Blockchain can change the way we approach IoT

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Updated: March 28, 2019 1:21:22 AM

Blockchain can change the way we approach IoT

Blockchain, IoT applications, healthcare industry, National Health Service, IoT systems, Internet-of-Things, blockchain  start-ups Blockchain may have been the technology of the future, but scalability and limited application were hindering its progress.

While Blockchain was hailed as the technology of the future, especially after digital currencies started coming into fashion, the interest around the technology may be peaking. Although funding for blockchain related start-ups has increased—as per Statista this increased to $1.032 billion in 2017 against $93 million in 2013—the number of searches related to technology has decreased from its peak in 2017. Blockchain may have been the technology of the future, but scalability and limited application were hindering its progress. The technology works in the form of a spreadsheet that may be accessible to all, but not editable for everyone, with each piece of information protected by a code. This may have been beneficial for the system for cross-checking of data and in terms of security, but with limited users, it can prove to be a costly affair. But Blockchain may have found another use case with increased technology penetration. According to a report by IEEE, Blockchain can also be used to protect Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. IoT may have been the buzzword for a few years now but, with increased hacking attempts, there have been concerns about its implementation. With the present infrastructure, IoT systems are so vulnerable that if a hacker were to get access to even one of the devices, she could bring down the whole network. Blockchain can eliminate this uncertainty with regards to IoT devices. As each block is protected by a separate code, even if the hacker gets access to one block, the other mechanisms remain secure as the system prevents her from accessing any further information. Thus, the chain is protected. This may be a boon not just for IoT systems but for blockchain as well, as the technology can ensure that systems across businesses and homes stay secure.

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A replication of this can also ensure a fast digitalisation of the healthcare industry. Similarly, blockchain can ensure that health systems are not vulnerable to hacking attempts. So, instances like hacking of healthcare institutions can be stopped. In this case, blockchain can ensure that hacking attempts don’t go beyond one system or machine, thereby preventing a shutdown of the whole system. More important, with agencies like UK’s National Health Service talking about digitisation on a mass scale, blockchain can limit the extent of hacking. This can be, and has also been, implemented in public utilities, where smart grids can be protected by blockchain applications, ensuring that public services are not affected. As technology permeates every aspect of our lives, it becomes that much more critical to maintain the security aspect. Blockchain, to a certain extent, can provide for this security, regaining its relevance in the process.

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