Blockchain 2.0, Blockchain + IoT

Blockchain Past, Now, Future

Blockchain’s origin was as the base technology that supported Bitcoin. It comes from Bitcoin, but it is more than Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a very successful application built on Blockchain technology. Started in 2009, Blockchain has evolved in three phases.

  • Blockchain 1.0 (past, now):     digital currency, like bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, OKcoin etc.
  • Blockchain 2.0 (now):     digital asset and smart contracts, like Ethereum, Hyperledger, etc.
  • Blockchain 3.0 (now, future):     Blockchain big society, like decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)/decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), Blockchain + AI in science, healthcare, education, etc.

Three Classes of Blockchain

  • Open Chain:     everyone can fully participate in the Blockchain like Bitcoin.
  • Industrial Chain:     semi-open chain, only a group of members (like all companies in the oil industry) can fully participate in the Blockchain like Hyperledger.
  • Private Chain:     only a member can fully participate in the Blockchain.

Blockchain 2.0, Blockchain + IoT

An example is smart contracts in Hyperledger. IoT is definitely a huge field for Blockchain. I quote an explanation from IBM Watson IoT Blockchain webpage.

“…IoT devices to send data to private blockchain ledgers for inclusion in shared transactions with tamper resistant records. Blockchain’s distributed replication allows…business partners to access and supply IoT data without the need for central control and management. All business partners can verify each transaction, preventing disputes and ensuring each partner is held accountable for their individual roles in the overall transaction.”[1]

The blockchain is a game changer for IoT. Marriage between blockchain and IoT offers new ways to automate business processes among parties without setting up a complex and expensive centralized IT infrastructure [2].

Three Key Benefits of Blockchain + IoT

  1. Build trust between parties and devices and reduce the risk of collusion and tampering [2].
  2. Reduce costs by removing overhead associated with middlemen and intermediaries [2].
  3. Accelerate transactions by reducing settlement time from days to near instantaneous [2].

Blockchain + IoT Use Cases

  • Shipping/Logistics. Monitor shipping logistics and share shipping documents.
  • Parts Tracking/Maintenance. Track part provenance from manufacture to end of life.
  • Supply Chain. Broadcast supply and demand on a shared blockchain. Track part location and manufacturing information on a shared blockchain.
  • Regulatory Compliance. Share documents with a regulatory agency and or the public on a blockchain.
  • Building Management. Permanent record of building access and usage.
  • Energy. Track and trade carbon credits on a blockchain.





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2 comments on “Blockchain 2.0, Blockchain + IoT”

  1. Interesting post, thanks!

    From what I understand, the processing power of Blockchain is relatively low compared to centralized infrastructures. If you think about the mass of signals IoT applications generate, how could you tackle this problem with blockchain?

  2. Thanks for the post @puyang!
    While most of the public focus is on open chains, I think industrial chain and private chain could be very useful if explored properly!
    To extend blockchain to IoT, AFAIK most people use blockchain for its immutable properties, like smart contract. For the use cases you listed above, like shipping, supply chain, etc, how to apply blockchain directly? Is it for tracking? If so, things can be dynamic among those areas. Probably I didn’t understand the usage of blockchain correctly, would love to get more elaboration here. Thanks!


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