Home » Tech » Bitcoin transactions can control IoT devices: Bitcoin Class with Satoshi
This week on “Bitcoin Class with Satoshi” we’re talking about the power of Bitcoin transactions. They’re not just for sending funds from one party to another. Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig S. Wright and sCrypt’s Xiaohui Liu continue this masterclass series with a lesson on using Bitcoin transactions to control internet of things (IoT) devices that may not have a lot of computing power to verify things by themselves.
One misconception with Bitcoin and IoT devices is that the devices themselves would need to sign transactions. Since most IoT devices aren’t powerful computationally, then needing to hold, control and secure a private key (or hierarchy of keys) on the device itself would make things difficult.
Ep17: How can Elon Musk use Bitcoin to secure Tesla? https://t.co/hEbRRnmpoo #bitcoinclass pic.twitter.com/Sso4tAFLTj
— xhliu (@sinoTrinity) August 30, 2021
However, this is not necessary. It’s possible to control such a device remotely, e.g. firmware updates, etc. as long as the device can check the integrity of the source. Dr. Wright likens it to Windows updates—they can be downloaded from anywhere, not only Microsoft’s official servers, so long as the receiver can verify the file it’s downloading is the correct one.
This enables alerts and command/control-type situations. Dr. Wright says he gained experience with this years ago by “blue-teaming” on exercises to study and take down botnets; examining how they received their instructions. Similar structures could be used for non-nefarious purposes using Bitcoin.
Author: Jon Southurst