In another question about proof of work on Internet of Things devices one answer mentions "it would be capable of outsourcing PoW within it's local area network". This piques my interest. How is outsourcing the PoW done securely?

Premise: Use of very cheap (every cent counts), battery powered (every watt counts) IoT sensors which are incapable of any complex calculation they just measure stuff and send it somewhere. They do not calculate anything. Think of a temperature sensor which periodically sends a simple temperature value via some sort of wireless low power protocol.

How would the setup look like to employ IOTA to support the integrity of these values?

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    From your question it's unclear what risk arises from sharing non-PoWed transactions. Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 11:58
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    @Come-from-Beyond non-PoWed transactions are not transactions. They are messages, age old IT technology. If there's no workable way to secure transactions IOTA has failed it's base premise as backbone for the Internet of Things.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:52
  • OK, wasn't sure about the terminology you had used. Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


The outsourcing of POW for light clients is already default. The attachToTangle command on the IRI does the POW and all public nodes (e.g. http://iota.bitfinex.com:80) manually deactivated it because they don't want to do the POW for all the light wallets.


The signing can be done independently of the POW so there is no security issue at all (except this one)

Small sensors

image description
The sensors (orange) can just send their data to the your own full node (green). Your full node then builds the transaction, signs it and broadcasts it to its neighbours (pink).

If the green node is not owned by you (or it is but you just don't want to do the signing), the sensor has to build the transaction, sign it and send them to the green node which does the POW and broadcasts it to the neighbours.

  • So there's nothing helping me secure that last bit. That makes IOTA only useful for wherever I can set up my full node in front of my IoT devices. Which is likely not very helpful for most IoT use cases...
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:50
  • It doesn't matter how far the full node is away from the sensor. They just need to be able to communicate with each other. And if a sensor can't communicate with "the internet" it's useless anyway.
    – Zauz
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 17:51
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    Communicating and communicating securely are two entirely different things...
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 17:55
  • Let me rephrase: A sensor that can't communicate securely with "the internet" is useless anyway.
    – Zauz
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 18:03

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