We live in homes that can monitor and control a wide range of internal processes, from heating and air conditioning to security and surveillance mechanisms. Our cars follow the outside conditions and are well on their way to driving themselves. 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 this and more is part of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), which serves as the foundation of the machine economy. The IoT is what connects all of our smart devices and machines, and while the industry has produced remarkable achievements that have improved lives around the world, it is also an industry that has been centralized for decades.
This centralization has left smart device users with little control over their personal data. W3bstream, a flagship project of MachineFi – the decentralized machine economy – has the potential to challenge the current IoT monopoly, benefiting billions of smart device users worldwide.
The booming IoT industry
Mckinsey predicts that the IoT is poised to add between $5.5 and $12.6 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Much of this growth is attributed to IoT solutions in the industries of retail, home and healthcare. Improving connectivity between our devices and the things we interact with has many potential benefits, from health and safety improvements to time savings.
However, despite all the promise of the IoT, the proliferation of smart objects and the increasingly important role they play in our lives raises important questions related to privacy concerns and the dangers of the concentration of power.
One of the reasons the IoT industry has proven to be so profitable 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 made at the cost of convenience. The privacy debate has been raging for some time now in the tech industry, as a number of companies have gone to great lengths to acquire user data. The intrusion of these companies and the liberties they have taken in profiting from the data they collect have drawn the ire of consumers around the world.
Despite the concerns that many share about overstepping privacy, given how deeply services provided by companies like Google and Amazon are embedded in our lives, there has been a general feeling that little can be done about it. changing the tide and giving users control over their data. However, there is an alternative approach to IoT development that has the potential to recalibrate industry power dynamics.
W3bstream and the fight for the future of IoT
MachineFi Lab, the lead developer of the IoTeX network – a project that works to merge blockchain technology with the IoT – recently announced the rollout of a new product called W3bstream. W3bstream is a channel-agnostic system that was developed to disrupt the monopoly that has formed around user data and smart devices.
The project has played a leading role in the nascent MachineFi industry, which has emerged as more and more efforts are made to decentralize the machine economy. Key to MachineFi infuses Web3 principles into the IoT, so users can maintain control over their data and protect their privacy, while enjoying the benefits of the vast interconnected network of devices and services.
Beyond simple end-user protection, W3bstream will empower users to leverage their own data, reshaping the current state of the industry. Key to achieving this is the platform’s decentralized approach, which takes the ownership possibilities opened up by blockchain technology and applies it across the entire IoT spectrum.
The platform’s strong technological underpinnings allow it to penetrate all industries that use and create smart devices. The full range of devices that can run on W3bstream includes sensors, smart TVs, smart homes, self-driving automobiles, and even smart cities. Through the platform, Web3 technology can be implemented by connectivity services, supply chain operators, healthcare providers, manufacturing companies and environmental protection agencies, among others.
The benefits without the compromises
The incentive to bring Web3 paradigms to these industries lies in the benefits they will bring to billions of people. Just like in the current iteration of the 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.
It works through data pools that participants can contribute to without having to reveal their name or any other information they wish to remain private. In the health sector, this could significantly advance research efforts without participants having to give up unnecessary personal information to third parties who could use this information for profit. Instead, the process would be much more democratic and streamlined to focus on scientific advancement and community benefit rather than perpetuating revenue streams for corporations that have accumulated sprawling control over various facets of modern life.
In addition to the benefits that this type of platform has for end users, W3bstream is also notable for the ease it has introduced into the application building process. MachineFi Lab’s first-of-its-kind data-computing infrastructure enables developers, smart device makers and enterprises to build Web3 applications in less than 50% of the time – and at half the price – of takes to create similar applications with other comparable software.
Currently, around 42 billion smart devices are in use around the world. Substantial as a number is, it is still only the beginning of machine economics; by 2025, people will own about 75 billion smart devices and machines. The more this industry develops, the more difficult it will be to make substantial changes. W3bstream and other MachineFi projects are trying to lay the foundation for a democratized IoT now while it’s still possible.
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