As technological advancements continue to increase we will constantly experience shifts and changes in society. Currently, everyone is trying to keep up with new technology and its possible applications. One interesting example is blockchain. Blockchain technology was previously popularised due to its novel application in the world of finance and internet payment solutions.
One major factor that contributed to the current popularity of blockchain technology was the various cryptocurrencies. Further applications for blockchain has added to its hype. Certain tech giants have also announced plans to start developing a system that combines blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. Numerous opportunities are available with blockchain and more are yet to be or applied.
How does blockchain work?
Blockchain is a complex cryptographic system or ‘chain’ of codes. Each component or block in a chain contains numerous data that are special and specific to it. Once a block is added to the chain, the information that it contains cannot be modified. Data in a block include identification codes, dates, source markers, destination codes, and any special data that is determined before entry.
This special feature of blockchain makes it a suitable authentication mode for payment verification, user authentication, and record keeping. It provides a simple and trustworthy solution to online payments. It was successfully used to facilitate numerous digital currencies, but just like other applications its yet to achieve full integration.
Discovering Digital Identities
Digital identity is a sort of marker. An authentication system is important when computers and other devices interact on a local network or the internet. A digital identity is essential for proper device authentication, correct data delivery, and tracking, cybersecurity, and AI automation. Internet of Things (IoT) is another sector where blockchain will provide critical solutions to security authentication and digital identity.
Blockchain and IoT – and 5G
Blockchain and IoT are a perfect match. Blockchain can easily solve the problem of security and device authentication required for a complete IoT implementation. The nature of blockchain provides a robust platform that can host numerous identity issuers, and still facilitate transparency and security. One reason why the match has not been made is that IoT requires a high-speed, low-latency network. This is where 5G comes in.
The IoT requires a high-speed, low-latency network
The Internet of Things has been a working model for a long time. It has seen little application because of the security breach it poses and the bandwidth requirement for effective communication. With blockchain, different devices can be digitally identified and authenticated but then devices need to communicate quickly.
Latency is the time it takes for a signal that is sent from one device reaches the target destination. For devices in a network, this is important for sharing data and communicating swiftly. This is commonly referred to as lag. The higher the latency on a network the longer the lag. Lag can also increase with the increase in users and the size of data that is transferred.
5G or fifth-generation networks is currently the highest level of network generations. 5G can support much higher speeds and larger data transfers. This way it will solve the problem of latency and lag, allowing for a larger number of devices on the IoT to communicate effectively. Implementation of 5G has already begun in some states in the US and Asia. It is also expected to be globally implemented by 2020.
This means that 5G will soon cause a global reformation in the way we expect to send and receive large amounts of data. This will change the face of business, entertainment, social services, you name it. 5G will also enable blockchain and IoT to reach their potential enabling a higher network of devices while reducing the financial cost, energy consumption, and redundancy in IoT.
Financial infrastructure is where blockchain comes in
While 5G will solve the problem of latency and communicating speed there are other issues that need attention. The number of internet payment and online business transactions are on the rise. Criminals can create devices and attempt to join an IoT with malicious intent. Financial infrastructure would be well served by blockchain. As IoT becomes properly facilitated by 5G, blockchain can be used to fortify IoT security by enabling decentralization and immutable records.
The scalability of blockchain is a major bottleneck that will have to be overcome before it can be applied to the IoT
It is projected that by 2025 more than 10billion devices would have joined the IoT. This means that at any point in time numerous devices would be communicating and transferring data. Malicious devices would be introduced to breach security protocols and steal valuable data. This would be done by masquerading as benign or essential devices. Blockchain can protect the identity of devices registered on an IoT while ensuring it is safely authenticated.
The scalability of blockchain would be a major problem as the amount of data stored on the chain will continue to increase with the number of devices. The decentralization of blockchain records will ensure that multiple copies of authentication data are stored in separate databases. If a blockchain’s record is modified its hashtag will change, notifying the security of the breach. Currently, the high number of transactions has required it to be relegated to a different layer.
Technology can only move forward. Once 5G is completely implemented worldwide blockchain and IoT will make the next leap in development.