Supply chain, automotive, and sales of industrial sensor data emerge as initial use-case contenders for blockchain and its ilk in the Internet of Things.
Two giant industrials, Bosch and Volkswagen, are among companies that are taking seriously the idea that the Internet of Things (IoT) and decentralized data marketplaces should co-exist. That means a type of “blockchain meets IoT” is likely in our future.
Both German organizations have recently teamed up with fellow-country, decentralized transactional platform IOTA on various development projects. IOTA’s Tangle is a transactional data transfer and settlement system for connected devices.
Bosch announced in November that it intends to use a combination of its XDK (Cross Domain development Kit) product (an IoT prototyping and programmable sensor module used as a come-on to get organizations to work with Bosch on custom mass production and series engineering), and morph XDK with IOTA marketplace along a masked communications channel.
“People and machines can transfer money and/or data without any transaction fees in a trustless, permissionless, and decentralized environment,” the non-profit IOTA says on its website. IOTA also explains that it’s a mechanism for selling and accessing active data streams and technically not really a mined blockchain. (Non-mined IOTA transactions are issued simultaneously and continuously rather than linearly and in time intervals, as is case with classic blockchain.) But its similar in that it is also decentralized peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology.
IOTA is established as “the main currency for machines,” the organization claims.
Automotive uses for blockchain-like ledgers
Automaker Volkswagen, too, has been exploring IOTA. Automotive uses for blockchain-like, or alternative-technology distributed ledgers, include authenticating mileage for a lease return, for example. Other uses in that vertical could be in remote, over-the-air software updates where auditing and authentication might be important. And indeed IOTA claims a proof of concept has been established with Volkswagen for that technology. Volkswagen’s head of digital, Johann Jungwirth, at one time was on the board of IOTA.