Internet of Everything

1.  Standardizing Blockchain

TM Forum Member
Posted 14 days ago
How can Blockchain as a technology be standardized as a security mechanism to be used across Telecommunications/Wireless carriers especially for IoT applications and on IoT endpoint devices?

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Mimi Tam
Verizon Communications
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2.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

TM Forum Member
Posted 13 days ago
Hi Mimi,

It depends on the security mechanism you're trying to implement.
A simple use is for software updates.
You can put whatever you want into a ledger based blockchain, let's assume you're using JSON.
New updates are published in the blockchain, with integrity and authenticity verification information, linking to a file.

The real challenge with IoT and blockchain technology is the 'potential' size of the blockchain itself.
The bitcoin blockchain is now over 20GB.

A hypothetical IoT coffee maker may have a couple MB of storage.
IoT manufactures will not put GB's of storage in small simple devices.




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Brian LaVallee
INVITE Communications Co. Ltd
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3.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

Posted 12 days ago
​I think the three limitations for Blockchain for IOT currently is Mining, Block Size and Latency.....however with the investment being made in the technology I am sure we will see more IOT use cases around blockchain

I would never have thought of blockchain in the below scenario:

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/featured/opencts-bd-wan-platform-aims-transform-telcos/2018/02/

Here is a use case from IBM however the technicalities are not very clear

IoT Application Using Watson IoT & IBM Blockchain
Mendix remove preview
IoT Application Using Watson IoT & IBM Blockchain
The Internet of Things (IoT) has opened up countless opportunities for businesses to drive smarter operations. Virtually every device and asset around us is becoming equipped with sensors that transmit data to the cloud. Naturally, many companies are eager to make IoT applications part of their business to drive new experiences, cut costs and generate efficiency.
View this on Mendix >



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Ravendran Naicker
Liquid Telecom South Africa
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4.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

TM Forum Member
Posted 9 days ago
Edited by Brian LaVallee 9 days ago
Hi Ravendran,

Mining and Block Size are both limitations that affect crypto based currencies, especially evident with bitcoin.

"Cryptographic Mining" is not required for blockchain technology, but you do require some work to perform to trigger folding the next block into the chain.  But this could simply be time-based of some other simple proof of work.  It does not require custom rigs with GPU's.

A simple blockchain example:
https://hackernoon.com/learn-blockchains-by-building-one-117428612f46

Block size is a major contention point among bitcoin developers.  Again, this is a problem with crypto based currencies.  The popularity and scale of bitcoin was simply underestimated.   That does not mean it can not be changed, but it's just difficult to fix without the bitcoin developers reaching a consensus.  Any blockchain adopted for IoT use may reach the same block size headache, it's hard to predict 5~10 years into the future with any accuracy.

When it comes to latency, blockchain technology will always be slower than direct methods of communication.  The SDxCentral article was very careful to say, "near-zero time delay".  Which could subjectively mean hours are nearer to zero than days.

The sweet-spot for blockchain IoT is probably Command, Control & Intelligence (C2I).  Blockchain will not be for turning ON the lights in my home right now, but will be great for setting or updating a daily lighting schedule.  The SDxCentral article showed the blockchain being used for C2I, pushing changes to modify a WAN network environment, providing capacity changes to reflect updated requirements.

With C2I, there is also the aggregation of data.  Where any data point could be fed into a blockchain for external evaluation.  The IBM article shows the blockchain simply being used as a temper-proof ledger, data populated by IoT devices, and parsed for abnormalities with the Watson engine.  The analog method, would be following a paper trail back to the source to find where something went wrong.

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Brian LaVallee
INVITE Communications Co. Ltd
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5.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

TM Forum Member
Posted 8 days ago
@Brian LaVallee has nailed it. What we need to explore is the right use case and the "method of deployment" of any distributed ledger for IoT. We've started looking at a few scenarios, but already there are a couple of fancy implementations in the public space also of Access-Authorization-Accounting (AAA) with IoT that do not use the consensus models that cryptos use. The use case requires the appropriate consensus and voting mechanism for recording to the ledger. AAA use cases are hot because of the fear of what happens in 2016/2017 with DDoS attack on IoT's that brought some DNS sites down.

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Emmanuel A. Otchere
VP, Industry Development & Standards
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
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6.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

Posted 7 days ago
​Hi Brian,

I do agree on scoping Blockchain for specific use cases however the tech needs to be understood in the context of the business problem you are trying to solve, for example I worked on something using IOT and Blockchain for a specific scenario based on a customer wanting some automation which after careful investigation of all tech Blockchain was the only tech that could achieve what we wanted.  However the tech did give us some challenges for example scale and device power, but with the right partner and skills we did solve the issue.

What I have seen from the industry is around Blockchain hype and creating a fear of missing out, this is not what Blockchain is meant to be about, similar to AI around deep learning. A clear understanding of Tech is required while also looking at tried and tested methods out there other than Blockchain in trying to solve the business problem you have at hand.

Thanks
Raven

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Ravendran Naicker
Liquid Telecom South Africa
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7.  RE: Standardizing Blockchain

TM Forum Member
Posted 6 days ago
Edited by Thandi Demanet 2 days ago
Hi all,

Great discussion going on here. I just wanted to make you aware of this TM Forum technical report created through our collaboration programme and available to members. The paper gathers and addresses use case for blockchain or distributed ledger technologies from a CSP and IoE perspective including smart contracts, identity management, managing micropayment... https://www.tmforum.org/resources/technical-report/tr279-csp-use-cases-utilizing-blockchain-r17-5-0/

Remember to join the IoE & Digital Ecosystems programme if you've not yet done so, it's easy to sign up here: Log In - TM Forum Confluence

Any feedback or input into this is always welcome. Feel free to get in touch with us via the comments box under this document or via e-mail: thandi.demanet@tmforum.org

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Thandi Demanet
Business Analyst - IoE & Digital Ecosystems Program
TM Forum
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