"The Internet of Things could be one of the largest and most exciting verticals for blockchain technology in the coming years." - Ryan Selkis, Director of Investments at Digital Currency Group
Blockchain was an under-rated innovation in the beginning. A lot (investments, use-cases, startups) is happening in this field and the future of blockchain is bright and promising. LTP has always been at the forefront, covering all the updates and latest happenings in this space. In our past article, we mentioned financial and non-financial use cases of blockchain. There has been a large increase in the number of ways in which real-world assets could be linked to the blockchain and traded digitally. One of the most important non-financial use cases of blockchain is its application in IoT.
According to a paper by IBM, “Applying the blockchain concept to the world of IoT (Internet of Things) offers fascinating possibilities. Right from the time a product completes final assembly, it can be registered by the manufacturer into a universal blockchain representing its beginning of life. Once sold, a dealer or end customer can register it to a regional blockchain (a community, city or state). By creating and matching the supply and demand for physical assets in real time, the IoT will create new marketplaces"
There are various blockchain applications for IoT and smart systems. When applied to Internet of Things, the concept of blockchain can open up the possibilities of new innovations. Blockchain technology can be used in tracking the history of individual devices. It can enable the processing of transactions and coordination between devices that are involved. The technology will make the IoT devices independent by keeping a record of the ledger of data exchanges between the device and other devices, services and human users, and by enabling them to conduct transactions.
Various established technology firms and startups have been exploring multiple ways of using these use cases. They are investing and extensively researching into the various possible solutions that the technology could be leveraged into. The main aim of these use-cases is to link the home network to the cloud and electrical devices nearby (home automation). Some of these firms are:
IBM has been one of the earliest companies to announce their plans of exploring blockchain. It has formed multiple partnerships at various levels proving their interest in blockchain. It has released a report stating that blockchain could be an elegant solution for the IoT. In January 2015, it revealed a proof-of-concept for ADEPT, a research project for IoT using P2P blockchain technology. The company has also partnered with Samsung for building a proof-of-concept system for the next generation of the IoT. The system will be based on IBM’S ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry). The ADEPT platform consists of three elements: Etherum, Telehash and BitTorrent. With the platform, both the companies hope to bring in a set of devices which can automatically signal operational problems and are able to retrieve software updated on their own without any human interference. These devices will also be able to communicate with other nearby devices in order to facilitate battery powering and energy efficiency.
The company came up with their sensor device TAP which enables the deployment of a secure, all-range wireless network in seconds. The device can talk directly to another TAP device at distances of up to 10 miles, and can also connect to it directly with a phone, tablet, or computer. The company is leveraging operations on its blockchain-based Technology Stack. Blockchain technology enables Filament devices to independently process payments and enable smart contracts ensuring the trust in transactions. Founded in 2012, the company recently raised $5 M in Series A funding which was led by Bullpen Capital, Verizon Ventures and Samsung Ventures.
3. Ken Code – e plug
ePlug is a product from Ken Code. According to a white paper by Ken Code, ePlug is a tiny circuit board that resides inside “ePlug-certified” electrical outlets and light switches. The product offers options for Meshnet, distributed computing, end-to-end data encryption, dead zone-free Wi-Fi, timer, USB ports, temperature, touch, light and motion sensors for safety and security, and LEDs for notifications and night lighting. The product has blockchain-based login to ensure security. Upon entering the correct Internet address/URL, the ePlug owner will be presented with a login screen. Initially, blockchain platforms such as OneName.io and KeyBase.io will be used for ID authentication and access to the ePlug.
The company has develped a micropayments platform. Tilepay is a decentralized payment system that is based on the bitcoin blockchain and can be downloaded to a user’s personal computer, laptop or mobile phone. Every IoT device will have a unique token that can accept payments via blockchain technology.