Blockchain technology increasingly resonates in the boardrooms of the IoT community. Internet of Things (IoT) deployments bring with them several benefits, however, they also encounter several challenges, primarily in the areas of security, data access, ownership and privacy. In principle, blockchain technology seems to be a candidate for solving those problems yet there is still not enough evidence about the effectiveness of blockchain in solving some critical problems of the IoT. The IoT community is exploring the role of blockchain for smart products and connected solutions and in this interview, Prasad Kandikonda, the vice president of software engineering at MultiTech, tells Padraig Scully, the chief research officer of research and analysis firm IoT Analytics that, the company has firmly embraced that exploration
Padraig Scully: Digital ledger technologies (DLTs) such as blockchain are not an easy topic to absorb. To start, can you provide a simple explanation of what DLTs such as blockchain are?
Prasad Kandikonda: DLTs and blockchain have become buzzwords in the last few years primarily due to the popularity of bitcoin. If you really take a close look at these technologies, many of the core concepts have been in use for many years originating from distributed databases and cryptography. At the heart of DLT and blockchain, the fundamental thing they are addressing is the removal of any middle man involvement and building trust in the overall transaction irrespective of where you do it from and how you do it, removing the geographical boundaries and legal barriers. Simply put, anybody producing a product, wherever in the world they may be, can transact with another party, known or unknown, from anywhere in the world and trust that the transaction has taken place securely and the authentic produce has been delivered to the rightful entity. It is as simple as that, remove the middle man, remove double accounting and provide a clean transaction as fast as possible.
PS: There are several approaches to blockchain in the marketplace such as public and private, permission-less and permissioned and others. Can you clarify those concepts?
PK: If you look at the overall blockchain market, there are primarily two kinds. One is basically open, public and permission-less and the other is closed, private and permissioned. The prime example is bitcoin, which is open, public and permission-less. Anyone with a computer and access to internet, can join the bitcoin network, create their account and participate in the overall transaction process. You really don’t need anything else. With other networks like OpenChain or MultiChain, which are more enterprise-wide networks, services are privately deployed for only users with permissions and authentication. These type of private networks are used by enterprises to solve a particular vertical problem or integrate some of their business and manufacturing processes across various suppliers and consumers. A typical example would be a supply-chain management solution that connects all the parties involved in the operations of an enterprise.
PS: There are some well-known blockchain issues such as scalability and energy consumption. Some responses are emerging such as digital […]
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