How can blockchain and edge computing work together? The possibilities and advantages

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How can blockchain and edge computing work together? The possibilities and advantages

By Vadim Belski, head of web development at ScienceSoft

A growing world with a growing population needs a more reliable and secure space to work in. There is a reason why worldwide spending on blockchain solutions has been on the rise for the past seven years. Meanwhile, the worldwide market for edge computing, which makes networking and processing faster, is expected to reach $274 billion by 2025. The combination of blockchain and edge computing.

How blockchain works

A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital public ledger used to record transactions between computers so that the record cannot be changed without all subsequent blocks and the consensus of the network undergoing an alteration. Simply put, if you want to have a more secure, transparent, and reliable form of transaction, blockchain, it is the answer.

What can it be used for

  • Monetary transactions and processes
  • Monitoring supply chains
  • Digital IDs and Data Sharing
  • Intellectual property and copyright protection
  • IoT
  • Healthcare

How edge computing works

What edge computing does is move some portion of storage and computing resources out of the central data center and closer to the data source. If any developer wants to maintain application performance for end users, edge computing is the solution.

What can it be used for

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Smart grids
  • Traffic Management
  • Content delivery
  • Smart homes

Combining blockchain and edge computing

IoT is one technology that shows how effective the combination of blockchain and edge computing can be. Using distributed cloud computing along with the help of network edge resources, edge computing brings computing, analytics, and storage closer to the data-generating devices, thus reducing the distance data must travel and resulting in a faster response time and reduced latency.

We can see an interdependent relationship between blockchain and edge computing here. With shared ledger transactions that are decentralized, immutable, and distributed, blockchain can provide a solution. In addition to validating every transaction, blockchain’s consensus algorithms ensure that the data transmitted by IoT devices is verified and valid and has not been altered during transit. Consensus processes, however, are resource-intensive, and IoT devices, being resource-constrained, are unable to cope with this computational overload. A cloud-based processing solution is not an option due to obvious latency reasons. In order to offload compute-intensive tasks from IoT nodes, edge computing is one solution.

Real-world applications

Take, for example, how edge computing and blockchain can enhance the security of patient medical records. Medical wearables can collect and store health data from patients on an electronic medical card. This data can then be encrypted and sent to edge servers. Edge servers store this information on the edge blockchain to increase data security and confidentiality. Patients and authorized hospital staff can access data from the edge much more quickly than data from the cloud. Edge servers then send any data that is not necessary for real-time analysis to the cloud.

Edge computing and blockchain combined allow us to create a distributed and secure edge computing architecture that supports the integrity and safety of IoT data across its life cycle. The adoption of blockchain-based edge computing use cases will increase along with the number of apps and their requirements for secure, real-time data access.

Top blockchain and edge computing collaborations

The blockchain and edge computing combination is also being explored by providers. These providers include Edge.network, Solana, and Lumen, to name a few.

Solana and Lumen

Lumen and the nonprofit Solana Foundation recently collaborated to make Lumen’s Edge Bare Metal platform available to Solana blockchain developers and operators. Through this process, Solana avoided making hardware purchases that would have prolonged the time it took to develop and release applications. The elimination of supply chain constraints, which make it more difficult for decentralized networks to scale and access resources, is another benefit of this pairing. As a result, the Solana network has grown and become more decentralized.

Latency and bandwidth usage reductions helped improve the speed and efficiency of decentralized transitions over the edge network. In reality, the planned latency in the Lumen environment is five milliseconds or less, which yields excellent application performance.

Edge.network

Edge.network uses blockchain in a free-of-charge environment whereby participants can contribute computing resources to profit and permit the company to profit from three unique concepts known as staking, value attribution, and network governance.

Edge.network also provides edge computing and edge cache, two products related explicitly to edge computing.

Summary

The more distributed that the production of data becomes, the more blockchain will be used to ensure the provenance of that data. To help blockchain’s distributed architecture scale with usage, it will need to run on a distributed infrastructure, meaning that edge computing and blockchain future growth are likely to be intertwined.

About the author

Vadim Belski is head of web development at ScienceSoft. Vadim has over 20 years of experience in IT. He provided technical leadership for Viber app (an instant messaging and VoIP app with 1B+ active users) and Viber billing portal development. Now, Vadim manages web development and grows ScienceSoft’s expertise in PHP (Symfony), Python, Golang, and blockchain.

DISCLAIMER: Guest posts are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Edge Industry Review (EdgeIR.com).

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