Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) have been a matter of speculation for many years now. Experts believe that IoT can bring a sea change in the way things are being done; however, it is yet to realize its potential, thanks to the problems related to its security, scaling, and capacity. With the impending introduction of 5G Technology, this situation could very well change as this latest generation of mobile communication will help to reduce latency and promote fast data exchange between devices. Other benefits associated with 5G technology include a reduction in cost, saving of energy, and high capacity of systems besides bringing massive connectivity to the table.
5G and Blockchain
The combination of 5G and blockchain technology has the potential to usher a new era of economic value for the companies cutting across the industries. The relationship between 5G and blockchain has to be seen from the multi-pronged approach, and their combined application can prove to be a game changer for IoT. 5G will enable the devices to have faster data connectivity with reduced latency time while blockchain will allow them to leverage on its own strengths like decentralization, high safety and security, and open ledger access among others. The result of this camaraderie could manifest in the form of smart cities, smart homes, driverless cars, and many other data-driven devices and technology innovations.
As per a report by CryptonewsZ, 5G coverage will allow IoT devices to have the power of faster data while blockchain makes sure that the transactions have the consensus and security of high grade. In terms of 5G coverage, US cities are ahead with many of them already started rolling out the services, but as far as the global picture is concerned, experts guesstimate that it will take some time before the 5G become a reality around the globe. Manufacturers have also announced their smartphone compatible with 5G Technology with Samsung taking the lead and Huawei and LG following the suit. Apple, on the other hand, is still exploring the market to find out the potential for 5G iPhone. The integration of 5G and blockchain can open up another area of technology innovation which is still in its nascent stage and trying to make the impact through its novel methods and techniques. Yes! We are talking about artificial intelligence which has the potential to drive up efficiencies especially across the industries where standardized operations make a major part of their production of goods or providing services.
Challenges and Bottlenecks
The major bottleneck while connecting the devices through 5G is related to their safety concerns, and that’s exactly where blockchain can be of immense help. Thanks to the high-security system of blockchain which provides immutable, tamper-resistance records, the issue of forging and hacking can be easily handled. Blockchain can certainly be used as a foundational layer between the various devices connected through IoT working with the help of 5G coverage. The decentralized nature of the blockchain also provides it an advantage over the current model of client-server used in the IoT industry. By virtue of its open ledger structure, the identity of the participating devices can be secured and protected without any external influence. As of now, the identification of the devices in IoT is made through cloud servers which have their own separate databases for the identification and other allied purposes. The security of these databases, however, is questionable and they are very much prone to hacking attempts. Their vulnerabilities have been exposed many times in the past and are one of the major concerns related to their clients who decide to park their data on cloud servers.
By using the blockchain, identity can be protected with the use of encrypted technology and secure algorithms. Each device will be having its own blockchain address and can be registered according to that particular address, thereby protecting its identity from the other devices. The layer of blockchain protocol will further enhance the security, and the currently developed decentralized infrastructure is good enough to provide secure operation at any particular period.
Having said that the blockchain could not solve the issue related to the scalability. The enormous extent of IoT signifies the fact that current blockchain infrastructure will not be able to handle millions of devices during their operation. This is especially true when one talks of handling the operations on layer one of the blockchain. The solution for this issue, according to blockchain experts and analysts, is dividing the security protocol into two layers. Just like the example of a lightning network which works on the principle of blockchain technology but uses side chains or other payment networks for carrying out transactions can be formally adopted for IoT also.
In order to explore the full potential of 5G, IoT, and blockchain technology, it is important to look at all these innovations in a synergistic manner rather than considering them as separate measures. If we are able to successfully integrate them in a seamless manner, the world can be radically transformed as this will lead to the creation of enormous economic value.