IBM files patent for POW protocol tailored IOT networks

The American multinational technology giant IBM is currently seeking a patent for connecting Internet of things(IOT) devices on a blockchain network through a proof-of-work concept while addressing the necessary security issues gaining easy accessibility to information.

The patent application filed with USPTO reads:

“One example method of operation may include determining a proof-of-work via a device and using a predefined set of nonce values when determining the proof-of-work, storing the proof-of-work on a blockchain, and broadcasting the proof-of-work as a broadcast message.”

It further explains:

“In a blockchain configuration, a large amount of information is related to financial transactions. As the popularity of the blockchain configuration continues to increase so does the desire to implement additional functions on the blockchain.”

IoT devices comprise of sensors, software and network connectivity and using blockchain can help to decentralize the communication between the devices while at the same time enabling them to execute smart contracts. But connecting IoT devices over the blockchain network has emerged to be one of the important challenges for developers and companies.

However, one of the major roadblocks is that IoT devices can’t harness enough power in comparison to that of the ASIC chips which can perform resource-intensive PoW calculations. On the other hand, if the complexity of an IoT-focused blockchain network is reduce to tune it operate at low power, it would create security concerns and provide an easy gateway for malicious attacks on the network, thereby compromising security.

IBM in its patent applications proposes the use of nonces in PoW system while altering the cryptographic has function to obtain a desired hash that can fulfil certain conditions. IBM says that it will restrict this nonce to a number such that it can only be used once. This way the intra-network competition can be controlled at the same time protecting it from outside attackers.

IBM’s patent application says,

“the complexity of constructing a PoW [proof of work] can be adjusted dynamically, such that there is no incentive for any IoT device to use computing power beyond a determined threshold to increase its chances of a successful completion of a PoW.”

This was it will “provide equal chances of successful completion of proof-of-work to all IoT devices in the network.”


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