The convergence of platforms such as Blockchain and the Internet of Things presents a foreseeable future where transactions become autonomous and declutter manual processes such as billing and cashier lines, thereby making them a thing of the past.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is built around the concept of wireless connectivity of machines and peripherals that are constantly communicating with one another via secured frequency. This allows machines to pass data to one another without human intervention. Meanwhile, Blockchain is built around the concept of a block of processes that are able to self-execute transactions in a recurring basis without the need for manual verification coming from human process dependencies. These two concepts, becomes a foundational network in allowing IoT and Blockchain to mesh, in order to form the basis of autonomous transactions that are dispersed across a vast geography.
In this case, the convergence of IoT and Blockchain will enable future gasoline stations or electric charging station to be “self-service” where an on-premise cashier will be considered optional, if not unnecessary.
Leveraging IOTA Tangle
One emerging use case based on the tangle of IoT is the IOTA platform that uses machine to machine communications technology to power the concept of self-servicing car charging stations of the future. Netherlands based ElaadNL utilizes the IOTA tangle to facilitate car to charging station transactions that render human to machine billing process unnecessary.
ElaadNL outfitted a toy mini Tesla with an IoT enabled hardware and deployed a charging station prototype based on the specification of e-Mobility ISO 15118 charging port, in order to demonstrate the autonomous and transaction-less process of self-serviced car charging.
Prior to the test, ElaadNL based its charging station standards to conform to the International Organization for Standardization that has deployed blueprints for vehicle to grid communications structure. This allows seamless machine to machine communication without the need for a secondary transmission platform such as Bluetooth or RFID. Instead, the standard establishes a direct TCP/IP communications between the car batteries and the car charging unit.
Detangling the Tangle with Blockchain
By establishing the groundwork for machine to machine transactions, the concept of Blockchain is ripe for the autonomy set for the IOTA car charging concept. Blockchain helps establish the distributed application of digital wallets intended for car owners in order for them to pay car charging fees without the need to go to a cashier or a credit point of sale system (POS).
With smart contracts, users and their owned electric cars can enroll into a defined agreement based on their energy provider where a smart contract is then enrolled and deployed. The smart contract provisions are enacted once the car charging instance has been initiated – allowing for credit tracking, auto-debits and other clauses to be realized.
The setup of IOTA car charging with a Blockchain system featuring digital wallets and smart contracts promotes a car charging economy that is built for autonomy, self-service and the elimination of processes such as manual billing. Under this design, there will be no intermediary bodies to manually verify each car charging transaction as the Blockchain powered distributed application enables all transactions to be verified or audited with transparent retraceability.
IOTA’s trust based networks complements Blockchain’s trust based structure. IOTA issues a permissionless grid while Blockchain provides the measure of a secured and tamper-free process.
The convergence of IOT and Blockchain defines the probable trust economies of the future that is built secured, maintains anonymity and enables fee-free transactions that are tamper-proof. It is an economy that will also define retail, commerce and insurance within the near future.