What IoT and blockchain technology have in common is that they’re both relatively new inventions that rely on distributed connectivity to function. IoT technology is what enables communication between smart devices, while blockchain technology relies on distributed ledgers to secure transactions. Most of us are familiar with the term “blockchain” in the context of cryptocurrency. But while blockchain has its roots in Bitcoin, its technology serves many applications beyond crypto, playing an increasing role in IoT solutions and vice versa.
Given their design, it seems only natural that IoT and blockchain technology would eventually converge. More and more companies are now employing both technologies to push innovation, enhance processes, and boost functionality. Here are some general examples you might find useful.
Security and Trust Building
IoT and blockchain are the key to next generation security. And we don’t just mean cyber security — they can also be applied in real-life cases. One example is in biometric protocols for securing ATMs, cars, homes, and more. Instead of using passwords, biometric logins can be stored on the blockchain. This provides greater protection against hackers, too, by securing and decentralizing sensitive information. Biometric protocols can include unique facial, voice, and other physical recognition tools for IoT devices.
In industries like pharmaceuticals, product quality takes top priority. For example, medicines and vaccines cannot be exposed to environmental conditions that may compromise their quality. A problem like this can be solved by combining IoT sensors with smart contract technology in the blockchain. This type of solution helps secure proof that goods are handled properly and remain safe for consumers, as those goods make their way through the supply chain.
Decentralized Wireless Infrastructure
At this stage in the digital revolution, even wireless networks can become democratized and deprivatized. Helium is a pioneer in this technology as it is a decentralized LPWAN network of devices using blockchain technology to provide transaction and incentive mechanics for customer and network members. The backbone of the network is made of wireless hotspot devices, such as the RAK Hotspot Miner V2 that are peer owned and provide both coverage and act as crypto miners. The People’s Network is the fastest growing distributed global IoT network, with over 180,000 hotspots (as of writing) providing worldwide coverage.
Used in tandem, IoT and blockchain technology complement and support each other to create even more powerful technological solutions. The possibilities are countless — with the customization provided by IoT and reliability of blockchain, these technologies can be deployed in most situations. They are the solutions of the future. All it takes is a little creativity.