Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to networked devices or objects that can exchange data and instructions through the wireless network of the Internet.
Modern computers, smart speakers, smart watches, and smart phones can be regarded as the foundation of the Internet of Things. With the continuous improvement of modernization, the use cases of IoT devices in various fields are also increasing. The widespread application of the Internet of Things technology makes people’s lives more convenient.
For example, IoT devices are used in healthcare systems, cryptocurrency mining, machine learning technology, agricultural product analysis, games, manufacturing, trade, and so on.
Although the Internet of Things technology is developing rapidly in today’s world, the Internet of Things is currently facing some major challenges.
Researchers tried to find some solutions, but most of the challenges remained unsolved. IoT security, privacy, and scalability have always been the most significant challenges that must be addressed to accelerate the mass adoption of IoT devices.
Challenges facing the Internet of Things:
- Security and privacy
- Cloud attack
- Consumer perception
- Logging system is missing
If so many IoT devices with security vulnerabilities are connected to the central server, hackers can easily use the weakest security layer to launch DDoS attacks, and users should be forced to lose their very sensitive data.
Another challenge facing IoT technology in centralized systems is scalability. If so many nodes are connected to the central server, it must exchange a lot of information and data with all connected IoT devices. According to the ever-growing equipment, the central server will be overloaded and cause failure.
Therefore, it is necessary to invest a lot of resources and investment to manage the central server, otherwise once the central server is offline, the entire Internet of Things devices (connected to the central server) will be affected.
Based on the basic technology of computers, another breakthrough technology of blockchain was developed by introducing Bitcoin into this world.
Bitcoin was born to allow users to send, hold and receive Bitcoin based on a Peer-to-Peer network without the need for a central server or entity.
The Bitcoin blockchain network inspired the development of another blockchain, Ethereum, which was the first blockchain to introduce smart contract functions. The following characteristics of blockchain technology are even game changers for the Internet of Things technology.
Blockchain as a distributed ledger technology (DLT), information and data are verified before being included in the block, and then connected to all participating nodes of the P2P network.
Proof-of-work (PoW)-based blockchain has a system that reaches a consensus based on more than 50% verification. This is the beauty of a decentralized blockchain network. It can also be the best function for protecting IoT devices. Because the attacker cannot use limited resources to invade all participating nodes.
There are five generations of blockchain technology. The first three generations of blockchain can do the following things to solve the most frequently discussed challenges of security, trust, and scalability (to a certain extent).
- In the decentralized Internet connection, the distributed architecture of blockchain technology can effectively track, store, and monitor sensor data by preventing duplicate data. The non-tampering feature is the key to preventing users from maliciously modifying and deleting data stored in the blockchain.
- Different sensors of IoT devices can communicate with the blockchain to exchange data and information, which will eventually eliminate the same trust issues as centralized systems.
- Through the secure transmission of data, DLT is the best choice for IoT device authentication, record keeping and device identification, and it is also transparent in a decentralized system.
- No matter how many nodes are connected in the blockchain, there will not be a single source of failure such as server downtime in a centralized system.
- Since there is no intermediary in blockchain technology, deployment and operation costs are reduced.
- The blockchain makes the troubleshooting process of IoT devices easier. The smart contract feature of the blockchain is the best choice here. The immutable history can be seen in the blockchain at any time.
- The work done by this algorithm in a larger blockchain network is impossible to reverse, so an attacker cannot crack the encryption to steal so much sensitive data.
These are some applications of the first three generations of blockchains, but in fact, they are not enough to solve the main challenges of IoT technology. Due to the following limitations of the first three generations of blockchains, these challenges hinder the large-scale adoption of IoT technology:
- Generally speaking, these blockchains are computationally very expensive, they exhibit high bandwidth overhead and latency, which are not the most suitable for IoT devices and their applications.
- Arbitrary data sharing across these blockchains is impossible, and it is very complicated to integrate so many real-world applications for IoT devices. There is a third-generation blockchain Cardano based on PoS, which is still not enough to solve this problem.
- In fact, many IoT devices expect low latency, but these blockchain networks are based on PoW and they need time to mine blocks.
- Low scalability is the problem of these PoW-based blockchain networks, so it also brings trouble to IoT networks that include node clusters.
- Due to limited bandwidth, many IoT devices may not contribute to the mass adoption of IoT, and the large amount of overhead traffic from these blockchain networks is not desirable.
- Some small PoW-based blockchains may suffer from 51% majority attacks, so it will create another worse situation and prevent the adoption of blockchains in the Internet of Things.
The following figure shows the challenges that the first three generations of blockchain technology did not solve:
Fourth-generation blockchains, such as Polkadot and EOS, have helped the adoption of IoT technology due to the following characteristics:
- Blockchain EOS provides free and scalable transaction processing capabilities. These key features are also required by the Internet of Things.
- Blockchain can resist SYBIL, DDoS and most attacks.
- Easy-to-use manufacturing and business-related applications.
- Hasgraph technology is introduced in the fourth generation of blockchain technology. This feature is very helpful for the fairness of blockchain networks.
- The Polkadot blockchain has multi-chain characteristics, maximizing the use of IoT devices.
Although the fourth-generation blockchain technology has many interesting functions, they still cannot properly solve the main challenges of the Internet of Things technology.
They cannot provide the scalability and flexibility needed to integrate IoT networks with blockchains. Therefore, they still have limitations in assisting the mass adoption trend of the Internet of Things.
Therefore, the fifth-generation blockchain technology evolved with the birth of the Free TON blockchain network. Free TON has a lightweight blockchain architecture, which is very useful for the Internet of Things, which can eliminate the overhead of the blockchain while maintaining security and privacy solutions.
How the fifth-generation blockchain technology has the potential to accelerate the mass adoption of IoT technology:
- Multi-chain blockchain introduces game-changing features, such as dynamic sharding, instant hypercube routing, and self-healing vertical blockchain mechanism, providing huge scalability, so it can be very beneficial to the Internet of Things in the P2P ecosystem Application to handle a large amount of overloaded big data and instructions.
- Provide ultimate calculations through smart contracts. If IoT applications are designed to process payments, everything can be processed quickly without any third parties.
- The technology to produce high-quality sensors and smart chips is progressing.
- Features low latency and high throughput efficiency
- Transactions are processed by paying very low costs, each transaction only costs a few cents.
- There is greater transparency and tamper-proof data distribution throughout the ledger.
Therefore, the fifth-generation blockchain technology can meet all the following goals of blockchain networks in IoT applications:
The combination of advanced and next-generation blockchain technology and the Internet of Things has great potential and applications to create a global market. Blockchain technology can meet the needs of a wider range of IoT applications, such as smart cities, healthcare systems, identity management, voting, smart homes, and so on. Blockchain technology can help mass adoption of the Internet of Things by overcoming many challenges.