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6 Tech Execs On The Blockchain Opportunity In IoT

Executives at Cisco, AT&T, Google and Comtech said they believe blockchain has potential in Internet of Things deployments, but some of them, including executives at Software AG, cautioned that it shouldn't be seen as a silver bullet.

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Can Blockchain Work In IoT?

Up until the past few years, blockchain has largely been known as the distributed ledger technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. But with blockchain's immutability and distributed nature, in addition to its smart contract and consensus capabilities, the technology has been receiving a lot of buzz in the enterprise space, mostly from software and hardware vendors, while some solution providers have also been voicing their interest.

At IoT World in Santa Clara, Calif., last month, executives and leaders from AT&T, Cisco, Google, Comtech and Software AG gave their thoughts on where they see blockchain fitting into the Internet of Things ecosystem, if at all. The most common use case cited was supply chain management, which can benefit from blockchain's tamper-proof qualities, its ability to require consensus from multiple parties to complete transactions, and its ability to set rules and conditions for transactions with smart contracts.

At the same time, most of the executives said blockchain is still in its early days, where most companies are still working on proof-of-concept projects.

"With blockchain, we have gone through this huge hype curve. A lot of use cases that I traditionally hear about people citing actually turn out to be red herrings," Maciej Kranz, vice president of Cisco's strategic innovation group, told CRN.

In the following slides, tech executives give their opinion on the blockchain opportunity in IoT.

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