The Internet of Things is gaining momentum thanks to the provided vision of seamlessly interconnected devices. However, a unified way to discover and to interact with the surrounding smart environment is missing. As an outcome, we have been assisting to the development of heterogeneous ecosystems, where each service provider adopts its own protocol—thus preventing IoT devices from interacting when belonging to different providers. And, the same is happening again for the blockchain technology which provides a robust and trusted way to accomplish tasks—unfortunately not providing interoperability thus creating the same heterogeneous ecosystems above highlighted.In this context, the fundamental research question we address is how do we find things or services in the Internet of Things. In this paper, we propose the firstIoT discovery approach which provides an answer to the above question by exploiting hierarchical and universal multi-layered blockchains. Our approach does neither define new standards nor force service providers to change their own protocol. On the contrary, it leverages the existing and publicly available information obtained from each single blockchain to have a better knowledge of the surrounding environment. The proposed approach is detailed and discussed with the support of relevant use cases.


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