The world is going through a huge technological change. New experimentations are being done by researchers daily, some of them can directly affect our lives, and considered to grow within our society. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud computing, Virtual Reality, Internet-of-Things are good examples of such technologies. According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report for 2018-2023, nearly 2/3rd of the global population will be accessing the internet by 2023. If we talk about devices and connections, then it’s estimated to be 3.6 networked devices per capita by 2023, which was 2.4 networked devices per capita in 2018.
This is nothing new that the Internet of Things is expanding rapidly. There will be around 30+ billion IoT connected devices by 2021, which is 3 times more compared to the world population. You might not believe, but as we speak, smart sensors are being placed to collect data from digital and mechanical devices all around the world, giving rise to new IoT applications in a small or big industry.
Today, we are going to talk about why blockchain requires more storage capacity to handle IoT data marketplace if we want to step into new technological era.
What do you know about Blockchain?
People view blockchain as a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But, it is much bigger than that. A blockchain is an expanding list of records, known as blocks. These blocks are linked together and secured using cryptography. Each block has a cryptographic hash of the previous block, the transaction data, and timestamp.
Its ground-breaking features such as decentralization, scalability, and improved security will impact a great number of industries. Blockchain works like a custodian of records that verifies and stores transactions in time-ordered blocks. Its network consists of multiple nodes (computers) connected to the network. Blockchain provides 3-key capabilities:
- Encryption and security on every transaction.
- High transparency level to enable every participant to view the entire transaction ledger.
- Access control capability to ensure that only stakeholders can access the data.
Blockchain and IoT Data Marketplace
Blockchain can be used to record any type of smart asset transaction. Its value can be digitized or programmed into code. Also known by the name distributor ledger technology, blockchain is also suited for the sale of the IoT data marketplace. Right now, the demand to bring this blockchain-enabled data marketplace into production is growing steadily.
Imagine an industry, where you can purchase the data generated by IoT devices from anywhere in the world. It could be from the sensors of moving ships in the sea bought by the weather forecasters or government agencies to create a better weather forecast models, or the data collected from airline’s jet engines by the researchers to create a better machine learning algorithms. Businesses can collect different sorts of data to gain a competitive edge over their competitors when working on new projects.
Forecasts predict that by 2030, we can expect a $3.9 trillion investment in IoT, along with 100+ billion IoT enabled devices. It has created an urgency among the business industry to collect the data from IoT enabled devices and define its value. The platforms which are raising the need to monetize IoT devices will give rise to IoT data marketplaces. After integrating it with blockchain technology, these marketplaces can be used to exchange IoT data between sellers and buyers. Its value will rise to $3.6 trillion by 2030. Just like the securities on the stock market, IoT data will be traded similarly. The exchange prices will be determined based on the particular data assets demand and supply.
Do we really need IoT Data Marketplace?
There’s already a “Data-as-a-Service” industry from where companies can sell and buy data. The DaaS industry is expected to become a 10.4 billion dollar market by 2021. However, it is very difficult to sell IoT data this way. The data collection that’s transacted in the data-as-a-service industry consists of metadata of particular organizational content. It could be utilization data, anonymized customer data, etc.. This data can be aggregated and packaged easily.
Whereas, there are also problems in handling IoT data streams. They are derived from devices that control sensitive information, critical infrastructure, and processes. It makes internet-of-things data a good target for hackers. According to TechRepublic, the DDoS attacks on IoT devices increased to 91% back in 2017.
But, it can be prevented with the introduction of blockchain. It builds trust in transactions via attributes that are not available in standard database models. Every transaction is cryptographically validated using mathematical models by the ecosystem participants. The transaction history is available either for private ledgers with each ecosystem or publically. Whenever someone sells or buys data from an IoT device, it gets recorded into blockchain and lets everyone know who sold or purchased a particular data set, and for what purpose. Having an encrypted and validated transaction record via blockchain will build confidence in sellers and buyers. It will urge them to exchange their sensitive IoT data sets, thus unlocking the intrinsic data value, which otherwise, would be too difficult to monetize.
Role of Storage in IoT Data Marketplace
Storage will act as a fundamental layer for this data strategy to integrate blockchain with the IoT data marketplace. Large storage capacities will be needed to support IoT enabled devices and sensors all around the world. It could be cloud, data center, edge, SSDs, HDDs, or other flash storage devices to store exabytes of IoT data.
AI or Artificial Intelligence will provide valuable insights as it collects a massive amount of data and processes it via machine learning to upgrade its algorithms. For example, a retailer can synchronize its data with smart fleet data and anonymized smart city to allow its machine learning and AI systems to find ideal locations to open new stores or find different ways to improve ad campaigns.
Blockchain can work with AI algorithms to collect large data volumes worldwide in a traceable and secure manner. In the end, it’s about collecting and securely handling data. Making copies of every information, or storing data on-chain is good for redundancy, but is need storage to avoid blockchain bloating.
IoT Data Marketplace
IoT is about giving the ability to transfer data over a network without human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction. It creates new use cases to bring real value to users. Whereas, IoT data marketplace creates value and new revenue streams by analyzing that data. Blockchain accelerates IoT data exchange by securing and reducing barriers to access data. But, it can’t be done without a sufficient storage capacity, which has to optimize at every step when blockchain stores data as a transaction within multiple links of a chain.