Blockchain

Blockchain potential for IoT faces barriers to growth

The growing number of blockchain-based applications is driving ‘substantial’ investment in IoT projects, according to ABI Research.

In a new report, the research company states that blockchain has ‘great promise for the technology to alter and transform established industries beyond fintech’.

Venture capital funding for blockchain reached half a billion USD globally in 2016. There are currently around over 1,500 blockchain startups in operation.

Aside from transactions, the report highlights the potential in the areas of communication, identification, ownership and device management.

“These pre-programmed, self-executing, autonomous contracts can be used for numerous applications, including: digital identities, governance, asset tracking and M2M transactions, among many others,” Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research, said.

“Through these evolving technologies, blockchain can affect and perhaps radically transform all kinds of interactions: from business and legal to social and political.”

Barriers to growth

The report also highlights a number of barriers that may inhabit the growth and maturity of the burgeoning blockchain technology market.

An interesting barrier highlighted is the need for vendors to drive interest in the technology for end users and create awareness of the various applications across different sectors.

Among other barriers to growth highlighted in the report:

  • scalability
  • cost
  • privacy
  • clarification of the current legal uncertainties surrounding smart contracts.

“While the cryptocurrency market may be maturing, IoT applications are still largely untested,” Menting continued. “The excitement around Bitcoin’s success is nonetheless fuelling a great many endeavours beyond fintech that are likely to impact IoT.”

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