Meet "IONChain": Disrupting the IoT industry with Blockchain technology!
Internet of Things is the next big step towards a completely digital society
Human civilization never stops progressing, we are always on a dynamic of constant improvements and innovations that increase our productive capabilities and our quality of life, whether it is revolutions like the industrial one, or the digital era that we are currently experiencing, there is always a new generation of tools and platforms that are being designed with the goal of changing for the better how our world works.
As a result of this, in our current era every single one of our devices can be connected to the online world one way or another, which helps in having a general synchronization between all of these devices and the information each of them can gather for later use.
Due to the proliferation of the internet and the increase in processing capabilities and memory storage of every electronic device, the number of home appliances that can be connected to the internet is growing at a rapid rate, and it is very likely that in the near future the majority of electronic items in a regular home will have 24/7 internet connectivity, so they can gather data from other similar devices, as well as sharing their own, effectively creating a new network of interconnected devices that can automatize common tasks, making it easier for the end-user to handle each and every one of their activities.
The IoT (Internet of Things) industry has one of the greatest potentials for future growth because it brings a level of modernity that didn’t exist before, the implications of having smart devices that are capable of creating a self-sustainable network of constant data generation and its subsequent sharing are world changing, and that is why it is very common to see a new generation of smart door locks or smart thermostats to name just 2 examples, being sold in huge numbers, these products simply make life easier for its users.
Nevertheless, the current way of handling digital information and communication has some problems that can affect how well these smart devices end up performing in the long term.
Current issues negatively affecting the IoT industry
It is important to notice that the development of IoT’s products are mainly done without taking into account decentralized protocols and blockchain technology, this means that all of the information that current smart devices are gathering and uploading to the net is stored in centralized servers that could very well suffer from security breaches and expose data that should always remain completely private.
One problem with using centralized servers is that there is a single point of failure, meaning that a hacker interested in breaking the security of the system will have to focus only on the central server, and even though there are always sophisticated measures to prevent attacks, cases of hackers who managed to break security protocols are quite common, and this even happens to companies that are known to be leaders of their industry.
Another issue that is affecting the IoT industry is the lack of control users have when it comes to how their data is being managed and shared, this is very worrisome because the data these devices are constantly gathering can very well be a representation of the daily activities and routines from individuals and companies, which is clearly very sensitive information that should never end up under the control of malicious users. Given the fact there is not a proper mechanism for users to control the gathering and the management of the data once it is uploaded to the cloud, some users might end up deciding this dynamic is not safe enough, which can prevent these products to continue with the increase in popularity.
There is also the issue of different devices not being able to interact with each other due to not having proper compatibility, resulting in a lack of data sharing activities between devices, which in turn, can very well reduce the capacity of these devices to automatically perform their tasks. Data sharing is one of the most crucial elements for the future success of the IoT industry, and there should be a standard protocol that allows all sort of devices to communicate with each other in the most efficient way possible.
Finally, there is the fact that no proper business model has been established when it comes to giving value and establishing proper monetization strategies to both data generation and data storing activities, nevertheless, every single one of the issues mentioned in this section can be solved thanks to the implementation of blockchain technology, and luckily, there is already a project that has been working on figuring out how several solutions, the project in question is called “IONChain”.
What is IONChain and what solutions are they providing?
IONChain is a blockchain project with the goal of implementing certain elements of blockchain technology to fix several issues that are currently present in the IoT industry, particularly, IONChain is looking to standardize the protocols that are used to communicate information between different devices, and then use a series of methods to improve the security and reliability of the data, as well as giving a proper valuation process to recognize, in an objective way, the value of the data that’s being gathered by the smart devices.
There is a particular technology that is highly involved in the IoT industry known as “Edge Computing”, which is very similar to cloud computing, but with the difference that the computational processes aren’t done by a central server, they instead are distributed on devices that are near the source of the data, this makes everything run as smooth as possible and less likely for there to be delays due to connectivity problems.
Edge Computing and blockchain technology are a perfect match because decentralization could easily be achieved without having to redesign anything, and securing data transactions would be something that comes naturally as well, thanks to blockchain inherent immutability, and thanks to a system created by the team at IONChain, named as “Inter Planetary File System (IPFS)”, which will add a new layer of protection to the data by restricting its access only for those users with the appropriate private key. IPFS is basically a method for transferring information on a peer-to-peer basis which makes it possible to have a decentralized system for distributing files.
This level of integration between devices can only be achieved if there is a general protocol that allows for interoperability between different platforms to take place. An ecosystem such as this one could eventually make it possible for all sort of decentralized applications to be developed, as well as new methods of trading data by using sophisticated smart contracts that allows smart devices to work and interact with each other automatically.
Thanks to blockchain’s versatility, with IONChain, every user will be able to have total control regarding how the personal data is used, and it will also be possible to specify how the sharing procedure takes place, this way people will have a level of control that is currently impossible to have with regular smart devices.
Taking into account everything mentioned so far, it is fair to say that IONChain will improve certain areas of the IoT industry, such as the way security and privacy are protected, and it will also facilitate the way data is shared throughout the network with different devices, and thanks to the use of Edge Computing, there will be an optimization of the available computational resources to process the data that will be gathered on a permanent basis.
How is IONChain going to monetize all the gathered data?
One of the most important benefits of working with blockchain technology, is to monetize digital information in a way that wasn’t possible before, thanks to the implementation of a tokenization system, where the rewards come in the form of a particular token that has intrinsic value and is properly recognized by the market.
With IONChain, a new method of assigning value was created, it is divided into 2 parts, the value generation & the value transfer process, and each of those parts is also divided into several sections, however, people also need to realize that IONChain allows for any device inside its network to act as a “miner” of information, where the rewards would come depending on how valuable and used is the information that’s being gathered and later on, shared with the network. Besides, the usage of computational resources will also be calculated and accurately rewarded with the ION token.
Value generation under the IONChain system
- Value creation Source: the first step is where value is created, this part of the process is done by smart devices gathering usable and valuable data, there will also be “Edge Computing Centers” to provide help in case more computational resources are required to handle this part of the process. Thanks to the implementation of blockchain technology, there will be several cryptographic protocols to protect the data and guarantee its authenticity.
- Value verification Source: after the data has been gathered and shared with the network, other devices need to validate it, this is a process that is done in a completely decentralized way, and if the data is verified, then naturally the next step would be to evaluate it.
- Value evaluation Source: this can be seen as the continuation of the previous step, in this case the value can be finally confirmed as valid or invalid. This is the step where double spending attacks can get filtered out to protect the entire blockchain.
- Value confirmation Source: if all went well with the previous steps, the final procedure is to confirm everything, in this step the verified value is processed and passed on to the second and final part of the process.
Value transfer under the IONChain system
This part of the process is a little bit more extensive and technical than the first part, it is divided into 6 layers, which are the following:
- Application layer Source: this is the regular interface where people can interact with this network, it also provides the necessary APIs that allows the entire platform to operate without any issue when integrating new components or devices, and there is also a plug-in feature that makes it extremely easy to add new elements.
- Service layer Source: this is a technical element that helps with the management of the internal components that make the entire network run smoothly.
- Protocol layer Source: with the goal of helping different devices to become interoperable with each other, IONChain offers a unified protocol to help with the implementation of external services. Eventually, the idea is for the IONChain protocol to be a standard protocol for third-party applications.
- Smart contract layer Source: smart contracts are a basic element that allows decentralized application to interact with a blockchain, therefore, this particular layer is where everything regarding this type of contract is handled, whether it is the implementation of a new contract or how it connects with external elements.
- Blockchain layer Source: the blockchain is the center stage of the IONChain ecosystem, it uses a new consensus algorithm called IPOS, where the mechanism to choose the block producers is more secure that what is possible with the traditional PoW or PoS protocols, besides this consensus algorithm also allows the blockchain to keep functioning even if the majority of the block producers are temporally unavailable, in the end, this makes IONChain gain more reliability and security. More info regarding how IPOS works can be found here
- Data storage layer Source: IONChain uses 2 methods to store data, IPFS is one of them and it was the already explained in previous paragraphs. The second one is called “BigChainDB” which is basically a database for blockchains, and it is going to be implemented in IONChain because it can help in providing research capabilities for data related to business that are using the IONChain network.
Thanks to everything mentioned in this section, it is possible for the IONChain project to provide rewards to any type of device that can add value to the network, it can be either valuable data or computational resources to handle all of the information, every person will be able to plug in their devices and start monetizing their capabilities.
This new opportunity to monetize devices most people already own, will surely encourage the public into getting involved with the IoT industry, and start enjoying the benefits of doing it, moreover thanks to the fact that IONChain also provides total protection to the privacy of users personal data, there shouldn’t any risk when it comes to participating in this ecosystem.
The implementation of blockchain technology will allow the IONChain project to create an IoT economy that can grow in value as more people get involved, and start being rewarded for adding their devices into the network, if the IoT industry has already been growing very rapidly, with IONChain it will skyrocket faster than ever before.
In fact, one of the long-term goals of this project is to work directly with global manufacturers in implementing the necessary elements to have products coming with IONChain already built-in, including certain software to help the device with activities related to the managing of data and acting as a node for the network.
IONChain’s vision is to have “One Device, One Coin, One Code”
That expression means that IONChain is planning to unify the way different smart devices from the IoT industry work as if they were just 1 single device that’s working with a single coin or token, which in this case is called IONC and will be used to reward the participants of the network, and with "one code" it is implied that there will be only one code running the IONChain network and creating a self-sustainable IoT ecosystem that can easily scale to add more and more devices as time goes on.
Achieving something like this will make it so much easier for the IoT industry to growth in productivity and increase its ease of use, because manufacturers and all sort of companies instead of trying to figure out the way to create their own protocols and wasting energy creating solutions that aren’t compatible with other devices, they could now invest time in developing dapps for the IONChain network, knowing there will be creating a tool for a rich and vibrant ecosystem that encourages growth thanks to its transparent mechanism of rewards. There is simply too much fragmentation in the IoT industry, and IONChain can fix this problem with the solutions they have been developing.
The end result of having a global standard to develop dapps for the IoT industry is a level of innovation that so far hasn’t yet existed for this particular industry, thousands of developers working in developing dapps that can function under the same protocols can be something similar as to what happens with the iOS devices and their App Store, where new innovations coming from developers from all over the world is what makes those devices truly great, and the same could happen to the IoT industry if development teams used the same protocols for their creations, which is the ultimate goal for the IONChain project.
Use cases & applications
Let’s take a moment to think about some situations that could happen once the IONChain network becomes widely used:
A person concerned about protecting his privacy
Charles is a guy who is always on top of every new innovation, he loves technology and he enjoys reading and using all sort of new devices that are released into the market. Naturally he finds the IoT industry to be very exciting, but he has one problem, he knows that if he uses a smart device that can gather his data, he won’t be in total control over his privacy, so for the time being he has decided to not purchase any of these devices.
Luckily for him, one day he discovers IONChain, and he learns that with this platform he can be in total control over his privacy, and what’s more, he can even be rewarded with IONC tokens for connecting smart devices into the network!
Next thing, Charles is purchasing a smart device that works with IONChain’s protocols, and he can finally start using and enjoying the benefits that this technology makes possible.
Optimizing a clogged network for data sharing
John manages a company that manufactures smart devices for the IoT industry, their sales have been increasing for the past few months and years, but recently, the network they use has been unable to scale properly and sometimes it gets clogged due to the amount of information it needs to process on a constant basis, if things don’t change, the entire network might end up stopping working.
One day, while John was researching for solutions, he finds out IONChain can optimize the available computational resources thanks to the implementation of Edge Computing, which results in faster speeds when it comes to data transfers.
John decides to test the IONChain ecosystem, and eventually a partnership is created, the IONChain network grows in value as new devices are now being added, and John was able to fix the speed problem that was slowing down the activities of the smart devices.
These were just 2 specific examples of what can be accomplished with IONChain, but there are many other possibilities, having smart devices gathering data on a constant basis, then creating a network where this data can flow efficiently thanks to Edge Computing, and finally having other smart devices automating their tasks taking into account the valuable data that was gathered in the first place can end up being world changing, especially in major industries where having a high efficiency and automation is extremely important for the survival of any business.
Each and every single one of the team members has years of experience working in related industries and top notch companies, they are people with proper specializations on their own field, and with IONChain they are proving once again what they are capable of:
In the IoT industry there is too much fragmentation that makes it impossible for devices to be interoperable with each other, besides, the development of applications is also negatively affected because there is not a unified standard that allows apps to work across different devices. Finally, there are also several issues related to the security of users privacy, all of these concerns can eventually halt the growth of this industry despite the huge potential it has.
Here is when IONChain comes into action, this project is developing a platform that facilitates the process of data sharing between all sort of smart devices, and even more, by leveraging blockchain capabilities, IONChain can also implement a system of monetization where each device can be rewarded based on the value of the data they gathered and later shared with the network, the same happens with the computacional resources they are contributing in order to make the entire ecosystem run smoothly, this way there is a clear incentive in getting involved in what IONChain is developing.
Finally, issues like the protection of people’s privacy will get solved because thanks to the versatility of the IONChain’s platform, users will be the ones able to customize everything regarding how they send and receive data, in short words, IONChain solves the current problems related to the security, circulation, the sharing process and the transactions of information collected by smart devices.
More information can be found in the following websites:
- IONChain Website
- IONChain Bitcointalk Explanation
- IONChain WhitePaper
- IONChain YouTube
- IONChain Twitter
- IONChain Medium
- IONChain LinkedIn
- IONChain GitHub
- IONChain Steemit
- IONChain Telegram
Here is a video I made sharing my thoughts about this platform.