The digital world is based on modern technologies providing access to the internet and distant places, people, and services. Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) play an essential role in reforming our future lifestyle and work culture. IoT enables us to transfer data over the internet, having a network of physical objects. Though it has connected the world with faster communication, it has security, privacy, and safety challenges. These challenges can be overcome using blockchain technology. The combination of blockchain and IoT can provide us with a safe, secure transfer of data, confidential information, and knowledge throughout the IoT network.
The adoption of technology is increasing in all sectors to improve management, handling, and safety. IoT is already implemented in various applications, but it needs to be improved in terms of data integrity, security, flexibility, and efficiency. Blockchain provides a decentralized approach with its distributed data ledger technology. It supports the privacy, flexibility, and efficiency requirements of IoT solutions when integrated with IoT systems. Let’s see some of the Blockchain IoT use cases Applications.
Industries are transforming with the introduction of the latest technologies in their infrastructure. Though IoT has reached almost all industry sectors, its use cases with Blockchain are still limited. The blockchain IoT use cases include supply chain and logistics, automotive industry, intelligent homes, sharing economy, pharmacy industry, agriculture, and water management. The number of use cases is increasing with the extensive research and development in modern technologies worldwide.
Supply Chain and Logistics:
The global supply chain and logistics involve many stakeholders such as brokers, distributors, raw material providers, transportation, and sellers. Due to many layers in the supply chain, the existing supply chain and logistics systems lack transparency, efficiency, and precise management. A new approach to enhance the systems is proposed that combines IoT and blockchain technology. IoT-enabled systems collect data using sensors like motion sensors, temperature sensors, GPS, connected devices, vehicles, and so forth. This data is then safely stored in the blockchain. Only registered stakeholders can access the data and get insights into the real-time data. It improves supply chain management and creates an immutable, secure, and visible ledger to improve transparency and accountability.
Automation is getting significant attention in the digital era. The automotive industry is using IoT-enabled solutions to design and develop automatic vehicles. Blockchain IoT use cases for this industry might vary from fully automated cars to automated fuel payment, smart parking, automated traffic control. It can also be used to share data on vehicles with their owners, dealers, and manufacturers. Moreover, it has applications in securely linking data among different businesses held in the automotive industry, including manufacturers, dealers, insurers, etc. Conclusively, blockchain IoT use cases in the automotive industry can be categorized as verification and process improvement, vehicle management and incentives, finance, payments, and insurance.
The concept of a smart home is becoming popular among many parts of the world-dominating the technology providing smartness and intelligence to machines. The remote management and control of domestic appliances, systems have been possible with IoT solutions. The existing smart home solutions have issues regarding centralized approach, privacy, and security. Blockchain technology provides a decentralized system with higher security of the smart home system. With improved safety, sensitive data can be stored in the blockchain using biometrics, facial recognition, and voice recognition.
The sharing economy business models are gaining popularity in the past ten years. The operational structure of these businesses may be disrupted with the new technologies such as IoT and blockchain providing automation. Sharing economy allows companies and private persons to offer services through online platforms or share their property. Currently, Uber, Airbnb, and other businesses using shared economy are using centralized settlement services to connect consumers and providers with each other. Current sharing economy business models have characteristics such as aggregate supply/ demand, customer relationship management tools, and payment processing. Blockchain IoT has a use case in sharing economy to provide decentralized settlement and smart contracts between providers and consumers.
The pharmacy industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It develops, manufactures, and distributes drugs. It is challenging to track drugs in the supply chain and location as well as to keep records at each passing point in the supply chain. IoT blockchain technology can provide a transparent and traceable healthcare system having pharmaceutical logs and traces. Blockchain has an immutable and timestamped distributed ledger that stores data regarding manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, dispensers, and end customers. This data is stored securely and accessed only by authorized people. Blockchain IoT in the pharmacy industry offers the advantage of the simplified payment process, stops counterfeit drugs from invading the supply chain, and controls user access. Moreover, it has use cases in clinical trials, patient data management, R&D applications, and inventory management.
The urgent need of the agriculture sector to increase the productivity, sustainability, and quality of food has led the agriculture technology developments. Modern technologies are used to collect data, analyze it and use it in decision making. IoT-enabled solutions are making it possible to integrate different systems to make one complete farm management solution. Blockchain can provide a legitimate source of information for farmers affordably. The accurate information about the inventories, state of farms, and contracts in agriculture can be accessed through blockchain solutions. Traceability has become of prime importance for consumers. Blockchain technology keeps track and records the provenance of food, creating a trustworthy supply chain. It will help to build trust between suppliers and consumers.
Water scarcity and reduced underground water resources are the biggest problems in front of the world in the 21st century. A water management system should achieve water conservation through proper tracing of the water supply and maintenance. The tracked record needs to be stored and handled by any central authority with limited access to the data. The data should be highly secure to avoid any malpractices in the water supply management network. The water quality and safety data need to be immutable and secure. Moreover, customers should be able to get transparent reports on their water usage. Though the data can be secured on IoT devices, other requirements can be satisfied successfully only by applying blockchain technology in water management.
Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that provides a decentralized infrastructure to the IoT network. It provides advantages of privacy, security, data integrity, flexibility, and efficiency to IoT applications. Integration of blockchain technology with IoT solutions has different use cases. It includes but is not limited to supply chain and logistics, automotive industry, smart homes, sharing economy, pharmacy industry, agriculture, and water management, as explored in the article.