While the physical world has been slow to adopt cryptocurrency systems like bitcoin, this technology offers the potential for secure online transactions. Another futuristic technology — internet-connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) — also offers the potential for easier living through technology.
Theoretically, a cryptocurrency system could be used to power the IoT. For instance, instead of hooking your internet-connected washing machine up to a credit card, it could use bitcoin to buy new detergent when needed.
Below, six technology leaders from Forbes Technology Council offer their insights into the feasibility of powering the IoT through a cryptocurrency system.
1. Online And Physical World Adoption Will Come First
For any currency to power an ecosystem, you will need the point of sale system to work with a new currency. From my experience, 99% of point-of-sale systems can’t handle new currencies without at least a year of programming. You have to get online adaption and physical world adoption to make any new currency work. - Chris Ciabarra, Revel Systems INC
2. Yes And No
Bitcoin and other blockchain currency systems make sense for consumer IoT devices so, for example, your car can buy oil when it needs it, your fridge can buy milk, and your washing machine can buy detergent. But for large scale and industrial systems, the economy of scale will come from centralized control. - James Dixon, Pentaho, a Hitachi Group Company
3. The IoT Will Drive Microtransactions
Cryptocurrencies will feature heavily going forwards. However, in terms of IoT and currencies, I think the bigger issue is volume and whether the financial system is going to be ready to accept this as devices start to charge for services at a micro-level. For example, when light bulbs charge for being on and washing machines when they are used. As an IoT-enabled service dominant society looms,will banks keep up? - David Rajan, GlobalLogic – Method
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4. This Will Happen Eventually
I think as blockchain and the cryptocurrency system evolve, there is a great likelihood that the IoT could be powered by it. This would happen due to blockchain and cryptocurrency’s proven ability to provide some of the highest security levels possible and properly protect data in ways that other security measures have not been able to. However, the regulatory environment will need to change and a standardized system will need to be established. - Chalmers Brown, Due
5. Blockchain Technology Is The Answer To Many IoT Challenges
Blockchain technology offers exciting possibilities to overcome many IoT challenges. Imagine a digital ledger of all events that ever happened to a particular IoT device, including non-financial transactions, such as installation, repairs, and interactions with other devices. Blockchain allows such ledger to be distributed, encrypted, secured and safeguarded against fraud and perjury. - Serge Lubensky, ServiceChannel.com
6. IoT And Crypto’s Go Together
The IoT is characterized by a large number of small lightweight devices. Likewise, the blockchain is powered by a decentralized network of software. IoT devices make great “hosts” to run this software, similar to Bitcoin wallets. Today we see IoT devices controlled by centralized cloud servers. In the future, we’ll see the IoTs controlling themselves with their own de-centralized network. - Sagi Brody, Webair
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