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Sun 13 Nov 2016 04:58 PM

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The benefits of blockchain in Internet of Everything environments

Blockchain-enabled Internet of Everything environments offer substantial business potential and can radically change the world we live in

The benefits of blockchain in Internet of Everything environments
[Image: Shutterstock]

Unless you've been living under a rock, the chances are you've heard about the Internet of Everything (IoE).

This environment brings together massive volumes of data, smart devices, people, processes, and other 'things', and the vast connections between all these physical and digital objects opens the door to the creation of rich experiences, new capabilities, economic growth, new business opportunities and so much more.

The opportunities are almost limitless, in fact, BI Intelligence (Business Insider's premium research service) has predicted that by 2025, all of the investments made into smart ecosystems will generate a return on investment of approximately $13 trillion.

But, given the sheer number of devices and objects (some 24-billion are expected to come online by 2020 according to BI Intelligence) within this ecosystem, there are also risks and challenges in terms of privacy, reliability and scalability.

In a nutshell, IoE environments have to be managed properly, which entails tracking and managing the billions of individual devices and objects, as well as storing and transferring the data that these devices generate. All of this has to be done quickly, reliably and securely. The good news is businesses and institutions don't have to wait for a new solution, blockchain technology can be integrated into IoE environments to address many of the security concerns.

Blockchain is basically a decentralised, distributed database that maintains a continuously-updated list of records that are secured against unauthorised tampering and revisions.

The technology can be used in IoE environments to reliably track the billions of networked devices, enable the secure processing of transactions, aid coordination between devices, while allowing for significant savings to IoE device manufacturers/vendors.

Businesses and governments can implement blockchain by leveraging the advisory services of an organisation that is an expert in the field. Blockchain Software Development Kits (SDKs) can also be instituted to address requirements, and can offer proper authentication, integrity checks, cryptographic digital signatures and other tools.

Blockchain SDKs can be integrated into almost any existing network or IoE environment, which in turn means that individuals, organisations, and governments can then reap the rewards of IoE ecosystems. These ecosystems offer a wide range of possibilities and use-cases in fields such as agriculture, automotive, consumer/wearables, healthcare, finance, infrastructure, and logistics.

From an infrastructure standpoint, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is already relying on IoE, and one of the immediate benefits, according to the transportation authority, is a reduction in journey times and congestion.

Every traffic light in the city is connected to the RTA's central command centre and by using cameras and sensors, the authority can alter the timing of traffic lights to maintain the flow of traffic and keep people away from problem areas.

This is just the beginning, blockchain-enabled IoE environments offer substantial business potential and can radically change the world we live in. It's likely not a case of 'if' but 'when' and ‘how’.

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