As the number of sensors in vehicles, factory machinery, buildings and city infrastructure grows, companies are looking for a secure and automated way of enabling a mesh network for transactional processes. Blockchain appears to best fit that bill. The total number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices is expected to leap from 21 billion this year to 50 billion by 2022, according to recent data from Juniper Research.
The massive growth in IoT connected devices over the next four years, Juniper claims, is driven mainly by edge computing services – the processing of data away from the cloud and closer to the source. A substantial portion of the estimated 46 billion industrial and enterprise devices connected in 2023 will rely on edge computing, Juniper said, so addressing key challenges around standardization and deployment will be crucial. Blockchain, the electronic, distributed ledger technology (DLT) that also contains a business automation software component – known as self-executing “smart contracts” – could offer a standardized method for accelerating data exchange and enabling processes between IoT devices by removing the middleman.
Combining the immutability of a blockchain distributed ledger with encryption means that the more end nodes that are added, the moresecure the network becomes, unlike traditional relational database systems that have a single point of access. Blockchain-on-IoT devices are more secure because a cyber attacker would need to break into a majority of the nodes to gain controllable access to a system.