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Decentralizing 'Internet of Things' networks through Blockchain

Internet of Things (IoT) has been there for a while and it has grown popular to become omnipresent. Stats confirm that there has been an increase of 31% for IoT devices and by end of 2020 there will be as many as 20 billion connected devices. That's huge!

However, IoT is not the only technology that is turning the tables, the current wave also talks about Blockchain which is also termed as 'The Key to Innovation’. So, what if these technologies come in harmony? Produce something that is technologically much more advanced, exciting and secure.

The Challenge with IoT

The basic challenge with IoT is security and the secure interconnection between billions of devices over a network. If IoT is going to redefine our lifestyle then the security and data integrity of the same should be of paramount importance to us. IoT needs to expand its capability in the domain of speed, reliable connectivity, and security. Let's take a quick example, Konica Minolta offers a range of printers for office, production, industrial as well as 3D printing which can also be configured over an IoT network and accessed from a wide area network, hence the security of IoT network is important to safeguard the usage of devices on its network, like sensors, printers, servers, production machines, etc.

Meanwhile, Blockchain is one such technology that is setting an example to be the strongest incorruptible implementation by securing the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world. Its embedded smart contracts and decentralized networks can be a viable solution for concerns around IoT.

Readying the Blockchain

The blockchain is surely making its impact across different industry sectors. This should soon be considered as the uniform technology to standardize platforms, drive future initiatives and work together as a value chain.

The integration of Blockchain with IoT has already started, Qtum a Singapore based Blockchain company is all set to build an IoT ready platform that leverages Blockchain smart contracts to integrate with Bitcoin’s prolific blockchain. This implementation will be more useful for businesses and form base for a rigid system for IoT.

The Blockchain Approach

The blockchain is an elegant solution to form peer-to-peer communication model. Through the creation of distributed digital ledger, the transactions are shared among nodes of a network instead of being stored on a central server. Upon registering with blockchain, IoT participants can record the transactions and cryptography can be used to authenticate and identify these participating nodes and allow secure addition of transactions to the ledger. Transactions can then verified by other ToT participating nodes this eliminating any need for a central authority.

This ledger cannot be tampered and manipulated by any external factors because it is not stored in a single location and man-in-the-middle attacks cannot be staged because no single thread of communication can be intercepted.

Integrate Watson with IoT

IBM is also working in the direction to integrate Blockchain with IoT using Watson platform. The Watson platform has a built-in capability wherein it lets one add the selected IoT devices to a private blockchain network. This protected data can only be shared among the partners involved with the transactions.

Also, IBM IoT Lab services offer a set of customized service engagements, enabling users to experiment and innovate with IBM Watson IoT Platform and blockchain technologies.

Blockchain has already proven its worth in the world of cryptocurrencies by acting as guaranteed peer to peer payment services without the need for third-party brokers. There are many technology organizations that are researching on multiple ways to integrate Blockchain with IoT. This is a symbiotic relationship where IoT is in desperate need of an upgrade while Blockchain is ready to grab the opportunity and integrate for a better good.