Blockchain-Based Architectures for the Internet of Things: A Survey
Posted: 6 Oct 2016 Last revised: 2 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 2017
This research explores the main features of three blockchain-based platforms for the Internet of Things, as recently emerged in academia as well as in industry. If properly engineered, the blockchain technology offers a disruptive solution to the problem of security and privacy in the Internet of Things environment, providing a new computational layer where data can be safely processed and analyzed, remaining private. The blockchain can also enable micro-payment functionality between digitally-enhanced devices, through ultra-light cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. The implementation of such features is expected to ensure a more efficient allocation of resources at global level, however it may also lead to undesirable consequences – such as a hyper-tokenization of society and a potentially dystopian concentration of power on big global platforms. Therefore, overall benefits and drawbacks of the blockchain deployment must necessarily take account of specific contexts of use, finding a balance between need for innovation, economic development and social sustainability.
Keywords: blockchain, innovation, Internet of Things, privacy, social sustainability
JEL Classification: A14, F69, K19, O35, O33, O39
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