Internet of things or IoT has become one of the most influential technologies, currently connecting more than 23 billion devices. This number is expected to reach 30 billion by 2020 and more than 60 billion by 2024. But the future of this technology is largely debatable, considering that it’s plagued by a poor business model, inadequate connectivity and scalability, as well as lack of overall trust due to cracked security.
Researchers have proposed using SCN or service-centric networking as a means of providing global connectivity and reliable scalability, however, this approach cannot guarantee service incentives, nor trust and security. Another solution for this issue is to use blockchain technology as a means of achieving security, trust and incentivizing IoT.
That said, these types of solutions require a well-connected, stable network to operate, a luxury in dynamic and mobile IoT scenarios. Enter BlockCloud, a new technology that takes the best of both worlds in order to provide a viable solution for increasing trust and scalability. But what is BlockCloud and how does it help overcome above-mentioned IoT issues?
BlockCloud refers to a new blockchain-enabled TCP/IP architecture that combines blockchain with SCN as a means of powering IoT solutions. It is not restricted to otherwise clunky platforms and instead operates as a highly-mobile, layered solution that doesn’t suffer from the same scalability issues as do other blockchain options. Block-Cloud may be facing fierce competition from similar, as well as centralized solutions, the benefits it offers to provide it with a fighting chance of entering the growing IoT sector.
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The market opportunities
As various new technologies seep into our everyday lives, such as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and smart healthcare and so on, the world we live in will become progressively device-oriented. Having a streamlined and interconnected future does have its fair share of issues, namely the poorly developed IoT architecture.
There are many, sceptred solutions trying to fix these underlying issues, but BlockCloud is trying to solve them in a more comprehensive manner by propelling mobility, security, scalability, and trust while allowing for a fair distribution of profits among the market participants.
In the case of Block-Cloud, blockchain will be responsible for the applications layer and the underlying architecture will be made using SCN tech. This poses a potential risk, as the team behind BlockCloud is trying to combine two previously unaligned technologies and make them work as a comprehensive, unified solution.
Five main components
- A blockchain integration layer
- Service Access layer used for communication
- Service verification using proof-of-service
- CoDAG or Compacted Directed Acyclic Graph mechanism for transaction logging
- Truthful (continuous) double auction as the pricing mechanism
Focusing on a new PoS (Proof of Service) consensus, Block-Cloud is trying to resolve blockchain transaction simply by having the relevant devices share information between themselves. This will allow for a clean verifying environment, with unsavoury participants being penalized and restricted from using the network.
As a multi-layered solution, BlockCloud wants to introduce a couple of new concepts:
- Edge Computing – which enhances current connectivity levels between different computing devices
- Internet of Vehicles – a communication solution for smart vehicles
- Smart Home – blockchain-enabled functionality to power smart homes of the future
- Smart Health – system for improved delivery of various health-oriented services using IoT devices
- Sharing Economy – a decentralized, trustless ecosystem powered by Block-Cloud
The pricing mechanism is integrated as a part of BlockCloud technology in order to create a marketplace for both service providers and service utilizers. The marketplace will play a major component, as there will be an increasing number of companies who want to contribute their services, but also have an access to all this new data. Solving the underlying issues with the infrastructure and building new application layers on top offers great potential and provides immense value for the future.
As a cloud-based blockchain solution, it can be used by virtually everyone without having to pay for a dedicated hardware infrastructure. The BlockCloud whitepaper discusses at length all the beneficial possibilities this tech offers, including the next-gen IoT computing by enhancing its integration within blockchain.
Block-Cloud ICO crowdsale
The platform is trying to create an $80 million market cap, with $15 million raised through fundraising. Unlike similar crypto crowdsales, BlockCloud is trying to raise $12 million via private sale investors, instead of trying to secure funds via a public offering. The company is going to sell 1.5 billion BLOC coins with an appraisal of $0.008 apiece, with 20% of tokens being released before the exchange listing. Two months after the initial release, BlockCloud will release 10% of tokens per month and continue doing so for 8 months.
This technology promises to be the next big thing and completely revolutionize the way we interact with different IoT devices, but also the way different IoT devices communicate between themselves. If it takes off, BlockCloud could have a huge impact on digital marketing and numerous industries such as automotive, financial, healthcare, computer sciences, you name it.
BlockCloud-specific challenges and potential weaknesses
While the concept has been worked on extensively on paper, the project has not been put the test as of yet. The team is planning to release a comprehensive test net around the third quarter of the following year, but time will tell whether their project will be delivered without any delays. This can be an issue for early investors who not only have to wait a whole year for a proof of product but also have to hedge their bets as they’re taking large risks investing in a potential merging of two already new technologies.
While a degree of crossover does exist between the software and its protocol, the development of a complete 4-layer architecture will require time, likely extending the roadmap into the last quarter of 2019. The team might have displayed considerable technical knowledge regarding the project, they are not quite versed with the actual development of the blockchain-related protocols.
BlockCloud is still in its early stages, but its conservative timeline might require bringing on new and experienced blockchain programmers in order to deliver a viable test net on schedule.
Block-Cloud is one of many recent solutions claiming to be able to resolve the underlying scalability and security issues associated with the growing IoT sector, however, its offering does seem to be a comprehensive one. The team behind BlockCloud were some of the top movers in big data analysis, which only reaffirms their credibility in both the business and academic fields. While the whitepaper doesn’t go into too much detail, the benefits offered by this technology cannot be overstated. Whether it will be implanted or not, remains to be seen.