One of the main themes of this year’s Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit was the challenge of bridging the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) standards. Many speakers were hopeful about the potential for achieving functional interoperability, if not a unifying standard, and there were even calls for a possible merger between two of the largest open source efforts: AllSeen and IoTivity.
Others, however, like Dutch IT consultant Benedikt Herudek, were more skeptical. “Forget about standards,” Herudek told attendees to his presentation “IoT Consensus — A Solution Suggestion to the ‘Baskets of Remote’ Problem.”
“Sometimes it works, but in my experience getting everybody to use the same standard is usually wishful thinking,” he said.
Herudek is not content with an IoT world separated into silos, however. He has a potential solution based on a proven technology: Bitcoin. In Herudek’s view, the same qualities of universality and security that mark Bitcoin and its blockchain technology for financial transactions could be applied to the IoT messaging protocol problem. Specifically, Herudek outlines a version of the Bitcoin’s “proof of work” consensus mechanism that would translate messages between any application without requiring a trusted middleman or resorting to industry or vendor protocol standards.