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Indian Researchers Make Blockchain Protocol More Efficient for IoT Applications

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur (IIT-Jodhpur) have developed an improvised version of blockchain technology that is both energy and time-efficient, allowing for secure communication over the Internet of things (IoT) networks. According to the team, IoT is a new paradigm that will revolutionise the way people live. With zillions of smart devices talking to each other through embedded sensors, software, and technologies, IoT platforms will enable the integration of data for the seamless functioning of smart cities, smart homes, smart industries, smart transportation, etc. As a plethora of sensitive data will be collected and passed through this platform, IoT security is a major concern for both users and providers, it said.

To make the IoT platforms more secure, researchers suggest the use of blockchain technology to run the IoT platforms. Blockchain is a technology that is being employed as a means for secure digital transactions of several cryptocurrencies.

However, time delays and energy efficiency are drawbacks of currently used blockchain protocols, limiting their use for IoT platforms. Blockchain is one of the technologies that can resolve the security issues of IoT networks. It is a scalable, distributed, transparent, and tamper-proof ledger that keeps uniform records of information at varying locations and can deal with IoT networks’ information security affairs. Decentralisation, integrity, and anonymity are the prominent characteristics of blockchain that increase IoT applications’ integrity and improve IoT security, noted Debasis Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT-Jodhpur.

The team has come up with a blockchain protocol that is energy-efficient and can be integrated with lightweight IoT devices. The blockchain protocol devised by the research team is an improvised version of an existing blockchain protocol-Bitcoin-NG. While Bitcoin-NG protocol is a significant improvement over the currently used Bitcoin protocol in terms of time efficiency, it requires high computational power and is energy-intensive. Proposed Improvised Bitcoin-NG is applied to solve a variety of complex tasks and shows significant results without much human intervention. Given Blockchain-based IoT systems will add a boom in the advancement of IoT technology and explore the suitability and sustainability of improvised Bitcoin-NG for various application areas, Das added.

In blockchain technology, data is stored in the form of blocks containing information or transactions which are stored in a network of computers such that everyone can add to it, but none can change or delete it. The blockchain uses a consensus algorithm that aims at finding the most agreed-upon block details in the entire computer network to ensure that the information has not been changed or deleted at any level. This feature, which makes blockchains more secure, adds up to time delays when the network increases making the whole system more computationally and energy-intensive. Das and his team worked on these problems of the current protocols in Blockchain paving the path for use of blockchain technology in the IoT space. The results of the research have been published in the international journal “IEEE Transactions” on Computational Social Systems.

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