The Internet of Things is taking the tech world by storm. The network of interconnected devices now has a foot in just about every industry you could imagine. It is rapidly developing new software and devices that will only continue to advance its impact. Tech site Red Herring estimates that by the year 2025, the Internet of Things market will be valued at a shocking $6.2 trillion dollars. The software is on the rise, taking over industries left and right. So how do you improve an already successful tech brainchild? You marry it to another one.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain was first introduced to the world through its use with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The software involves the sharing of digital information. What sets it apart is that this information is distributed, not copied. The software allows for editing and for additional information to be added, but it is protected in a way that doesn’t limit its ability to be shared. The information is passed around, therefore it is stored publically and in various locations, making it easily accessible if needed, and easily verifiable at all points. Even better, it is estimated that about 20% of all IoT devices will have blockchain services in them by next year, and the technology will add an additional $3.1 trillion to the market value of IoT.
In addition to adding market value, Blockchain technologies will improve some of the issues that the Internet of Things and its users were experiencing. Here’s how:
The addition of Blockchain technology to IoT devices improves them by making them more secure. IoT specializes in the rapid and accurate collection of data. However, with a network of interconnected devices this large, there is always room for security mishaps. Blockchain both prevents hackers and limits hacker damage if it does occur by decentralizing the network. Instead of keeping all the data centrally stored as IoT is formatted to do, Blockchain decentralizes and makes separate copies of data which are then added to and passed on, creating a chain that is harder for a hacker to cut through. In addition, the technology is programmed to prevent duplication or addition of any data to the established chain. Security has been a prime concern for many when it comes to IoT, and Blockchain has added a solution to the problem.
In addition to overall security, Blockchain software adds a new level of security for the consumer because it adds transparency. Blockchain eliminates all human oversight. The machines record all the transactions independently, therefore, humans cannot record or overwrite any data on their own. As Venture Beat puts it, “with blockchain backing that transaction, they know it’s secure”. This new combination of technologies reduces corruption and allows for consumers to fully trust in a company’s software.
With Blockchain in the mix, an entire new spectrum of data compilation and exchange has opened up in the form of data monetization. Blockchain adds an element to the Internet of Things which includes a cloud that users can register their devices on. From here, they can sell their data in the form of real time exchange for cryptocurrency. This takes IoT’s rapid data collection a step further by adding the opportunity to do something with that data.
One of the biggest benefits to the Internet of Things is its efficiency. It accurately stores data that gives an overall view on a company and allows for time and money saving decisions to be made. Incorporating Blockchain only escalates this efficiency. A decentralized server means less complexity, which ultimately means less costs. It also is more time efficient because the company and the consumer can track their own personal data along the chain, cutting out the middle man when it comes to monitoring the data. Blockchain improves an already effective and efficient system with its own efficiencies.
Blockchain is changing the already successful Internet of Things. Its simplification of the software allows for increased efficiency, it’s decentralization allows for a more secure network, and its traceability adds accountability to a company and produces a history that is essential for troubleshooting. This technology is improving a technology that is already improving multiple industries on its own. The possibilities and the advantages to this collaboration are nothing if not exciting.