It seems like blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the two next big things in information technology. For example, IBM spends an estimated $160 million on blockchain projects per year.
Despite the amount of money IBM invests into the sector, it will still be some time before blockchain sees wide use. IoT, on the other hand, is already paving its way to our homes and businesses.
Smartwatches count our calories, smart homes add an extra layer of comfort to our lives, and products like Amazon Echo or Alexa give us personal assistance.
Due to a growing interest in these two developing technologies, startups working with them seem to be springing up every day. Although these technologies still have a few hurdles to overcome, every day they inch closer towards full adoption.
Eventually, blockchain paired with IoT can revolutionize homes, institutions, hospitals, and businesses throughout the world. Below is the list of top blockchain IoT projects that are pushing both technologies to the edge of mass adoption.
Claiming to be “the world’s first IoT contract and payment platform,” Hdac, a subsidiary of Hyundai Corporation, plans to use blockchain and IoT to automate car, grocery, electricity, water, and a variety of other payments using own cryptocurrency.
Ideally, items such as refrigerators, cars, music devices, televisions, and others, will be all connected to the internet. Paired with blockchain technology, these devices could pay for themselves.
Say, your fridge is running low on food. Using IoT, blockchain, and perhaps some sensors, it will be able to determine lacking items and order them from Amazon or other retailers.
Hdac hopes to ultimately expand these services to help build smart homes, smart campuses, smart factories, and smart cars. Although blockchain will primarily be used to automate payments, it will also function as an extra security blanket.
Entities involved: Hdac
Project summary: Automating payments for IoT devices
Project status: Hdac expects to have their ecosystem developed by 2020. However, it will be quite some time before devices will be able to live up to Hdac’s expectations.
Source: Hdac whitepaper
The Ockam Blockchain Network is a decentralized open platform that developers can use to integrate identity management, trust, and interoperability into their IoT systems. It gives developers a set of tools to build systems in accordance with IoT security standards.
Press Release: "Ockam releases open source code to solve IoT developers’ greatest challenges." https://t.co/lT2svBIMHn
— Ockam (@Ockam_io) January 10, 2019
Being open-sourced, the Ockam network accepts coding contributions by anyone throughout the globe.
Entities involved: Ockam
Project summary: An open-sourced network to develop IoT blockchain systems focused on identity management, trust, and interoperability.
Project status: The network is up and running, and is publicly accessible.
Source: Ockam Network
Atonomi’s goal is to increase IoT device security, as its lack is one of the main factors slowing the development of IoT technology. Blockchain seems a good solution to this problem. The Atonomi platform can boast of identity validation, device reputation, interoperability, transaction-based environment, and extensible architecture.
Entities involved: Atonomi
Project summary: Embedded blockchain-based solution to increase IoT security.
Project status: Atonomi is in the third and final phase of its development roadmap. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2019.
Source: Atonomi whitepaper
Given the current cost of supply chain management through blockchain IoT applications, only high-end luxury items, such as designer handbags and wines, have been able to afford its usage so far.
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DiscoveryIoT plans to end that with its affordably priced tags. At only ten cents a pop, DiscoveyIoT’s radio frequency identification (RFID) tags come as some of the cheapest on the market.
The goal is to promote the adoption of IoT and blockchain in supply chain management and thus help manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers make it more efficient at less cost.
Entities involved: DiscoveryIoT
Project summary: Providing $0.10 RFID tags for supply chain management using IoT and blockchain
Project status: DiscoveryIoT has begun token sale, with the project expected to be completed by 2022.
Source: DiscoveryIoT whitepaper
Xage, “the world’s first blockchain-protected security platform for Industrial IoT,” plans on revolutionizing transportation, utilities, manufacturing, energy, building management, and mining industry with its secure blockchain-based network.
The current model of enterprise security lacks the necessary components to provide adequate security for Industry 4.0, and Xage believes they can change that.
Entities involved: Xage
Project summary: A blockchain platform for building IoT systems with unmatched security.
Project status: Xage offers demos of the product on its homepage.
Source: Xage homepage
Waltonchain, self-proclaimed “the global leader in blockchain and IoT,” uses blockchain to serve the real economy and upgrade the industry. The company combines blockchain with RFID chips to realize the potential of the IoT.
Waltonchain’s goal is to improve the security surrounding newly developed RFID chips. It gives developers a platform to build a stronger RFID security. It is expected to be applied in smart agriculture, smart medical care, smart food traceability, and smart art.
Entiites involved: Waltonchain
Project summary: More secure RFID tags to fast-track the adoption of blockchain and IoT.
Project status: The project is broken down into five phases. The company is currently in phase two with a completion date expected sometime in 2020.
Source: Waltonchain whitepaper
The OriginTrail was developed to build quick, easy, and effective solutions for data exchange between businesses. Its main focus lies in supply chain management using blockchain and IoT. It provides businesses with the tools to easily implement blockchain solutions into their current systems.
Entities involved: OriginTrail
Project summary: A simpler protocol for the adoption of blockchain and IoT technology in supply chain management.
Project status: At the moment, OriginTrail is partnering with a certification body to develop blockchain-enabled solutions. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2020.
Source: OriginTrail whitepaper
The mission of BlockMesh is to build the world’s first decentralized, costless communication network. BlockMesh’s goal is to provide a solution to the lack of communication technologies in poverty-stricken areas such as South Africa.
BlockMesh’s solution is to develop a costless communication app that pays users for its usage. Simply put, BlockMesh’s idea is to buy users’ data on their permission and then sell it to corporations, thereby paying for the usage of its system.
Entities involved: BlockMesh
Project summary: A network which users can use to communicate and earn money simultaneously.
Project status: At the moment, BlockMesh’s focus is on growing its network coverage and quality. The project is expected to be finished and released sometime in 2020.
Source: BlockMesh whitepaper
Helium Hotspot is a hardware device Helium users can utilize to sell their internet data. It conducts mining operations and charges users a fee which hotspot owners receive.
Helium Hotspot provides over 100 square miles of coverage for connected devices and uses a small amount of power. Companies like Nestle, Agulus, and InvisiLeash have already partnered with Helium. Once fully adopted, the hotspot has the potential to revolutionize the IoT industry.
Entities involved: Helium
Project summary: A hotspot service used to provide a network for IoT devices without relying on connectivity providers. A widely sought-after dream for millennials all over the world.
Project status: The project is practically complete and is expected to be released sometime in 2019 or early 2020.
Source: Helium whitepaper
Similar to Helium, Moeco is looking to expand the IoT network coverage to address the issue of limited device connectivity. This does not apply to devices such as smart watches which often rely on phones or paid networks, rather, it’s focused more on things like devices that use bluetooth only.
Moeco also offers its own hotspot hardware device used to expand IoT networks. With it, people can earn money by sharing networks with IoT users.
Entities involved: Moeco
Project summary: Hardware plans to expand IoT networks, which could benefit both hotspot providers and users.
Project summary: The Moeco IoT hotspots are set to hit the market sometime in 2019.
Source: Moeco whitepaper
Foam is redrawing the map. It provides a blockchain for real-world spaces and operates on a proof-of-location protocol. The idea is to locate virtual identities through blockchain technology providing a virtual map that would be more accurate than GPS.
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It started as an investigation of representing space on the blockchain. The primary problem FOAM is interested in solving is taking the idea of presence or location and turning it into something blockchain understands.
The FOAM team does not believe GPS is outdated. Instead, its aim is to communicate with devices that GPS was never made to interact with.
Entities involved: FOAM
Project summary: Putting real-world locations onto the blockchain to map their interactions with IoT and other developing technologies.
Project status: FOAM is currently looking for blockchain-based partners to work with. The company offers an interactive version of its system on its website. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2020.
Source: FOAM whitepaper
Fysical is an infrastructure for compliant exchange of location data. It provides a network for both data providers and buyers. Basically, Fysical tracks its users, interprets their data, then puts it on a market for buyers. It provides a peer-to-peer blockchain protocol to ensure security and transparency.
Entities involved: Fysical
Project summary: A blockchain and IoT-operated data market for both suppliers and buyers of data.
Project status: The project is completed. Data suppliers or buyers can register through the Fysical homepage today.
Source: Fysical whitepaper
Power Ledger brings IoT and blockchain to sustainable energy. Its products “reimagine an energy future where blackouts are less frequent and electricity is clean.” The company’s idea is to make eventually bring clean and affordable energy to mainstream.
Power Ledger currently offers a slew of products focused on energy maintenance and trade. It also has power ports for the metering and payment of electric vehicles and automates payment systems for charging stations.
Entities involved: Power Ledger
Project summary: Pairing renewable energy to IoT and blockchain.
Project status: Power Ledger already offers a variety of products utilizing its networks on its website.
Source: Power Ledger whitepaper
Providing “next-generation supply chain automation and intelligence,” Modum is set to offer digital supply chain monitoring solutions that are easy to use and simple to integrate across a slew of applications, most importantly in the pharma industry.
Modum is currently developing temperature monitoring systems for supply chain management. At the moment, there are certain regulations at play requiring pharmaceuticals to be always kept at a certain temperature. Modum hopes to make those regulations a lot easier to adhere to with its temperature monitoring systems.
Entities involved: Modum
Project summary: Temperature monitoring systems for use in supply chain management, shipping, and logistics.
Project status: Modum already offers its temperature monitoring systems on its website.
Source: Modum whitepaper
Incubed is a decentralized network developed by Slock. It brings improved security to IoT devices.
With blockchain, Incubed improves IoT security by getting rid of any single point of failure. It offers interoperability, permission management, payment support, and increased transparency.
Slock pairs IoT devices with a blockchain network in order for network providers to have complete control and access. It’s also a network solution suited for business-to-business operations.
Entities involved: Slock
Project summary: A decentralized IoT security network.
Project status: The Incubed client is open-sourced and available on Github now.
More to Explore
These are only a few of the IoT blockchain projects currently operating. There are many more, although not as popular yet. Blockchain and IoT is ready to revolutionize industries and are rapidly approaching mass adoption.