Blockcloud is leveraging blockchain tech to solve the internet’s congestion problem.
Believe it or not, that internet congestion problem may be just around the corner. There has been massive growth in the number of internet-enabled devices over the past few years. This includes smart homes, cars, refrigerators, and even rice cookers. This network of physical devices that communicate and exchange data is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) – and their sheer numbers could cause problems.
Blockcloud proposes to combine blockchain with existing technology to fix these problems.
Data suggests that there were 20 billion IoT devices in 2017 and that this number may become 75 billion in 2025. While IoT devices have become a part of our lives, there are challenges related to speed, scalability, trust and security.
Picture the Internet today as a road. Now picture the applications that run on the internet as cars. The road (Internet) was built decades ago and as more cars (applications) hit the road there will be traffic jams (slow and unstable connectivity). Granted, this is a simple analogy, but the growth of IoT devices leads to a whole host of issues:
- Network: poor connectivity
- Scalability: current system unable to handle increased traffic
- Trust: inability to trust a 3rd party in a centralized network
- Security: cyber attackers can compromise an entire network by attacking an IoT device within that network
- Economic incentive: Participants in the network are not rewarded
The (partial) solution
Researchers and developers have created the concept of Service-centric Network (SCN) to address the issues of network connectivity and scalability. Basically, SCN allows applications to communicate using service names instead of IP addresses, which allows information to flow more freely (fewer traffic jams).
However, the SCN solution does not solve the problem of trust, security and economic incentive, which are issues that blockchain can help address.
Blockchain is an encrypted distributed database that records transactions. It provides decentralized trust since every participant (node) in the blockchain possesses and verifies transactions, meaning that it is very difficult to alter transactions and events. This also makes the database more secure.
Blockcloud will combine the advantages of SCN and blockchain to take IoT to ensure confidence in IoT. In Blockcloud’s solution, SCN makes up the underlying physical network that provides stable connectivity and scalability. The blockchain operates on top of the SCN layer and provides decentralized trust, security and economic incentive.
In terms of providing trust, Blockcloud uses proof-of-service consensus to quickly and reliably verify IoT services and events. It also uses the CoDAG (Compacted Directed Acyclic Graph) framework to record IoT transactions quickly in large-scale scenarios.
The proof-of service consensus, combined with blockchain and a peer-to-peer network known as Coral, also provides security. Communication between IoT devices is embedded in the blockchain and service information is stored in Coral. This is verified by the proof-of- service consensus. The system has no central point that is exposed to attackers and security is guaranteed by the consensus mechanism of distributed miners (transaction verifiers) who are economically motivated to be honest.
Economic incentivization occurs because Blockcloud is an incentive-driven marketplace for IoT services powered by the BLOCK utility token. Anyone can publish a service to Blockcloud, and anyone can subscribe a service from Blockcloud. Service providers who contribute to the network or verify transactions will be rewarded with BLOCK tokens.
Blockcloud can be applied to any area with IoT devices:
- Smart vehicles: automatic driving, navigation
- Smart healthcare: data sharing among connected healthcare devices
- Smart homes: data sharing among connected smart devices
- Edge computing (peripheral computing), which could replace cloud computing
For more information, please visit https://www.block-cloud.io/
White paper: https://www.block-cloud.io/whitepaper.shtml
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