Ethereum is a platform that offers many benefits for the Internet of Things, smart contracts and low confirmation times can solve some of the challenges ahead of IoT deployments: security and scalability.

The Internet of Things (IoT) in its broader definition, is the interconnection of many heterogeneous devices –ranging from desktop computers, embedded systems, small sensors, among others-. This network collects, and exchange data to enhance the process of decision making, it is also used to remotely sense and control objects. This creates a new paradigm in which the physical world and computer-based systems are working together.

Information is power, The Internet of Things is set to greatly increase the rate at which data is produced, with millions and millions of sensors and devices monitoring the status of physical objects, when the data is processed into useful information the decision-making process of a company is enhanced.

Business Insider made a report in which they analyzed how IoT is being used by governments and companies to improve their operations, the study also projected that there will  be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet by the year 2020, up from 10 billion in 2015. IoT devices will account for 24 billion while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.

Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions. Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT devices, the report also suggests that the three main benefits of IoT solutions will be

  • Lowering operating costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Create new product offerings

The use cases for IoT technology are endless, but the main industries that are going to benefit from this technology include transportation services, which already are implementing IoT solutions to geolocate vehicles and freights in real-time, there are sensors to assess fuel levels and general maintenance data. All this raw data is processed to evaluate key metrics. The expansion of the wearables market is also a signal that IoT devices are going to dominate the market. Wearables are being used to monitor people’s vitals like the heartbeat, blood pressure, and sugar levels. IoT can help patients to receive a more personalized medical attention, or to monitor their status in real-time.

The Internet of Things revolution is not something free of challenges, businesses will have to deal with complex issues, like for example, handling and coordinating millions of devices, and also securing their operations. Encryption and security of the data are fundamentals in big corporations, having millions of sensors all around the globe can prove to be difficult because they may pose a risk for being an easy entry-point for hackers, this is where Ethereum and Blockchain tech can help.

With the Ethereum Blockchain technology, devices can freely transact, for example, a washer machine can request more detergent to the convenience store, doing automatic payment as needed. In the future, hyper-interconnected smart objects will have the ability to request and communicate information. Ethereum blockchain allows transactions with low confirmation times, the big innovation of this Blockchain compared to the Bitcoin one is the possibility to create and deploy “Smart Contracts” which are programs that perform execution in a decentralized, distributed way, removing the possibility of downtime and censorship.

Slock.it proposal for The DAO can be categorized inside what they denominate as the Universal Sharing Economy. In a Slock.it blog entry they revealed how the Ethereum blockchain could be alive inside several physical objects in the near future (some of them were actually working with Ethereum tech), The Ethereum Computer (the main product to be released thanks to The DAO crowdfunding), a DSLAM (network router which gives Internet access through phone lines), an Industrial IoT Gateway (allows multiple IoT devices to communicate with each other) and a 3D Printer.

IoT devices could securely communicate between them using the blockchain tech, thanks to Ethereum they could also benefit from outsourcing computation to the Ethereum’s global computer, the Internet of Things may find Ethereum as its best companion.

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