IBM designs a hybrid blockchain architecture for IoT

Two hot technologies are coming together if IBM has its way. The research division's new paper: Hybrid-IoT: Hybrid Blockchain Architecture for Internet of Things - PoW Sub-blockchains explores a new architecture for the internet of things, in which IoT gets a boost from blockchain tech. The decentralization of IoT would improve many of the current issues with centralized IoT infrastructures including high maintenance costs, low interoperability, and single points of failure. The IBM team took developed an approach that led to optimal clusters of distributed IoT devices based on performance considerations. Devices in those clusters would have their own "sub-blockchain," which keeps track of everything in the group.

While that optimization is a beginning, the IBM researches found scaling IoT networks remained a challenge and so it designed a platform that helps these sub-blockchains work together using things like Byzantine fault tolerance to get all the sub-blockchains talking to one another.

The team tested the performance of their Hybrid-IoT by running tens of thousands of simulations and creating a set of "sweet spot" guidelines that optimize the clustering on the sub-blockchains for scalability, security, and other integration metrics. Through testing, the team determined that not only did the architecture work to allow scalable networks, but security vulnerabilities, including denial-of-service attacks were prevented (Source: IBM)