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Re: Blockchains and the Web of Things?

From: Tibor Z. Pardi <tibor@zovolt.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:21:02 +0100
Message-ID: <CAMJB5duk9RNhzeJZVRBCbroRWBiqmM43yPyWZNcBg7sfQgO=hg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Drasko DRASKOVIC <drasko.draskovic@gmail.com>
Cc: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>, Public Web of Things IG <public-wot-ig@w3.org>
Hi Drasko,

1) In blockchain security depends on computing nodes to calculate the
blocks. How do you solve this problem with low-power devices - i.e.
who is calculating the blocks? Is it maybe gateway? I am asking this
because whoever can have big processing power on the network can take
over the whole network.


That's correct, in "traditional" blockchain systems the blocks are
calculated and then generated by nodes using different type of
collaborative methods such as PoW, PoS, PoC, etc. Some blockchains simply
use practically centralized trusted nodes to generate the blocks and speed
up transaction times. It is not feasible to run such blockchain nodes on
low power, constrained IoT devices. As you said, and that's what I try to
point out as well to users, a blockchain based implementation can run only
on a gateway device. I think there is definitely a place for decentralized
computing and P2P within IoT, but blockchain provides lot less benefits. We
can achieve decentralized and P2P IoT device control without a blockchain.
For instance Streembit uses the lot simpler distributed hash table (DHT)
for decentralized device discovery and facilitate peer-to-peer related
tasks. Blockchain could be useful in several use cases where a distributed
ledger function is required (e.g to audit devices or microtransactions),
but it can be a lot simpler implementation than the BTC or ETH blockchains
that require PoW, PoS, etc.. A simple merkle tree can do the job without
the ethical, legal, computing and processing issues of PoW and PoS.
Terms of taking over the network. of course the majority of processing
power can take over the network. The 51% attack and the Byzantine generals
problem are well documented and unsolved weaknesses of popular blockchain
projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum. We are having a debate about this for
many years within the cryptocurrency community. I propose in the quoted
white paper to address these problems using private networks which is very
doable in an IoT project as e.g I know what is my garage door controller
and I can handle that in a decentralized, P2P manner without the complexity
and issues of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Again, I don't think majority of IoT
projects will have this issue ever, as the aforementioned problems are
related only to block generations.

2) Did you try to leverage existing Blockchains - Bitcoin or Ethereum
ones? I am asking this because I suppose that these networks are now
practically impossible to take over.


You are correct, BTC and ETH networks are matured networks, but in my
opinion these aren't optimal at all for IoT projects. No wonder, after many
years of hype there is no commercial implementation exist for BCT or ETH in
IoT. There is no need to use the bloated Bitcoin or Ethereum to open a
garage door or turn on the light with a relay switch. Even
IoT microtransactions or device auditing could use a lot simpler blockchain
or a straight forward merkle tree implementation without the complexity,
problems, legal and ethical issues of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

3) Did you examine Hyperledger project for the possible use of their
Fabric blockchain?


Thanks for pointing this out. It will be interesting to see how this
project will address 51% attack and the Byzantine generals problem and at
the same time keep the permissionless, decentralized and P2P
implementation.

Regards,
Tibor



On Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 9:18 PM, Drasko DRASKOVIC <
drasko.draskovic@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello Tibor,
>
> On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Tibor Pardi <tibor@zovolt.com> wrote:
> > Hi Dave
> >
> > Based on our work in the https://github.com/w3c/web-of-things-framework
> and
> > using the WoT elements of it, I have created a blockhain based,
> > decentralised, peer to peer IoT system. The application name is Streembit
> > and I released the source code earlier this week at
> > https://github.com/streembit/Streembit. I have published a white paper
> at
> > http://streembit.github.io/downloads/streembit_whitepaper_v101.pdf as
> well
> > as I try to explain in a blog at
> > http://streembit.github.io/2016-03-02-Internet-of-Things how
> decentralised
> > ledger concept i.e. blockhains and distributed hash tables (DHT) is
> relevant
> > to IoT, how decentralised, blockchain based, peer to peer systems manage
> > device discovery, and address the scalability and high availability
> business
> > requirements. As you mentioned it in your message, I would think the
> > authentication, access control and device discovery are the most relevant
> > areas.
>
>
> I have several questions regarding this Blockchain approach:
>
> 1) In blockchain security depends on computing nodes to calculate the
> blocks. How do you solve this problem with low-power devices - i.e.
> who is calculating the blocks? Is it maybe gateway? I am asking this
> because whoever can have big processing power on the network can take
> over the whole network.
>
> 2) Did you try to leverage existing Blockchains - Bitcoin or Ethereum
> ones? I am asking this because I suppose that these networks are now
> practically impossible to take over.
>
> 3) Did you examine Hyperledger project for the possible use of their
> Fabric blockchain?
>
> BR,
> Drasko
>



-- 
Tibor Zsolt Pardi
CTO ZoVolt Ltd
LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tibor-zsolt-pardi-b406a780
http://www.zovolt.com
Tel: 07557126881
Received on Monday, 29 August 2016 22:21:35 UTC

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