We live in homes that can monitor and control a wide range of internal processes, from heating and cooling to security and surveillance mechanisms. Our cars track external conditions and are well on their way to self-driving. Our phones are constantly collecting valuable data and recording our activities, both on our devices and in real life.
Smart homes, smart cars, smartphones – all of these and more are part of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), which serves as the bedrock of the machine economy. The IoT is what connects all of our smart devices and machines, and while the industry has produced tremendous results that have improved lives around the world, it has also been a centralized industry for decades.
Such centralization has left users of smart devices with little control over their personal data. W3bstreama leading project in MachineFi – the decentralized economy of machines – has the potential to challenge the current IoT monopoly, benefiting billions of smart device users worldwide.
The boom of the IoT sector
Mackinsey predicts that IoT is poised to add anywhere from $5.5 to $12.6 trillion to the global economy by 2030. A huge chunk of that growth is attributed to IoT solutions in the retail, home and health. There are many potential benefits to better connectivity between our devices and the things we interact with, from health and safety improvements to time-saving benefits.
However, despite all the promise of the IoT, the proliferation of smart objects and the increasingly important role they play in our lives is raising significant questions related to privacy concerns and the dangers of concentrated power.
One of the reasons the IoT industry has proven so lucrative is the growing value of consumer data. While the IoT has brought improvements in human safety, longevity, and quality of life, there are also downsides due to the sacrifices that come at the price of convenience. The privacy debate has long been brewing in the tech industry, as a number of companies have gone to great lengths to acquire user data. The intrusiveness of these companies and the resulting liberties they have taken in profiting from the data they collect has drawn the ire of consumers around the world.
Despite the concerns many share about overtaking privacy, given how deeply embedded in our lives are the services provided by companies like Google and Amazon, there has been a general feeling that little could be done to change that and give users control over your data. However, there is an alternative approach to IoT development that has the potential to recalibrate the industry’s power dynamics.
W3bstream and the fight for the future of IoT
MachineFi laboratorythe main developer of IoTex Network, a project that is working to merge blockchain technology with IoT, recently announced the launch of a new product called W3bstream. W3bstream is a chain-independent system that was developed to break the monopoly that has formed around user data and smart devices.
The project has taken a leading role in the nascent MachineFi sector, which has emerged as more efforts are being made to decentralize the machine economy. The key to MachineFi is to infuse Web3 principles into IoT, so users can maintain control over their data and protect their privacy, while still enjoying the benefits of the vast interconnected network of devices and services.
In addition to protecting the end user, W3bstream will offer users the ability to profit from their data, reshaping the current state of the industry. The key to being able to do this is the platform’s decentralized approach, which takes the proprietary possibilities opened up by blockchain technology and applies them to the entire IoT spectrum.
The platform’s strong technology foundation allows it to penetrate all industries that use and create smart devices. The full range of devices that can run on W3bstream include sensors, smart TVs, smart homes, self-driving cars, and even smart cities. Through the platform, Web3 technology can be deployed by connectivity services, supply chain operators, healthcare professionals, manufacturing companies and environmental protection agencies, among many others.
The uncompromising benefits
The incentive to introduce Web3 paradigms in these industries lies in the benefits it will bring to billions of people. Just like in the current iteration of IoT, people will be able to use their devices to monitor and improve key activities and aspects of their lives. However, in the Web3 model, people can also be rewarded for participating in data collection while still being able to maintain their privacy.
The way it works is through data pools that participants can contribute to without having to reveal their names or any other information they want to remain private. In the healthcare sector, this could significantly advance research efforts without participants having to hand over unnecessary personal information to third parties who could use the information for profit. Instead, the process would be much more democratic and streamlined to focus on scientific progress and common good rather than perpetuating revenue streams for corporations that have amassed sprawling control over various aspects of modern life.
In addition to the benefits that this type of platform has for the end users, W3bstream is also notable for the ease it has introduced in the application building process. MachineFi Lab’s unique data processing infrastructure enables developers, smart device makers, and enterprises to build Web3 applications in less than 50% of the time (and at half the price) it would take to build similar applications with other comparable software.
Currently, there are approximately 42 billion smart devices in use worldwide. Substantial as it is, this is still only the beginning of the machine economy; by 2025, people will own an estimated 75 billion smart devices and machines. The more this sector develops, the more difficult it will be to make substantial changes. W3bstream and other MachineFi projects are trying to lay the groundwork for a democratized IoT now, while it’s still possible.