My journey in blockchain and the IoT continues. I am trying to explain the meanings of the two concepts and their combination. I start with something important to me: tomatoes, passata and tomato sauce for pasta. It would be great to have your view.
I need good tomatoes of a specific type because I need to do good “passata” for doing the tomatoes sauce. I buy my tomatoes from a specific shop because I know the owner. My father used to buy the tomatoes from his father. The tomatoes I have bought from him in the past years are very good quality and we know each other well. He has been bought those tomatoes from the same distributor. The distributor knows to find those tomatoes at a specific market, which sells tomatoes from specific farms. This chain – as showed in the picture below – is based on a chain of trust starting from me and ending to the farmers built in years of relationships.
But, one day, the shop owner wants to attract my attention on other types of tomatoes or on tomatoes coming from different farms. Everything has gone great until now. My passata is great. My sauce for pasta is fantastic. Why should I change? So, I ask the shop owner: how do I know that those new farmers are producing what I want? The shop owner answers me saying that we have a new system for understanding – tracking – the quality of the tomatoes and that that quality will be kept during the journey from the farmers to the shop. Tell me more, I say.
There are sensors in the tomato field. Those sensors gather information about the tomatoes telling the farmer when the right time for picking has come. The farmer puts the tomatoes in sensor-enabled basket sending to the market. They call all this smart farming. The data is exchanged between the farmer and the market sellers. That data should enable the market seller to know the perfect conditions to keep the tomatoes. The distributor arrives, purchases the tomatoes, and the data on the tomatoes is exchanged again. Meanwhile, the distributor has sensors in the vehicle that enables him or her to keep the perfect conditions of the tomatoes until they are the shop. You can then buy new perfect tomatoes for your passata. They call the data gathering and analysis Internet of Things. They call the exchange of data smart contracts. They also use the term Blockchain.
With Internet of Things and Blockchain, the shop owner can buy tomatoes from different distributors having the desired quality from different farmers without a traditional chain of trust.