物联网+区块链：克服局限性（Blockchain of Things: Overcoming Limitations）
We are all aware that the number of electronic devices connecting to the internet is growing rapidly. It started with mobile phones, but now extends into just about every facet of our lives, whether it’s our fridges, cars, watches, footwear, or even the machinery we use at work. It’s making our experiences more responsive and personalized, as well helping businesses reduce costs and become more efficient. In fact, it’s growing so rapidly that it’s expected that there will be approximately 12.86 billion devices or sensors connected to the internet by 2020, and that’s just in the consumer segment alone. That’s nearly twice as many as in 2017. It’s no surprise that the internet of things (IoT) has become the new buzzword. However, there is growing recognition that the current systems used to process the vast amount of information received from IoT devices is limited.
我们都知道连接互联网的电子设备数量正在迅猛增长。 最早是手机，现在几乎延伸到了我们生活的各个方面，比如冰箱，汽车，手表，鞋类，以及工作中使用的机器。 这些电子设备使我们的体验更具响应性和个性化，同时帮助企业降低成本并提高效率。 事实上，它的增长速度远比我们想象得迅猛，据预测，到2020年将有大约128.6亿个设备或传感器连接到互联网，大约是2017年的两倍，而这还只是在消费者群体中。因此，物联网（IoT）能够成为新热门也就不足为奇了。 然而与此同时，越来越多的人们开始认识到，如今物联网设备海量数据接收系统的处理能力是非常有限的。
To begin with, there are few options available to store and process the vast amount of information provided by IoT devices. Some estimates predict this to be nearly 500 zettabytes per year (one zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes). The current method to handle this volume is to build large, centralized facilities to manage the data. Such an arrangement has caused many to worry about the security of information collected, as well as who will be monitoring IoT data and therefore have access to the personal information collected. Trust in centralized storage has been severely tested throughout the years, and we only have to look at recent examples of privacy breaches to explain the limitations of having information stored in this way. As a result, it can be argued that trust in IoT is the biggest issue that needs to be overcome as we progress forwards.
首先，可用于存储和处理物联网设备海量数据的选择很少。 据预测，此类系统可能每年需要处理近500个zettabytes（一个zettabyte等于一万亿千兆字节），而目前的处理方法是构建大型集中式设施来管理数据。这导致许多人担心数据的安全性，以及谁将监控这些物联网数据和访问所收集的个人信息。 多年来，对中心化存储的信任已经遭受到多次检验，最近发生的隐私泄露案例就足以解释以这种方式存储信息的局限性。 因此，对物联网的信任是需要攻克的最大难题。
The Blockchain of Things (BoT)物联网+区块链
The advantages of blockchain here have been well documented and complement IoT extremely well. As a decentralized system, it improves trust because there isn’t a need for a single entity to store and process the information. By cutting out the middleman (IoT storage facility), there is better transparency, as you know that the information being received comes directly from the device. The distributed ledger of the blockchain also ensures that this can never be altered, providing a permanent record, regardless of any future security breaches. There is added benefit to decentralizing IoT when it comes to the speed of processing data. The current cloud storage systems being used to handle this information will become a bottleneck as volume increases. Duplicating the blockchain across a network of computers and devices rather than a single location could not only reduce the speed at which information can be accessed, but also provide greater stability in the network.
区块链的优势已被各类文献解释得非常清楚。其优势决定了区块链可以完美地作为物联网的补充。 作为一个去中心化的系统，由于它不需要一个中心化的机构来存储和处理信息，因此它大大提升了信任度。通过切断中间人（物联网存储设施）的方式，还可以提高透明度，因为我们知道所有数据是直接来自于设备的。 区块链的分布式记账特性还可确保数据很难被篡改，不管未来是否有安全漏洞，它都可以永久被记录。 在处理数据的速度方面，去中心化物联网还有诸多好处。目前用于处理数据的云存储系统将随着数量的增加而成为瓶颈。通过一个完整的计算机和设备网络，而不是单个点来复制区块链不仅可以降低信息访问速度，还可以提高网络的稳定性。
So why hasn’t the use of blockchain exploded in the IoT space? Despite the many benefits, there are still issues limiting the adoption of the BoT. Firstly, because blockchain requires intensive computational resources, most IoT devices have limited storage and processing capabilities needed to transact secularly within the network. The intensive mining requirements and the encryption and decryption of data is therefore beyond the capabilities of most devices. Secondly, the blockchain requires devices to remain connected to the network constantly in order to verify all new transactions. This means that IoT devices cannot be switched off, and will have to be permanently on and using resources. Thirdly, blockchain is currently constrained by scalability, which therefore extends to the BoT. With such large volumes of data being produced by devices, the resources needed store the ledger, process transactions, and maintain the network can become immense.
那么为什么没有在物联网领域广泛应用区块链呢？ 尽管有许多优势，但仍存在很多问题限制着区块链在物联网的应用。 首先，区块链需要集中的计算资源，而大多数物联网设备只有有限的存储和处理能力可供在网络内进行长期交易。密集的挖矿需求以及数据的加密和解密超出了大多数设备的能力。 其次，区块链要求设备持续连接到网络，以验证所有新的交易。 这意味着IoT设备不可关闭，必须永久开启和使用资源。 第三，区块链目前受到可扩展性的限制，物联网+区块链也如此。物联网设备产生的海量数据决定着需要大量的资源用来存储账本，处理交易和维护网络。
The Solutions 解决办法
To overcome these challenges, the main focus currently is to bring blockchain technology to the edge of the IoT network. By improving the collection and storage of data, IoT devices can remain in their current state whilst leveraging the benefits of blockchain. This overcomes the need to by constantly communicating with the network or experience excessive power and memory consumption. To get a better idea of how this is being deployed, we’ll look at some of the technological innovations being introduced by Intchain, one of the leading players in this field.
为了战胜这些挑战，当前主要重心应该是将区块链技术带到物联网网络的边缘。 通过改进数据的收集和存储和充分利用区块链的优势让物联网设备可以保持当前状态。 这解决了需要不断与网络通信或消耗过多功率和内存的问题。 为了更好地了解这是如何操作的，我们可以看看Intchain引入的一些技术创新，Intchain就是物联网领域的引领者之一。
Distributed cloud – instead of centralized servers storing information, a distributed cloud uses the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) to spread information out across a connected network of storage devices. When a file is uploaded, a map is created which defines where the information is stored. When you request a file, it follows a path to collect all the pieces of information to be delivered. It is therefore much faster than your typical peer-to-peer file sharing that you may be familiar with, as a file is delivered in full, rather than simply directing you to where a file is stored for you to then download.
分布式云 – 非中心化服务器存储信息，分布式云采用行星间文件系统（IPFS）在连接的存储设备网络中传播信息。 上载文件时，会创建一个映射，用于定义信息的存储位置。当您请求文件时，它遵循一条路径来收集需要传递的信息。 因此，它将比典型点对点文件共享快得多，因为文件是完整传输的，而不是简单地指向存储文件的位置供您随后下载。
Fog computing – this is designed to reduce the immense volume of raw data being sent directly to the cloud. Simply put, it is a number of physical machines that are connected to each other, and designed to collect, categorize, and analyze the data in their networks. Think of this as a filter for the information collected from each IoT device. This can then be sent on to the distributed cloud, ensuring a more flexible, efficient and timely processing of data. Therefore, the cloud is used to look at the big picture, operating as a monitoring and analytical tool instead of receiving every piece of data being produced.
雾计算 - 旨在减少直接发送到云的大量原始数据。 简而言之，它是大量互联的机器，用于收集，分类和分析网络中的数据。 也可以把它看做每个IoT设备数据的过滤器，然后将数据发送到分布式云，从而确保数据处理更灵活，高效和及时。 因此，云被用来查看大图，作为监控和分析工具来运行，而不是接收每一条生成的数据。
Software-Defined Network (SDN) – this allows data to be controlled and directed to where it’s needed. It is designed in a similar way to your mobile phone. There’s the infrastructure layer, which is the physical elements that collect and send signals. Then there’s the control layer, which collects these signals and directs it to a central controller. Finally, there’s the application layer, which allows settings to be optimized and information displayed. In a cloud setting, SDN’s are useful because it allows administrators to manage traffic loads and computing availability, ensuring a more flexible and efficient network.
软件定义网络（SDN） - 控制数据并将数据定向到需要的地方。 它的设计与手机类似：一个基础设施层，可以收集和发送信号；控制层，将信号传输到到中央控制器。应用层，优化设置和展示信息。 在云设置中，SDN非常有用，管理员可以通过它管理流量负载和计算可用性，让网络传输更灵活、更高效。
There are immense possibilities for Blockchain and IoT. Considering the widespread adoption of both of these new technologies and the constant technological developments, the BoT should offer possibilities across many industries.