Why is everyone so interested in blockchain, and what does that interest mean for the Internet of Things? Blockchain is beginning to play a major part in the Internet of Things by enhancing security, enabling inclusion of low-value devices to be increasingly viable and making managing a device easier for decades to come.
Blockchain is a peer to peer distributed ledger technology for a new generation of transactional applications. It is a permission-less distributed database which maintains a continuously growing list of cryptographically secured data records hardened against tampering and revision. It can help establish trust, accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes.
With blockchain, we can reimagine the world’s most fundamental business interactions and open the door to invent new styles of digital interactions. This technology has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of operating businesses. The distributed ledger makes it easier to create cost-eﬃcient business networks where virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded, without requiring a central point of control. The application of this emerging technology is showing great promise in the enterprise.
IBM sees blockchain as the next generation of transaction systems. IBM Watson IoT blockchain offerings enables IoT devices to participate in transactions. Leveraging the Watson IoT Platform, we’re making it possible for information from devices such as RFID-based locations, barcode-scan events, or device-reported data to be used with IBM Blockchain. Devices will be able to communicate to blockchain-based ledgers to update or validate smart contracts. For example, as an IoT-connected package moves along multiple distribution points, the package location and temperature information could be updated on a blockchain.