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IBM Applies for Proof-of-Work Patent Tailored to Internet of Things Blockchains

Apr 28, 2018, 9:26AM
1 min, 30 sec READ

IBM filed a patent for an IoT-oriented Blockchain configuration that would patch potential security vulnerabilities in the PoW protocol.

IBM filed a patent application for an Internet of Things-oriented Blockchain configuration that would allow the company to patch potential security vulnerabilities in the Proof-of-Work protocol.

Blockchain technology provides the ideal platform for decentralized interactions between IoT-capable devices, while providing smart contract functionality to the network. Since most IoT-enabled appliances do not possess intensive computing power, a PoW network for such low energy devices would have problems executing the resource intensive calculations necessary to sustain the PoW consensus system while also taking care of security and executing smart contracts.

Scalability vs Security

IBM's proposal aims to tackle these limitations by restricting the range on which nonces are calculated:

“...To enable [IoT-capable appliances] to compute proof-of-work for smart contracts, the complexity of a crypto-effort or crypto-puzzle should be reduced. However, reduction in the complexity of the crypto-puzzle can enable malicious participants to manipulate the smart contracts.”

According to IBM, their solution solves any intra-network competition problems because it allows them to tailor the complexity of the PoW consensus system to be executed by low-powered IoT-enabled appliances; "eliminating any incentive for any connected devices to use more computing power to increase its chances to successfully complete a Proof-of-Work".

IBM is only the latest of several important corporations who have recently filed Blockchain and cryptocurrency related patents. This year alone, several industry giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and Paypal have all applied for Blockchain patents.

Also this week, Reuters published results of a survey that indicates that 1 in every 5 financial institutions are ready to get involved directly with cryptocurrencies this year. It seems that massive cryptocurrency adoption is around the corner.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.