In the last few years, we have been witnessing the convergence of the physical with the digital world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is progressing at a fast pace, and IoT devices are becoming pervasive in our physical environments, bringing the vision of Intelligent Environments closer to reality. At the same time, the newly-introduced blockchain technology is offering for the first time ever cryptographically proven trust based on a set of mutually untrusted nodes. Blockchain technology thus has the potential to become a key component of many IoT systems, offering them an unprecedented level of accountability, transparency, and reliability. This paper first lays out the principles on which blockchain systems are operating, along with descriptions of the most noteworthy blockchain implementations. It then presents a number of systems through which blockchains may interact with external systems and third-party data sources. Finally, it provides a survey of the state-of-the-art blockchain-based systems targeting IoT applications.
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