IBM seeks a patent for blockchain-based smart contracts on IoT devices

IBM, an American multinational technology company, published a patent on Thursday to license a method which would connect Internet of Things [IoT] devices using blockchain. For the security and easy accessibility of information, blockchain could be used to store a distributed ledger.

The patent application states:

“One example method of operation may include determining a proof-of-work via a device and using a predefined set of nonce values when determining the proof-of-work, storing the proof-of-work on a blockchain, and broadcasting the proof-of-work as a broadcast message.”

It further explained:

“In a blockchain configuration, a large amount of information is related to financial transactions. As the popularity of the blockchain configuration continues to increase so does the desire to implement additional functions on the blockchain.”

While determining information on blockchain for smart contracts, the information is calculated based on certain values that are based on other random values. However, it is better to use values that are derived from known sources.

It also mentions, “That way, IBM’s patent application says, “the complexity of constructing a PoW [proof of work] can be adjusted dynamically, such that there is no incentive for any IoT device to use computing power beyond a determined threshold to increase its chances of a successful completion of a PoW.”

IoT devices have a limited amount of energy that they can consume. By reducing the complexity of a crypto-effort or crypto-puzzle, these low-power devices can compute proof-of-work for smart contracts. However, this reduction may allow malicious participants to manipulate the smart contracts. To prevent this, the conventional proof-of-work scheme must be modified.

Christoph F. Strnadl, CTO Central & Eastern Europe, tweeted:

“But who then determines the set of allowed nonces? Can’t be any “trusted man in the middle” in a true DApp environment, can it?”

A Twitter user said:

“What would my toaster need from a blockchain? Do I really need a fridge that can be hacked remotely? IBM may have a good solution, but not to a problem I readily see for consumer appliances. Now if you want to send me a robot butler to use my toaster for me then sign me up!”

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