How Blockchain, 5G, and IoT Can Lead to a More Sustainable Future

sustainable-development

Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technology”) for Sustainability

We have seen how blockchain technology, or “distributed ledger technology” has blown up the cryptocurrency space. And when it comes to blockchain’s role in the push towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, there are many crypto-based solutions like Climate Trade. However, there are many more promises from blockchain for sustainability and efficiency that we’ve yet to see (i.e. the disruption in all industries, from manufacturing to farming to real estate and more).

So if blockchain worked so well for crypto, why does it feel like we are still just scratching the surface when it comes to blockchains for waste reduction, product origin, and CO2 emission reduction?  There are many reasons for this, but one of the big reasons is that a full blockchain infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with an optimal wireless network (cue “5G”). 

Blockchain, 5G, and IoT

5G is the 5th generation of wireless network that promises to be faster and requires less energy. With 5G, we will be able to connect more devices to high speed internet with little to no latency. Blockchain and 5G have a synergistic relationship where one would improve or boost the efficiency of the other. 

Better Connections = Better Data = Increased Accuracy and Speed of Systems

With an ever-growing human population, we have an even higher growing number of IoT devices per human. When it comes to the data that smart contracts are reading, it will be increasingly data from these devices themselves (as opposed to manual human input). But in order for that to work, these devices must be able to seamlessly speak to the blockchain over a reliable wireless network. This is where the 5th generation or “5G” network will be crucial to the growth of the many “killer apps” for blockchain technology. 

“For example, if all stakeholders of a supply chain are to consistently, accurately and reliably capture data about the goods being shipped onto an agreed upon blockchain solution, the easiest and quickest way to do that would be via IoT devices which will never “forget” to enter the data, or make a data entry mistake, or intentionally misrepresent the data. This is currently an expensive, and oftentimes technically challenging proposition. However, with the advent of 5G, this could be entirely feasible, thereby improving the accuracy and speed of the supply chain.” –

– May 6, 2019 | Written by Mahesh Sashital, IBM

Individually, we understand that there is great potential for both 5G and DLT to disrupt many systems and in turn, improve their sustainability markers. 5G allows for smart agriculture systems, sustainable cities, and remote healthcare. Blockchain allows for more secure and transparent data for systems like power usage, carbon emissions, and water supplies.

However, when the marriage of 5G and blockchain come together, it will greatly increase the power of both systems. 5G can provide the much needed reliability speed for blockchain, and blockchain can offer things like security to the 5G network. Both are crucial to improving efficiencies in the world’s most important industries like energy, water, and agriculture. 

“Blockchain, 5G and IoT are a coherent set of technologies that will together change our economies and our lives.”-  Ben Schwarz, #Blockchain, #5G and #IoT, Medium

November 20, 2019

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