One immediate opportunity for blockchain and the IoT to begin interacting together appears to be in the area of managing distributed end point devices. Previously, these devices would be controlled through a central command model. An example of this blockchain model would be where a temperature sensor needs to share data with a valve controller at a different point in the system to adjust its setting. In this case, there would then be a record of this interaction for purposes of oversight, a transaction trail, or for regulatory reasons. Blockchain provides the perfect solution here by creating records across multiple end point devices while keeping the system tamper-proof. The piece that follows does an excellent job of describing how this works by providing details in a series of three special project articles about this.
Across the electronics industry the terms “blockchain” and “the Internet of things” (IoT) are beginning to be linked together. Blockchain first gained attention as part of the cryptocurrency wave, typified by Bitcoin, challenging the norms of financial transactions. But it’s not so much monetary interactions that have caught the attention of IoT providers as it is data transactions. Blockchain at its core provides a tamper-proof, distributed, recordkeeping mechanism that looks to be highly applicable to resolving key issues associated with networks of autonomously interacting connected devices.