Knowing the Identity of Things (IDoT)

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To ensure the orderly working of the Internet of Things (IoT) we now need the Identity of Things (IDoT). Malta, a trailblazer in blockchain regulation has six core projects testing its new regulatory framework for ICOs, blockchain companies and DLT, and one of those is primarily focused on IDoT.

IDoT is a way of ensuring that we manage the Internet of Things correctly as it grows exponentially in the years ahead. It involves assigning unique identifiers (UIDs) and metadata to every object and device (thing). It is not unlike a library classification system in which each book or object has a unique identifying number.

Why is IDoT necessary?

Unique identifiers enable all the individual elements to communicate effectively on the Internet. It will also help prevent a situation in which autonomous devices have no one behind them to be held responsible if something goes wrong. In this respect, IDoT is essential to IoT’s success. As Christina Comben writes in The Merkel: “If anything imaginable can be addressed and networked online, it needs its own identity so that it can be found amidst the millions and potentially billions of ‘things’ out there.”

What are the key elements of IDoT?

Each ‘thing’ must have a unique and globally identifiable alphanumeric ID that is not associated with any other thing. This involves some key things to analyse, including lifecycle, relationship, authentication and context-awareness.

IDoT doesn’t only apply to ‘things’ connected on the web. It also applies to people. The Maltese government, as part of its blockchain strategy, is planning to provide residents with e-residency and assign identities to legal entities, which sounds a lot like what Estonia currently offers. And, if we can achieve efficient identity management using blockchain, the need for physical ID cards and passports may one day in the future become a thing of the past.

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