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Blockchain and IoT - science fiction becomes reality
The Internet of Things does not represent a significant challenge for the blockchain. Devices are networked and communicate in real time with each other and with the relevant service providers. Payment flows also flow in real time without the support of banks as we know them today. To take the example of the intelligent refrigerator, which independently recognizes when food has been consumed and automatically reorders it within a defined set of rules, it reduces its tasks or even completely stops them if, for example, installment payments by the owner for this refrigerator are not made - if it is in advance by Smart Contract was so agreed. If he discovers an error while diagnosing his system, he takes the necessary steps to replace himself with a functioning model.
According to a Gartner study, the Internet of Things should already comprise 21 billion devices by 2020. The biggest discussion in this context always triggers the issue of security of networked devices. This security is guaranteed with the concept of decentralized cryptographic transaction systems, the blockchains. The Bitcoin blockchain has now proven that transactions can be securely assigned. The same applies to data security. The company IPDB, also from Berlin, sees itself as a blockchain database for an increasingly decentralized world. With the help of the database, a decentralized control, an invulnerability of the system and the trade of digital goods should be possible.
Infinite possibilities thanks to the blockchain
With the help of the blockchain and the smart contracts implemented in it, it will be possible in the future for electrical devices to communicate with one another and also interact via an if-then relationship. When the fully automatic coffee machine brews a cup of coffee, it transfers a contractually defined number of currency units to the lessor of the machine. When the electricity delivery arrives at the household, a payment is automatically made to the electricity provider.
The application possibilities seem almost endless. The start-up Xtech is thinking ahead at this point and is relying on a platform that is intended to enable autonomous payment between machines that communicate with each other. The founders assume that different devices will not simply be compatible with each other in the future, but will also reward each other for their performance. The Xtech platform is already being used at Share & Charge. The platform brings together drivers of electric cars and owners of corresponding charging stations. The blockchain is intended to ensure that when refueling, only the agreed amount of electricity actually flows at the agreed price.
ICOs blockchain finances blockchain
The ICO financing model is an interesting investment opportunity for investors. In 2017 alone, almost 2 billion US dollars have been invested in a wide variety of ICOs. A year earlier, the value was significantly lower at around 100 million. The formerly small start-up Ethereum is certainly the best-known example of ICO financing. The Swiss Ethereum Foundation, today a non-profit foundation headed by its founder Vitalik Buterin, a child prodigy of the cryptocurrency scene, sold ether tokens worth 10 million dollars in 2014/2015 - transferred with Bitcoin. What was considered disproportionate at the time, developed over the next few years into an extremely lucrative investment for all investors involved.
On the part of the company, ICO offers the opportunity to crowdfund their idea without having to bring a participating third party such as a crowdfunding platform on board. An extremely consistent method in which a blockchain project is financed with the help of the blockchain. A prime example of defining property rights over a crypto currency that even increases in value if the project is successful. And of course there is also a suitable investment platform for this. The start-up Cofound.it, based in Singapore, wants to reinvent traditional start-up financing by creating the opportunity to directly network founders and investors. With this idea, Cofound.it was able to generate over $ 12 million from investors in just two days.
The blockchain is reinventing old professions
Should the technology establish itself to the extent expected, it is also likely to have a blatant impact on the labor market. To stick to the money transfer example, banks need to rethink their approach. The number of bank customers who actually make a transfer in the bank has already fallen dramatically. Consulting services are also provided significantly less. Banks in their core function will therefore soon be superfluous. Securities dealers, insurers, brokers, notaries, to name just a few - all of these professions have to completely reorganize and reinvent themselves in order to justify their existence in the future.
Of course, these job profiles won't go away overnight, but even a steady decline would have painful effects on those employed in these jobs. Even if crypto currencies like Bitcoin do not prevail in the end, it is the blockchain that will find its way into almost all branches of the economy. Because it can reduce costs. Because a contract drawn up using a smart contract can replace the notary, music rights and royalty agreements can be handled more efficiently, because a middleman will be superfluous in essential areas of life - not just at the banks.
New professional worlds are emerging
But wherever jobs are lost on the one hand, new ones are created on the other. If a robot replaces the worker in the automotive industry, a job is created in the industry that produces the robot. New jobs are created. Let's take PayPal for example again. If blockchain and Bitcoin prevail, this would mean that transaction fees would be significantly reduced. Added to this are the savings that can be achieved by eliminating credit card fraud or direct debits that have been returned.
While both payment methods can be contested weeks or months later, a payment via blockchain is irreversible. These savings have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. Companies can increase their profit margins and thereby create jobs. Of course, that doesn't interest the bank clerk who has just lost his job. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the introduction of the blockchain will create millions of jobs in the IT sector. Blockchain developers and experts are already being feverishly searched for on the major portals.
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