We have a match: Blockchain and IoT mix well together
Bosch has joined forces with Cisco, Bank of New York Mellon, and a few other companies to put the technology behind Bitcoin to good use — the aim of the newly founded consortium is to improve IoT applications with the help of blockchain.
There’s a new consortium in town! Cisco, Bosch, Bank of New York Mellon, Gemalto, Foxconn, blockchain startups BitSE, Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) and Chronicled have created a consortium in hopes of using the technology behind Bitcoin to make IoT applications safer and better. The group announced that they will join forces to create a shared blockchain protocol for IoT so that everyday objects can be connected to the internet and send and receive data.
Although the trend of internet-connected devices is gaining momentum, the downside is that a lot more objects can be hacked, VentureBeat explained. The website cited Dirk Slama, chief alliance officer at Bosch Software Innovations, as saying that the consortium sees “tremendous potential for the application of blockchain in industrial use cases. Being able to create a tamperproof history of how products are manufactured, moved and maintained in complex value networks with many stakeholders is a critical capability …”
Blockchain’s advantage in an IoT context
A few months ago, a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack affected countless internet addresses and temporarily crippled the servers of Twitter, New York Times, Netflix, and PayPal. After it was revealed that “one source of the traffic for the attacks was [hijacked IoT] devices infected by the Mirai (malware program available online) botnet,” it became clear that IoT devices’ security must be a top priority.
This is where blockchain comes into play: according to OpenMind, the fact that blockchain is public represents an advantage since virtually anyone participating can see both the blocks and the transactions. “The ledger used in Blockchain is tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated by malicious actors because it doesn’t exist in any single location, and man-in-the-middle attacks cannot be staged because there is any single thread of communication that can be intercepted.” In short, it is secure and transparent.
OpenMind warns that creating a secure model for IoT is not an easy or cheap task since all devices need to “communicate and interact seamlessly with connected systems and infrastructures.” However, blockchain seems to be a good option, provided that we manage to rise above its many drawbacks (including lack of skills and legal and compliance issues).