One of the most ambitious ideas in blockchain is that the technology could enable not just people and businesses to transact with each other seamlessly, but also machines. If this scenario, first articulated a few years ago, comes to pass, devices ranging from refrigerators to automobiles would not only collect and share data as part of the emerging internet of things (IoT), they would also be endowed with cryptocurrency wallets and unique, blockchain-based identities.
The business possibilities from this physical internet of value are vast, potentially expanding the transactional economy in once-unimaginable ways. Self-driving cars might pay each other to cut ahead, for instance; a fridge equipped with sensors would know when it’s running low on milk and zap the grocer some crypto to deliver a fresh carton. But cut through the awe-inspiring visions and hype, and you’ll find debates now starting to take shape over nitty-gritty details.
These systems require the integration of a variety of not yet mature hardware and software components as well as cryptographic methods and security processes. There are many hard choices to be made for IoT devices, some of which will stay in the field for decades, some of which our lives may depend on.
– Carsten Stocker, CEO_ Spherity
One of the biggest problems with IoT is that it’s a hopelessly broad category. On one end of the spectrum are high-value devices such as cars, with their abundance of computing power and battery life. On the other end, we enter the low-power world of hundreds of millions of simple devices. At each extreme, there is a unique set of difficult design questions that are now being confronted by those seeking to tie internet-connected devices to distributed ledgers.