By Peter Newman
Ripe, a blockchain startup, is showcasing how the distributed ledger technology can be applied to farming and provide companies with important data on crops and throughout the supply chain.
By combining a blockchain with purpose-built scanners and specialized sensors, the company is able to provide critical data that is easily communicated to partners, demonstrating why blockchain is growing more popular as a tool to be leveraged as part of an IoT solution.
Blockchain is a key tool for the IoT because of how it combines data storage and communication in a trusted medium.
A blockchain is a shared, distributed database that acts as an immutable ledger, recording entries and verifying them across a number of independent participants. Once an entry is made, it's marked with a unique hash code that places it sequentially in the ledger.
In agriculture, this means that farmers can use sensors and handheld devices to gather data about crops like tomatoes starting from seeds. This information is written onto the blockchain, and can include important factors like salt and sugar content and pH levels, as well identifying factors like location to link the entry to a particular plant.
From this, farmers can determine when a plant is ready to be harvested, and can communicate to customers and partners that tomatoes were picked at the proper time due to the immutable nature of a blockchain. Further, by sharing data from early on in the growth process, a farm can give those partners visibility into upcoming availability, which will help those customers to reduce costs resulting from scrambling to find produce.
Agriculture shows another industry where blockchain can be a useful tool for storing and communicating IoT data. Companies looking to store and share data from connected devices in all sorts of sectors, from agriculture to construction to retail, should consider it as a potential tool that can meet their needs, while companies with experience managing blockchains — like those in financial services — could have an opportunity to apply that expertise beyond their traditional areas and open up new revenue streams.
Blockchain isn't just for bankers anymore. Most of the buzz around the distributed ledger has focused on its uses in finance, where it originated. But one of the most promising blockchain trends is its growing disruptive presence in the Internet of Things (IoT).
Companies are pioneering innovative new solutions that use blockchain for tasks like tracking goods as they move and change hands in the supply chain, monitoring the location and condition of assets like industrial machinery at remote work sites, or storing medical data, and they are transforming the IoT
Explains how firms are already exploring ways to make use of blockchain in all sorts of IoT projects.
Provides an overview of disruption in critical sectors including the supply chain and asset management.
Analyzes how blockchain is poised to see rapid expansion as a tool used in IoT solutions that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and remove reliance on cloud-based platforms.