Will Blockchain Provide the Solution for Connecting IoT Devices?

As the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates throughout our communities, the need for a universal technology to securely and reliably connect these devices becomes increasingly apparent.

IoT is growing rapidly in every facet of our lives. A study by Gartner estimates that blockchain will add $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030, while Statista predicts that the IoT market will grow from $2.99 trillion in 2014 to an astounding $8.9 trillion in 2020. And blockchain may be able to provide an overarching solution for a global standard in connectivity.

We are certainly on the cusp of massive changes to business operations and the way we conduct our daily lives, with major disruptions to virtually every industry, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and the financial sector. However, with the expansion of IoT, security remains a primary concern, as large numbers of devices, data, and supply chain partners become vulnerable to exploitation by hackers. Unfortunately, IoT devices often lack the authentication standards that are necessary to ensure data security.

A global standard must be applied as the growth of IoT continues. Considering predictions that there will be 20 billion connected devices by the end of 2020, the importance of using a secure and consistent technology cannot be overstated. While it may not seem like a big deal when your Amazon Echo temporarily loses connectivity, dropping a signal could result in catastrophic scenarios in the future, such as a fleet of self-driving cars losing their connection and failing to work properly. Or a healthcare monitor shutting down its signal while a patient is in critical care.

So, what can we do to ensure IoT reliability and security? Many experts agree that blockchain holds the key to the answer. Although blockchain is currently best known for securing cryptocurrencies, its embedded smart contracts and decentralized network are ideal solutions for concerns about IoT security and consistency. Since an outage in one area would not impact another when using blockchain, continual connectivity could be achieved. Blockchain can also be used to increase security by tracking sensor data measurements to prevent duplication with any other malicious data, while the distributed architecture of blockchain is perfectly suited to provide IoT device identification, authentication, and seamless, secure data transfers.

IoT is already improving many aspects of our lives, and its effect on the world will monumentally expand over the next few years. By using blockchain technology, the Internet of Things can be secure and reliable, allowing future innovations to be executed successfully while advancing IoT’s growth exponentially.

Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.

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