There are already more connected devices on earth than there are humans. The number of network-connected and intercommunicating devices is expected to climb well into the tens of billions within a few years. As the world grows ever more connected, how can we trust these devices? Such a network of intercommunicating objects requires a secure and efficient way to track all interactions, transactions and activities of every “thing” in the network. Interoperability, security, compliance, privacy and reliability are all barriers to IoT growth, but the paramount challenge for ubiquitous connectivity, never mind device autonomy, is a lack of trust.
Meanwhile, an emerging database technology known as blockchain is demonstrating capabilities previously absent from IoT’s development—many of which foster trust. In the simplest of terms, blockchain is an advancement in record-keeping systems. A blockchain is a construct which supports distributed and immutable record-keeping, verification, and authority across all participants, rather than relying on a single point of authority to verify a transaction.
Blockchain’s role as an enabler of the IoT lies in its ability to securely identify devices, to facilitate interactions and transactions between them, and to use technology to eliminate corruption through immutable records.
Kaleido Insights’ analysis of the intersections between IoT and blockchain surface a wide range of use cases and industry applications. What follows are three scenarios in which decentralized recordkeeping offers an architectural advancement to foster trusted machine interactions.