Blockchain is often touted as “the savior” to many of the obstacles that the Internet of Things must overcome for mainstream adoption. These challenges include security, trust, interoperability standards, the need for centralized platforms to provide processing power and the lack of resilience that a centralized approach can mean. Yet to some extent, the hype is premature.
The reality is that there are still too many operational, technical and commercial questions left unanswered that inhibit large-scale production-ready deployments—including questions related to immaturity, complexity, scalability, security and governance. For a number of IoT use cases (e.g., supply chain traceability, product provenance), it is too early to say if blockchains will be the solution to the various challenges. And for other use cases (e.g., real-time control of IoT devices), it simply does not make sense.
In fact, blockchains are currently positioned at a number of use cases that IoT platforms seek to address, with provenance, authenticity and traceability being the most common. Existing platforms, such as EVRYTHNG’s IoT Smart Products Platform, address these use cases with proven enterprise-ready Web technology. Such a platform enables real-time data to be made readily accessible to multiple parties through the supply chain, as well as to consumers at point-of-sale and post-purchase. In these scenarios, blockchains presents interesting alternative way to record product transactions and history in an immutable trail, but the question should be: is this what your use case really needs?
Despite the current disadvantages of using complex and still immature technologies, blockchains will surely play an important role in the future of IoT and product traceability. This is why EVRYTHNG is developing integrations with several blockchains to enable brands to evaluate how centralized IoT platforms and (decentralized) blockchain implementations can together establish enterprise value and tackle real-world challenges.
In our new white paper, “Blockchains for IoT: Beyond the Hype,” we cut through the hype to understand the real-world commercial impact of the convergence of IoT, supply chain and blockchain, how this should shape digital transformation strategies and how companies can easily deploy simple proof of concepts to evaluate the value of blockchain and IoT working together.
Download our “Blockchains for IoT: Beyond the Hype” white paper here.