The globe is changing swiftly as individuals and organizations adopt digital ecosystems and smart technologies. This paradigm shift has given rise to the fourth industrial revolution, also dubbed 4IR. Ideally, the 4IR ushers in an era where digitally connected products can automatically communicate hence the concept of smart cities and homes.
Some of the hallmark technologies supporting this new era include the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Interestingly, IoT and blockchain practically show the real potential of building future economies. Innovators from both niches are now matching synergies to create and implement futuristic products.
The past few years have been particularly eventful as IoT innovations integrated with blockchain networks to advance the growth of distributed ecosystems. IoT has proved to be a significant value addition to blockchain in various ways, including data harmonization and scaling the energy to power decentralized economies.
How IoT is Fast-Changing Blockchain’s Future
According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the IoT industry was valued at $308 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow past the $1.8 trillion mark by 2028 at a CAGR of 25.4%. This niche has picked the interest of tech-savvy individuals, most of whom are fascinated by the concept of smart technology.
With blockchain in the picture, the fundamental value proposition of IoT has become more significant. Today, IoT innovations are being integrated within distributed ledger networks to enable data collection, amongst other functions. This relationship can be seen in upcoming blockchain projects that use IoT to enhance functionality.
Blockchain projects leveraging IoT include Constellation, a decentralized network that enables seamless and secure communication between big data sources. Put simply; Constellation relies on IoT data points amongst other sources to collect and harmonize information within its distributed ledger, Hypergraph.
Notably, Constellation’s technology is already being used by prominent stakeholders, including the United States Air Force (USAF). The firm’s CEO Ben Jorgensen, previously told Forbes that their solutions are focused on supporting decision making through the automation of big data,
“In simple terms, it means we are working to provide support and solutions for decision making across various systems. A command center, at the USAF, has inputs that are mostly manual and not automated,”
Scaling the Energy to Power Decentralized Economies
IoT is being used in blockchain projects that focus on data solutions and decentralized innovations that aim to maximize the globe’s untapped energy. This includes low energy produced by mobile devices when functionalities such as Bluetooth are on.
On this line, we have projects like Nodle, a next step IoT evolution whose fundamentals rely on blockchain and crypto to ensure security and scalability. The Nodle ecosystem allows users to deploy their unused Bluetooth low Energy (BLE) to become IoT nodes that relay information. Essentially, smartphone owners can download the Nodle Cash app and become nodes in return for network rewards, NODL tokens.
Nodle’s model to leverage IoT within its blockchain infrastructure creates opportunities for enterprises to track goods in transit, amongst other functions. The project has partnered with prominent players, including ESTV, a leading sports streaming platform. This partnership will allow ESTV users to run Nodle nodes while streaming their favourite sports.
Moving on, the Internet of Energy Network (IOEN) is another blockchain-oriented innovation that borrows heavily from the IoT infrastructure. The project focuses on building open-source protocols to facilitate the scalability of software-defined grids. IEON’s fundamental model seeks to connect all energy devices to balance clean and renewable energy distribution-a significant factor in achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
Unlike traditional energy foundations, IOEN uses a bottom-up approach. This means that the protocol creates an avenue for any grid user to join its ecosystem and monetize their resources. IOEN features a native token dubbed ‘IOEN’, which users can stake to unlock the platform’s Internet of Energy Community (IOEC) tokens. The IOEC tokens facilitate mini-grid transactions, enabling users to trade their unused energy.
As the world ushers in the post-covid era, a lot is bound to change. The 4IR is expected to shape most of the world’s activities in the coming decades. A recent report by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director-General, LI Yong, highlights that,
“The effects of the experience with the COVID-19 crisis will be long lasting, and the post-pandemic world will increasingly be driven by 4IR technologies and their applications for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”
Novel innovations such as IoT and blockchain are already paving the way for futuristic societies and economies. Going by the current innovation rates, it is likely that this decade will feature the intersection of 4IR technologies to build what most would have called a dream two years ago. That said, it would be better to shape up rather than ship out!
Featured image via Pixabay.