Home tech blockchain technology may offer security for connected appliances against hackers. While originally created to ensure the value of cryptocurrencies, engineers hope it can also protect our smart devices from cyberattacks.
Researchers have proposed several secure and lightweight blockchain-based smart home architectures to mitigate privacy, security, authentication, and integrity concerns.
The blockchain is an immutable record of unalterable, secure transactions distributed among multiple parties. While its main use case is cryptocurrency trading, this concept could also be applied in other ways, including luxury real estate investments. For instance, home security systems could use blockchain technology as part of their design to ensure their data can’t be altered or compromised by hackers.
Decentralized nature of blockchains may present unique challenges. Running one can be more costly than operating on an established centralized network and reaching consensus can be more difficult.
As with any technology, blockchain can be vulnerable to code reuse and vulnerabilities, leaving it susceptible to hacking attacks and cyber threats. There are ways of improving these weaknesses; one EU-funded project aims to protect IoT devices by installing an anti-hack gateway that effectively shuts off attacks on them.
Blockchain technology, which has proven indispensable in maintaining the value of cryptocurrencies, is now being employed to bolster smart home devices’ security. Engineers fear that hackers could exploit smart products’ vulnerabilities to access bank credentials or eavesdrop conversations.
Current smart home technologies rely heavily on centralised gateways that create single points of failure, limit scalability and raise serious privacy issues. Furthermore, these gateways consume substantial processing time and require large storage capacities.
Researchers  proposed a solution based on consortium blockchain to meet privacy, integrity and availability needs in smart homes. Their system utilizes sensor nodes (SeN), which communicate with super nodes (SN) for transaction verification as well as reduce communication load/network bandwidth of smart home appliances – an approach which is cost-efficient, secure and time-effective.
A smart home ecosystem consists of interconnected devices capable of collecting environmental data. They’re linked to a home gateway which enables the system to remotely monitor and control these devices, helping protect social resources against unauthorised usage.
Blockchain technology can also protect privacy by encrypting the data collected by smart homes, and is especially crucial when hackers gain access to connected appliances and may steal personal information, according to Javier Augusto of Televes in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
The proposed smart home blockchain platform ensures security between IoT hub and device with AES 256 symmetric key encryption, eliminating duplicate authentication while improving communication latency and preventing unapproved users from gaining access to privileged devices.
One key consideration in blockchain is its scalability, which determines how many transactions it can process per second and affects confirmation times; this feature is essential as it reduces data tampering risks.
Blockchains are secured using consensus protocols that define their format and who can verify a block, making sure transactions cannot be altered later and making blockchains secure and scalable.
Scalability remains an ongoing challenge in cryptocurrency, but several initiatives exist to increase blockchain’s performance and scalability. One such measure is Sharding: an approach wherein the main chain is split up into partitions called Shards which each handle a subset of transactions; this enables blockchains to scale by increasing transaction throughput.