The Internet of Things (IoT) could unlock a global economic value of up to $12.6 trillion by 2030, McKinsey states in a 90-page report. A thought leader in global and enterprise consulting, with 30,000 employees globally, just released this eye opening report. The McKinsey report shines the light on the possibilities of the IoT space and its position to transform how all of us live our daily lives.   

"The potential economic value that the IoT could unlock is large and growing," says the McKinsey report. " By 2030, we estimate that it could enable $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion in value globally, including the value captured by consumers and customers of IoT products and services. "

In an article , McKinsey states that IoT —the convergence of the digital and physical worlds— is today one of the key trends behind the digital transformation of business and economy.

"IoT is now embedded in the lives of consumers and the operations of enterprises and governments," the article adds.

McKinsey predicts that most of the IoT value it forecasts can be created in business-to-business (B2B) applications. However, the multinational management consulting firm also believes that business-to-customer (B2C) applications are growing fast due to the quicker-than-expected adoption of IoT solutions in households around the globe.

A key area for IoT to reach its maximum potential by 2030 is interoperability, McKinsey points out in its study. This means that lines between machines, finances and other aspects of our lives will start to blur.

"Looking forward, IoT technology providers must up their game on installation, interoperability, and cybersecurity," says the McKinsey report, in light of the increasing number of devices being IoT connected. - McKinsey report, The Internet of Things:

Catching up to an accelerating opportunity.

125 billion devices connected by 2030

The forecast on the number of devices connected varies, depending on the source and the year of their estimates.

TechJury estimates that 31 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year. "By 2030, this figure is expected to jump to 125 billion," it adds.

Statista recently published a report stating that by 2025 75.44 billion devices will be connected to the Internet.

"More than a billion intelligent, connected devices are already part of today's IoT," Jeremy Cuomo, IBM VP Blockchain Technologies, wrote last year. "The expected proliferation of hundreds of billions more places us at the threshold of a transformation sweeping across the electronics industry and many other areas."

Unlocking IoT Value: Business To Business

IoT is no longer a concept only discussed in laboratories, think tanks, and technology companies. It has transcended those boundaries and is today a reality.

According to McKinsey, most IoT value can be created in B2B applications and factory settings, including manufacturing plants, farm yield management, and predictive maintenance. It also sees the human health sector as a top IoT value creator along with worksites, smart cities, retail environments, autonomous vehicles, ship navigation, and defense operation management.

McKinsey believes that home automation will also be at the top of IoT's most potential economic value sectors. Within home automation, it includes energy management, safety, and security. It also sees massive potential in the vehicles and office sectors.

Consumer Privacy and Security, A Huge Red Flag

With the adoption of the Consumer Privacy Act in California and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, privacy is now front and center for many consumers. However, despite all the global concern over the unethical intrusion into people's privacy and the unacceptable use of their personal data for profit, it remains pervasive among the Big Techs, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Traditional companies analyze how much privacy customers will give up in return for lower prices or special offers in a retail setting. Meanwhile, blockchain startups are building decentralized networks and applications to give back to the people ownership of their privacy, intelligent devices, and the valuable information they generate.

"We want to ensure that people and businesses own their privacy and their smart devices instead of the Internet giants who use technology to spy on us and profit from it," said Dr. Raullen Chai. He is the co-founder and CEO of IoTeX, a blockchain company aiming to power billions of devices and decentralized applications across the physical and digital worlds.

The Silicon Valley-based tech company combines blockchain and trusted hardware to build privacy-oriented device ecosystems for the Internet of Trusted Things.

Cyber Attack Prevention: Blockchain in IoT Intersection

One of the most appealing blockchain characteristics is its capability to secure data and prevent cyber attacks. It does so by keeping security risks to a minimum by locking down small amounts of data chained together with encryption—instead of having the personal information of millions of people in just one database.

Thus, the primary security advantage of the blockchain is that if hackers do manage to breach a chain, they would only hijack a very minimal amount of data before the other nodes on the chain realize there's been a security breach.

“There is great potential for IoT systems in blockchain technology capabilities that rely on device identity protocols and reputation systems” - IBM blockchain lead, Jeremy Cuomo.

Cuomo also spoke of giving devices an identity that can be validated and verified throughout their lifecycle with blockchain.

"With a device identity protocol, each device can have its own blockchain public key and send encrypted challenge and response messages to other devices, thereby ensuring a device remains in control of its identity. In addition, an intelligent device with a digital identity can develop a trackable reputation or history on the blockchain, Cuomo added.

Pebble Tracker and the award-winning  Ucam are prime examples of blockchain-powered devices with digital identities for enhanced privacy protection and security. The Pebble tracker is a device that captures physical world data to give its users trusted information about real-world events in real-time. Companies can integrate them into their supply chain, transportation and logistics, and process automation, among other things.

"Ucam is designed to give people peace of mind and is the first smart device powered by IoTex's privacy-centric blockchain platform. The device allows users to monitor their homes from anywhere at any time. More importantly, Ucam offers stronger protection against brute-force hacking than the user-generated passwords that have been a key target in recent high-profile home camera breaches." -   Venture Beat, Tech News

Live Smart Contracts on the IoT

Blockchain also has the power to make the IoT industry more efficient. With its peer-to-peer model, payments and execution of contracts are faster and easier. Blockchain-based smart contracts eliminate the need for intermediaries. They execute almost immediately only when an agreement is met, saving countless hours and millions of dollars each year.

"As IoT evolves and its adoption continues to grow, it will be essential to manage devices autonomously and actions taken by intelligent devices. Blockchain and smart contracts are positioned well to integrate those capabilities into IoT," said Cuomo.

IoTeX is one of several blockchain startups focusing on the IoT industry but arguably one of the only ones in the sector with smart contract capabilities since inception.

Distributed Ledger Technology has the potential to give the IoT industry — from fitness trackers to smart cities — the push it requires to become the multi-trillion dollar industry that McKinsey has predicted.

In IoT networks, smart contracts can play a crucial role by providing automated coordination and authorization for transactions and interactions, said IBM's Cuomo.

"For example, smart homes are a thing of the present, and almost everything can be connected," Cuomo said. "In fact, with IoT, when something goes wrong, these IoT devices can even take action — for example, ordering a new part. We need a way to govern the actions taken by these devices, and smart contracts are a great way to do so."

IoT and the Metaverse

 In a world where everything is increasingly moving into the digital realm, the Metaverse has become a more significant part of that transformation. And as we move further and further into the virtual world, the Metaverse is poised to change the way consumers and businesses fundamentally experience and interact. It also has the potential to change the way we interact with smart devices and machines.

MachineFi, for example, is designed to connect the physical and the virtual worlds. It is an innovative combination of machine and DeFi to monetize machine-driven data, events, and tasks.

By realizing this vision, IoTeX is going to transition traditional IoT and machine verticals into MachineFi dapps, unlocking trillion-dollar opportunities in the Metaverse and web3 world and eventually enable millions of users to participate in the machine economy with billions of their smart devices.

The growing IoT technology market reflects how maturing technologies have begun to fulfill the promises of the IoT. According to McKinsey, the next few years leading up to 2030 will be vital in ensuring that the IoT industry does not end up in the hands of a few monopolies. Blockchain has the power to return control of data and smart devices to their owners, individual people. This will empower people, not Big Tech, to reap the economic benefits. The closer we look, the brighter the future looks for innovation in the IoT space. .