Blockchain in IoT Security? – EEJournal

Let’s chat about blockchain technology, shall we? If you know almost nothing about blockchains, then it’s probably easy to conflate it with so-called cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Those are systems where someone magically created a store of money – well, a store of some sort of artifact that becomes money only when someone decides it’s a good idea to pay for them with officially recognized money (which some refer to as fiat currency, literally meaning, “Let there be money” – which pretty well describes cryptocurrency as well). Those systems happen to rely on blockchain technology for robustness and decentralization.

Robustness and decentralization are good things if you’ve got something of value whose integrity you want to protect. And money isn’t the only thing that fits into that category, which is why blockchain may be involved in many things other than cryptocurrency.

I was one of those folks minimally aware of blockchains (not that I’m an expert now…). So when I saw blockchain being bandied about for security, I wondered whether this was a natural fit or just some marketing effort to apply blockchain to everything. To help clear that up, I had a conversation with Gemalto, who includes blockchain in their security arsenal, to see if I could better understand how blockchain fits into the security picture.

Simply a Ledger

Blockchain’s relevance becomes clearer when you think of it as a ledger, which it is. That’s why it’s good for cryptocurrencies: all transactions ever are recorded on a ledger. Anything else that could use a ledger of some sort could also leverage blockchain. Including IoT data transactions. That said, it’s not always the best solution.

The idea is that multiple parties who don’t know each other share data. Because they’re not necessarily trusted (although they’re also not distrusted), the multiple parties to a transaction may want a way to confirm that the data is valid.

But that can be…

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