Blockchain & IoT

I was trawling through the IBM website, as you do… and came across a blog on their Iot Blockchain Service. Now this article is not meant to be an advertisement for IBM, but rather it illustrates that significant work is being done in developing robust infrastructure to support IoT applications, using distributed ledgers in the form of blockchains.

For those of you considering use cases for blockchain and how it fits with IoT then this article will provide some insight. IBM has labeled the benefits as S.A.V.E. Here is a summary gleaned from their blog.

  1. Status – When you’re collaborating in large eco-systems of partners who deliver product, process, or code, you need to know what was delivered and when. In connected cars, which makes up thousands of suppliers of hardware and software, you need to share real-time information on the status of things as they move through the distributed system.
  2. Accounting – Knowing once an item has been received or an action taken, it’s posted to the blockchain. Recording transactions through blockchain virtually eliminates human error and protects the data from possible tampering. Keep in mind that records are verified every single time they are passed on from one blockchain node to the next. In addition to the guaranteed accuracy of your records, such a process will also leave a highly traceable audit trail.
  3. Verify – Falsified inspection certificates, substandard materials, safety hazards, these are some of the challenges faced by multinationals who have materials sourced from different suppliers and producers. IoT Blockchain Services could ensure the original inspection certificates are not false and enable approval through consensus.   Blockchain can also provide accurate ‘birth to death’ of a raw materials (copper, steel, aluminum) in the supply chain, which can make the task of finding substandard products much easier.
  4. Execute – Knowing once an item has been received or an action taken, it’s posted to the blockchain and we use business process automation to execute a Smart Contract.  A typical blockchain comprises a digital and distributed ledger for monetary transactions but what if we used asset data from an event to confirm transactions between parties and automate payment. That’s where smart contracts come in.

Whilst I cover off the Internet of Things in the course, here’s a nice explanation from Forbes that gives us some interesting statistics on why IoT should be on our radar.

In the course I have provided some examples of how IoT is being used across enterprise use cases. Libelium is a great source of inspiration for how objects can be connected to create value and solve problems. Combine this with S.A.V.E. benefits and it is not difficult to see the potential and future of IoT…