Blockchain for Internet of Things : A Survey

Hong Ning DAI, Zibin ZHENG, Yan ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

226 Citations (Scopus)


Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the incumbent industry to smart industry featured with data-driven decision-making. However, intrinsic features of IoT result in a number of challenges, such as decentralization, poor interoperability, privacy, and security vulnerabilities. Blockchain technology brings the opportunities in addressing the challenges of IoT. In this paper, we investigate the integration of blockchain technology with IoT. We name such synthesis of blockchain and IoT as blockchain of things (BCoT). This paper presents an in-depth survey of BCoT and discusses the insights of this new paradigm. In particular, we first briefly introduce IoT and discuss the challenges of IoT. Then, we give an overview of blockchain technology. We next concentrate on introducing the convergence of blockchain and IoT and presenting the proposal of BCoT architecture. We further discuss the issues about using blockchain for fifth generation beyond in IoT as well as industrial applications of BCoT. Finally, we outline the open research directions in this promising area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8731639
Pages (from-to)8076-8094
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number5
Early online date5 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 2, 2018; revised March 8, 2019 and April 20, 2019; accepted May 28, 2019. Date of publication June 5, 2019; date of current version October 8, 2019. This work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program under 2016YFB1000101, in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61722214 and Grant U1811462, in part by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund under Grant 0026/2018/A1, in part by the Program for Guangdong Introducing Innovative and Entrepreneurial Teams under Grant 2016ZT06D211, and in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie under Grant 824019. (Corresponding authors: Zibin Zheng; Yan Zhang.) H.-N. Dai is with the Faculty of Information Technology, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.


  • Blockchain
  • industrial applications
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • smart contract


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