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Filament pairs hardware chip with blockchain to manage Internet of Things

A new chip, called Blocklet, aims to connect the Internet of Things (IoT) world with blockchain technologies. The chip is aimed to connect items (such as containers, production machines) with a new way to record data. This could lead to a number of advantages over today’s approaches. 

The core assumption of the approach is that “decentralized networks” could help to simplify exchange of goods or tracking of machine productivity. Different to todays architectures the deployment of blockchain enables “autonomous endpoints” which would connect based on protocols and/or smart contracts.

Quote from an article about Filament:  “A shipping container might be “packed at a factory in China, transported via rail to the port of Hong Kong, transferred to a container ship that crosses the Pacific Ocean, unloaded in Long Beach for transport by rail again, and finally delivered to another factory in Dallas for unpacking there.” (Source: Venture Beat)

To provide more background Filament has published a white paper to show the value of combining a chip with blockchain records. One key advantage, according to Filament, is the reduction of the number of parties and systems which need to interact, exchange and validate data about a certain movement of goods or the productiveness of a machine in industrial settings.

Autonomous endpoints to create their own networks

Quote from the Filament White Paper: “autonomous endpoints can create their own networks simply by interacting with each other directly, thus building up completely decentralized architectures of communication. This is important for devices in remote locations, but it is also the key to unlocking value from device-to-device interactions (e.g., because the intercession of a service might increase transaction costs beyond the point of viability). ”

The Bloomen take: While Bloomen is about managing creative content using blockchain technologies, one similarity makes it important to watch what is happening in the IoT sector: Equally as in production, shipping, the exchange of creative content involves multiple contributors, middlemen and users. In today’s world, there are often no connections between the original creator and the listener, viewer on the other end.

What is specifically appealing is the notion of “autonomous endpoints”: When distributing a content item it is often not known who is involved in the various stages of production, distribution and usage. A photo is created, might be multiplied, used in various places – which makes it difficult to create clear and reliable usage/ownership/copyright record. Instead data on usage might be dispersed across multiple, unconnected databases. While applications for the IoT sector surely have different goals and challenges, there are still concepts which could migrate to other areas, such as content.

Links:

Filament: Foundations for the Next Economic Revolution. Distributed Exchange and the Internet of Things. Retrieved: January 19, 2018. URL: https://filament.com/assets/downloads/Filament%20Foundations.pdf

Hensel, Anna: “Nevada’s Filament unveils chip that lets industrial IoT devices communicate with blochains”, via: Venture Beat, January 15, 2018. Retrieved: January 19, 21017. URL: https://venturebeat.com/2018/01/16/nevadas-filament-unveils-chip-that-lets-industrial-iot-devices-to-communicate-with-blockchains

Image: Filament White Paper