Computer and software conglomerate IBM has unveiled its plans for ADEPT, an Internet of Things system based on the blockchain technology behind bitcoin.
IBM’s draft paper for ADEPT explains:
“Applying the blockchain concept to the world of [Internet of Things] offers fascinating possibilities. Right from the time a product completes final assembly, it can be registered by the manufacturer into a universal blockchain representing its beginning of life. Once sold, a dealer or end customer can register it to a regional blockchain (a community, city or state).”
The system is to be a co-venture between IBM and fellow technology company Samsung. The authors of the paper mention:
“We demonstrate how, using ADEPT, a humble washer can become a semi-autonomous device capable of managing its own consumables supply, performing self-service and maintenance, and even negotiating with other peer devices both in the home and outside to optimize its environment.”
The paper further adds:
“All this is achieved without a central controller orchestrating or mediating between these devices.”
While the idea is indeed large and ambitious, certain challenges and barricades remain. One of these challenges deals with the issue of network scalability, and whether or not the concepts within the present system can be applied to multiple devices.
The ADEPT team states:
“Multiple efforts like sidechains, treechains, and mini-blockchains are ongoing to address this problem. While each approach has its merits and demerits we are yet to see consensus on a common approach across the board. A blockchain to cater to hundreds of billions of devices needs to be scalable.”