IoT could be the killer app for blockchain

The Internet of Things is in search of a secure method for automating processes and exchanging data in real time to speed transactions; blockchain could be a perfect fit.

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For example, an IoT sensor manufacturer could place security backdoors in the device software that could be activated with a trojan horse or a virus. "In fact, someone may have paid me as an employee of that company to install a back door that may allow me to come into your network without you knowing," Milicevic said. "If you're able to have more than 50% of computing power controlled in rogue nodes then the entire history of the blockchain could be overwritten with whatever you want."

One strength of a blockchain ledger, however, is that it cannot be overwritten; it is a write-once, append-many technology. So, the history of all transactions on the peer-to-peer network remains regardless of any intrusion.

The lack of real world examples of blockchain deployments is one reason C-level executives are cautious about embracing the technology.

A recent survey of CIOs by Gartner highlighted that trend. Only 1% of the CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organizations, and only 8% said they were in short-term planning or active experimentation with blockchain, according to Gartner's 2018 CIO Survey.

blockchain plans 2018 Gartner Gartner

"This year's Gartner CIO Survey provides factual evidence about the massively hyped state of blockchain adoption and deployment," said Furlonger. "It is critical to understand what blockchain is and what it is capable of today, compared to how it will transform companies, industries and society tomorrow."

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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