digitize these events and communicate their statuses to a blockchain. That network of connected devices will need to be powered by new or existing IoT technology.
The major benefit that blockchain brings to IoT is trust, or more specifically, removing the need for trust. The value in deploying a network of connected devices and sensors is in allowing those devices to perform work that will allow humans to do other things. IoT devices can remotely monitor and in some cases even control machines and processes and only alert a human if there is a problem. If the devices cannot be trusted to communicate effectively or if there is a chance they can be taken over by an adversary, the value of IoT will never reach its full potential.
Blockchain unlocks the value of IoT by dramatically reducing the risk of collusion or tampering. IoT unlocks the value of blockchain by binding this revolutionary digital technology to actual events that are observed in the physical world and can now be verified and validated on a blockchain autonomously.
There are a number of Blockchain IoT projects that are approaching the intersection of these two transformative technologies, but each are approaching it from very different angles and perspectives.
The major categories that Blockchain IoT projects tend to fall into are application platforms, cybersecurity solutions, communication networks, M2M transactions and supply chain specific applications.
Application Platforms - IoT platforms that leverage blockchain trust and/or blockchain incentive economies to create platforms where developers can build their own IoT solutions upon.
Cybersecurity - Device and network security solutions that leverage blockchain trust features to authenticate device permissions and communications within a traditional IoT device network.
Hardware communication networks - Networks that leverage blockchain economies and payment mechanisms to collect payment from users and/or incentivize network providers.
Machine to machine transactions - Solutions built to facilitate autonomous cryptocurrency payments between machines.
Supply chain - Solutions built to record and communicate the timing of shipment status changes across portions of, or an entire, supply chain.
The Diode Network provides an unforgable proof-of-time and network-device authentication. The network has higher security than public key infrastructure (PKI) with lower overhead and maintenance cost. Developers can build new IoT applications on top of the Diode network or migrate existing workloads.
IoT Chain is developed as a lite operating system allowing data to be layered and stored in a decentralized manner. IoT Chain plans to leverage its user’s data to as “fuel for the development of AI.” Users will be rewarded for providing their data.
IOTA enables data-driven infrastructure and a machine economy through its lightweight zero fee transaction protocol.
IoTeX’s blockchains-in-blockchain architecture allows developers to build their own blockchains and run their full node with one simple command.
Platform that accelerates Blockchain IoT project development though integrations with popular IoT platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon IoT coupled with codeless application building.
The Streamr platform is an open source, blockchain-backed data marketplace that allows users to own and monetize their data.
Waltonchain leverages RFID technology to create an ecosystem that mechants can build upon to create their own tamper-resistant sub-chains to send, store and retrieve data.
MXC is building a global data network that allows the devices to connect, commit and communicate. Cities, companies and individuals may build the network, or using it to transmit and manage their data.
Atonomi Embedded SDK provides IoT developers and manufacturers with an embedded solution to secure devices with blockchain-based immutable identity and reputation tracking with a footprint under 100 KB..
Slock.it enables devices of any size to access blockchain data securely, take payments autonomously and interact with humans, machines and anything in between.
The Xage Security Suite delivers blockchain-protected security for industrial operations, protecting every element, new or legacy, and every interaction–human-to-machine, machine-to-machine, or edge-to-cloud.
The Helium hotspot connects IoT devices and send data to the internet over radio frequencies without the need for Wi-Fi or cellular creating “the people’s network.” Owners of Helium hotspots receive Helium tokens in exchange for providing network coverage as the hotspots also act as miners.
The Moeco is a LPWAN and BLE powered IoT blockchain platform to connect small devices. And roll out coverage quickly and cost efficiently to new markets.
HDAC believes transactions should be easier. HDAC focuses on machine-to-machine transaction environments and interoperability between blockchains.
Blocklet, a blockchain hardware wallet for machines, provides a secure contract system upon which companies can build products and services.
Ambrosus enables secure and frictionless dialogue between sensors, distributed ledgers and databases to optimise supply chain visibility, quality assurance and reduce counterfeit for food and pharmaceutical enterprises.
The Cliot is a hardware less tag with powerless data transmission. It is a System-On-Chip (SOC) design that can be printed off by brands directly, making it highly scalable and low-cost. It works on backscatter technology, optimized for large scale applications in areas with limited/no network reach.
The OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN) is built for data integrity and validation in inter-organizational environments. ODN integrates with existing supply chains to deliver verifiable supply chain traceability and product authenticity.
Digitizes food business models by capturing data from multiple actors along the food supply chain.
Transparent Path (USA)
ProofScore™, the “FICO score for transparency” was developed by Transparent Path to help brands quantify to consumers how openly shared supply chain data is.
Blockchain and IoT technologies have obvious synergies that when combined allow us to reimagine the implications for both technologies. To learn more about how we at Diode are leveraging blockchain to redefine industrial IoT security, follow us on Twitter, Telegram and sign up for our mailing list.