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Blockchain—a kind of distributed ledger technology—has been described in the popular press as the next big thing. It is a data structure of cryptographically linked “blocks” of transactions that are virtually impossible to change or remove without being detected. Therein lies its strength.

The question is whether or not blockchain can strengthen the ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT). The short answer is, maybe.

“Observers have noted that the blockchain-IoT combination is powerful and is set to transform many industries,” writes Nir Kshetri of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in his article “Can Blockchain Strengthen the Internet of Things?” published in the July/August 2017 issue of IT Pro.

Blockchain IoT security and challenges.

How blockchain can address Internet of Things (IoT) challenges and security concerns. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Kshetri evaluates blockchain’s roles in strengthening security in the Internet of Things (IoT) and covers many of the key underlying mechanisms related to the blockchain–IoT security nexus. From a security standpoint, he highlights how blockchain-based solutions could be, in many respects, superior to the current IoT ecosystem, which relies mainly on centralized cloud servers.

Read the Blockchain and IoT research here

Using practical applications and real-world examples, Kshetri argues that blockchain’s decentralized nature is likely to result in a low susceptibility to manipulation and forgery by malicious participants. He provides a detailed analysis and description of blockchain’s roles in tracking the sources of insecurity in supply chains related to IoT devices.

Read related blockchain research from the Computer Society Digital Library: