Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology of connected devices collecting, storing, and sharing data over centralized storage. Industries have embraced it to automate their processes and inject agility in the workflow. Unlike IoT, blockchain technology has just made its way into the industry and struggled to find real-world applications apart from cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger that stores data and transaction data in encrypted format. The ledger is immutable and authenticates each user making it immune to cyber attacks. Using both the technologies would result in eradication of bottlenecks of IoT.
Currently, data sharing and processing is done over the centralized cloud which is highly vulnerable to cyber threats and devices connected to it serve as an easy target for hackers to get their hands on data. Scalability and computing speed are also the drawbacks of the centralized storage. The growth in the number of devices is rapid, leading to the need for alternatives to the cloud fulfilling security, scalability, and computational power requirements.
The quest seems to end at blockchain as the ledger is decentralized, it eliminates a third-party from the network, and also eradicates single-point of failure. Immutability, encryption, and self-validation features make it hard for hackers to crack in and tamper the data. Still, if any disruption occurs, only a part of the data set is affected, unlike the centralized storage giving access to complete data set. Scalability and computational power are not compromised as the network can be easily scaled according to the requirement; additional system resources will enhance the computational speed at the same time.
Applications developed on the concept of merging the two cutting-edge technologies will be highly effective in transforming the current industry landscape.
• Validation: Supply chain management will become convenient with easy validation of goods. Transactions at all stages will be automatically recorded in the ledger through IoT devices enabling retailers and end-users to validate the goods for authenticity.
• Real-Time Secure Data Sharing: Blockchain ledgers allow its entities to share data in real-time assuring its complete safety and privacy. Only those entities who have access to the network can view the data and none of them can make any changes to it.
• Alarms and Alerts: Merging the real-time data streaming through IoT gadgets and smart contracts can actually be of great use. Smart contracts have the capability to automatically trigger a process when a certain condition is satisfied. Alarms and alert notifications can be sent to key individuals for on-time service and security.