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Decrypt: Blockchain drives deployment of IPv6



It’s official. IPv6 is taking over the internet and our networks. Given that the average used adoption in industrial countries is 30% (with India not being far behind), India is suddenly looking at a rise in the use of blockchain, cryptocurrency and a fast foot forward in the adaptation of IoT-related devices. 

Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, especially, use billions of connections between users and devices and are totally interconnected. The blockchain technology will not only be confined to digital currencies such as Bitcoin, but will bring about positive change in many other industries, such as health, media, electricity and how we deal with identities. 

IoT, in a nutshell, is a network of physical objects (‘things’) that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. You’d have to be careful with how you treat IPv6 as a business driver though. Recently, a Swiss train company’s IoT business unit decided to roll out their IoT application for passengers (sometime in 2019). For this purpose, they need some 1,000 IP addresses per train to cater to approximately 1200 trains. Whey they requested this amount of IP addresses from the network group, the response was: “No way, we don’t have enough addresses.” So now they have to provide IPv6 services to ensure that this application will be able to run over IPv6-only. 

Fortunately, India is well prepared in this regard –  the demand for IP addresses in the IPv6 age will never outstrip the supply. However, there are other protocols like Data Sovereignty – which is in regard to data being bound to the laws and governance structures within a particular country. The Indian Government is working on a proper set of laws. Many firms are exploring ways to execute transactions across the IoT/blockchain spectrum quicker for enhanced customer service, for cost efficiency in operations and to assure transparency to customers, even as these laws take time to come into effect. 

The current version of the Internet Protocol is IPv4 which is more than three decade old protocol, having many limitations. The biggest limitation is 32-bit addressing space resulting in 4.3 billion IP address. IPv6 will have a big place in 5G, primarily due to IoT, which will add billions of new devices to this mobile network on its roll out. Also IPv6 can cope up with the number of unique IP addresses required. 

India has a fast-growing Internet population, with the vast majority of new users coming online via their smartphones. But with the arrival of connected devices that forms IoT, and the conceptualisation of smart cities, the country is upgrading its existing Internet-powering infrastructure. 

Both the public and private sector seek to derive benefit from the IPv6 and blockchain revolution. India, thanks to the Centre’s digital India programme, is all set to leapfrog other countries in adoption of blockchain and IPv6. Financial institutions are said to be the frontrunners in adopting the technology. With this recent exponential growth and potential for a forward-looking IPv6 data policy, it’s clear that blockchain and IoT are here to stay. So, all eyes are on India as it moves towards becoming the next global powerhouse in IPv6 adoption. 

– The author is CEO, National Internet Exchange of India 

Cryptocurrency Ether hits all-time high of $4,400 

Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, hit an all-time high last Friday, a little over a week after larger rival Bitcoin set its own record. As cryptocurrency markets have rallied sharply in recent weeks, Ether is up more than 60% since its late September through. The token, which underpins the Ethereum blockchain network, rose as much as 2.6% to $4,400 in Asian hours, breaching the previous top of $4,380 set of May 12. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we go blasting through in European and US trade,” said Chris Weston, research head at Melbourne-based broker Pepperstone. “This is a momentum beast at the moment, and it looks bloody strong.”

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital asset and is subject to market risks

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