It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 4.5 billion networked devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) in Europe alone, providing millions of digital twins with data. A report published by Deloitte and Vienna-based RIDDLE&CODE states that Blockchains could significantly facilitate the application of digital twins in the IoT: They allow the transmission of data and values of any kind over the Internet without intermediaries and with a high degree of transparency. The automotive and manufacturing sectors are just two of the sectors that stand to benefit from this. To secure the connection between the physical and digital world, RIDDLE&CODE has developed tamper-proof crypto tags. The manufacturer believes that combining Blockchains and hardware is the next step in the evolution of the IoT and digital twins.
There could, however, be another kind of challenge here: the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force for all Member States on May 25. As Helen Bielawa writes in an analysis for t3n.de , there are still some questions surrounding this – for instance, how a Blockchain can provide for the “right to be forgotten”. After all, one of the advantages of the technology is that it’s practically impossible for data to be deleted. One potential solution could be a root key for users, says Joachim Lohkamp from Blockchain startup Jolocom . This root key would generate a unique new key for each transaction. All an individual’s transactions would then have different hashes, meaning they could no longer be associated with each other.