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5G and blockchain: The building blocks of the shared economy

Far from a niche technology confined to academic forums, blockchain has slowly become a mainstream idea thanks to the growing popularity of cryptocurrency. When we explore blockchain itself, we’re looking at a technology that opens a wealth of opportunities not just for the mobile industry, but for all industries. I sat down with David Palmer, IOT & Blockchain lead from Vodafone Business, to explore how these use-cases may help drive the development and further adaptation of blockchains.

Daniel Bergström 

Senior Researcher

Category, topic & hashtags

How does blockchain work?

Blockchains are a list, or rather ‘chain’, of blocks linked up through cryptography. Each block features encrypted transaction data and it can’t be modified. This means that two parties can transact in a secure way, with no need for further verification. It signals an entirely new way to trust.

Is Tokenisation the big blockchain app?

Up until now, Blockchain has been used as the basis behind encrypted digital currencies (cryptocurrency), and many other use-cases have been considered without really taking off yet.

Discovering Digital Identities

Having a Digital Identity may sound like an abstract idea but being able to correctly identify which online device we are interacting with is a cornerstone in the online world. The number of connected devices is steadily increasing, forecast to reach about 18 billion in 2022, and the issuing and management of Digital Identities for those devices is a fundamental part of the security and automation for these devices.

To illustrate the potential of blockchain, consider that the automation of devices also includes automatic management of money. Here’s a great example: a self-driving car, as part of a taxi service, realises and registers that it needs to be cleaned. It can automatically drive to a car wash, pay for the service, and be back on the road ready to serve customers without any human having to manage the process. 

The blockchain is a perfect fit for Digital Identities because it allows many different issuers to coexist and interoperate in a transparent, secure, and device-friendly fashion.

In a world moving quickly towards shared ownership, as well as the Internet of Things and Services powered by 5G, blockchain will no doubt offer a secure way for automation to truly take off.

Learn more

In a recent Ericsson Technology Review article, my colleagues and I explore the benefits of blockchain technology to facilitate online trust, as well as presenting key telecom use cases.

Visit Ericsson’s Intelligent Network Operations to read more about our collaborative innovations.

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