Representatives from a group of industry-leading startups and innovative Fortune 500 companies met in Berkeley, CA recently to discuss the challenges facing Blockchain and IoT innovation and the potential for a collective effort to address them.
The meeting, New Horizons: Blockchain x IoT Summit, was the first step towards a collaborative effort to explore and build a shared Blockchain-based Internet of Things protocol. Participants in the discussions included Blockchain companies Ambisafe, BitSE, Chronicled, ConsenSys, Distributed, Filament, Hashed Health, Ledger, Skuchain, and Slock.it, along with Fortune 500 corporations BNY Mellon, Bosch, Cisco, Gemalto, and Foxconn.
The initiative was motivated by the leaps made by startups and large, blue-chip IT firms in deploying Blockchain-registered tamper-proof hardware for various use cases and making new Blockchain-based software systems available to enterprises. The meeting included presentations from Blockchain and IoT focused startups on their established use cases, industry findings, and identification of common needs.
The group agreed that security, trust, identity, and registration and verification would be the cornerstones of any common protocol, while also acknowledging the need for integration and interoperability across multiple chip types, communication protocols, proprietary platforms, cloud service providers, and Blockchain systems.
A Blockchain technology industry consortium emerging from the meeting will move forward in defining the scope and implementation of a smart contracts protocol layer across several major Blockchain systems with elective steer from the attending Fortune 500 companies. The functioning of the group is voluntary at this stage with intent to emphasize nimble and fast-moving open source collaboration with any formal membership or governance structures emerging if and when necessary.
Skuchain Co-founder Zaki Manian said:
“We called together leaders in Blockchain, hardware, software, venture capital, technology, and finance to discuss the barriers to interoperability and security within IoT and how we can complement existing IoT platforms with a Blockchain back-end. We believe there is a real value proposition here for IoT, supply chain, and trade finance.”
Dirk Slama, Chief Alliance Officer at Bosch Software Innovations, said:
“We are seeing tremendous potential for the application of Blockchain in industrial use cases. Being able to create a tamper-proof history of how products are manufactured, moved and maintained in complex value networks with many stakeholders is a critical capability, e.g. for quality assurance and prevention of counterfeits. This must be supported by a shared Blockchain infrastructure and an integrated Internet of Things protocol.”
“Blockchain has the power to improve resiliency and efficiency in a fully connected world,” said Alex Batlin, Head of Blockchain at BNY Mellon. “What’s missing today is a solution that provides trusted, tamper-proof guarantees for any title deed, public record, compliance event, or transaction, building on the way paper documents are used currently.”
Joe Pindar, in the CTO’s office at Gemalto, said:
“Securing identity for physical property and packaging is going to be a big business opportunity over the next decade, high value parts of logistics supply chains and regulated industries like energy, pharmaceuticals, and cold chain could all see a Blockchain component over the next decade.”
Jack Lee, Managing Partner at HCM Capital, an investment arm of Foxconn Technology Group, said:
“We are excited to see leaders in the Blockchain and IoT space coming together from America, China, France, and Germany to develop a standard Blockchain IoT protocol.This is a positive step towards industry confidence, momentum, and interoperability. We’re looking forward to collaborations in this space in the near future.”
“In order to power the sharing economy, door locks, autonomous vehicles, and electric charging stations will need to have secure identities,” said Slock.it Co-founder and CTO Simon Jentzsch. “We are already working on a number of use cases; by teaming up with this consortia, we can create common primitives to register and verify hardware identities on Blockchain.”
BitSE CTO Patrick Dai said:
“If we want to secure the Internet of Things we need to standardize how we identify, manage and communicate with internet enabled devices through Blockchain technology. With a standardized protocol, more people will be able to share in these benefits.”
Joseph Lubin, Founder and CEO of ConsenSys, said: “ConsenSys is very excited to be part of a group pursuing rationalization and standardization of the interfaces linking Blockchain and a potentially very wide variety of devices. This group has the expertise to craft sufficient yet elegant interfaces and our energy projects group and supply chain management projects group are eager to see how we can apply these to our own systems.”
Ambisafe Co-founder and CEO Andrei Zamovskiy said:
“We are excited to be a part of an initiative to create a secure, transferable, notary-enabled, and payments-enabled identity for any physical thing, object, device, or machine.”
Ledger CTO Nicolas Bacca said:
“We are building a new generation of hardware with secure elements, strong cryptography and open firmware to secure the IoT. We’re excited to contribute to innovative identity protocols extending the concept of “object passports” to Blockchain technologies.”
Maurizio Greco, CTO and Co-founder of Chronicled, said:
“We recognized the need for industry-wide collaboration to accelerate the pace of industry advancement. We’re thrilled with the result and excited to work with the strong set of partners coming together.”
Ambisafe is a leading provider of software development and shared ledger services on the Ethereum Blockchain. The Ambisafe team is comprised of a network of Blockchain and web developers in Eastern Europe and the United States. In the first six months of Ethereum’s existence, Ambisafe projects were responsible for more than half of all transactions on the Ethereum network. Using Ambisafe’s platform, companies can deploy smart contracts, including standard support for private key recovery, debt and equity issuance, and multi signature transactions. Ambisafe has been a pioneer in smart contract security and digital asset issuance. For more information visit http://www.ambisafe.co/
Founded in 2013, BitSE is a leading Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) company based in Shanghai. BitSE’s founding team came from world-renowned enterprises such as IBM, PwC, Louis Vuitton and Alibaba and dedicated themselves to bringing their experience to the Blockchain industry. BitSE focuses on developing Blockchain technologies for enterprise use cases as underlined with its VeChain project, a product management platform built on top of the Blockchain. BitSE is a member of the Hyperledger project, an industry collaborative effort created to advance Blockchain technology, the Shanghai Blockchain Industry Development Research Alliance and has a strategic alliance with PwC in Asia Pacific markets. Learn more at bitse.com and vechain.com.
BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of September 30, 2016, BNY Mellon had $30.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.72 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com. Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at www.bnymellon.com/newsroom for the latest company news.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at roughly 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
Chronicled secures the Internet of Things with cryptographic, tamper-proof identities and unforgeable transactions. We build open protocols, hardware and software solutions that use the Blockchain as a foundation of immutability and trust. Our platform helps industries implement interoperable IoT solutions that deliver trust between partners, brand experiences for consumers, and compliance for regulators. By securing end-to-end IoT solutions, we enable confidence in the delegation of critical functions to autonomous I/O devices that perform processes on our behalf. Learn more at chronicled.com and chronicled.org, and follow us on Twitter @ChronicledInc, Facebook, Github, and on our blog.
ConsenSys is a venture production studio and custom software development consultancy building decentralized applications (DApps), enterprise solutions and developer tools for Blockchain ecosystems, focused primarily on Ethereum. Powered by smart contracts and secured through encryption, our applications provide the benefits of transparency, auditability, and immutability that are unique to Blockchain-based solutions.
Gemalto is the global leader in digital security, with 2015 annual revenues of €3.1 billion and customers in over 180 countries. We bring trust to an increasingly connected world. Our technologies and services enable businesses and governments to authenticate identities and protect data so they stay safe and enable services in personal devices, connected objects, the cloud and in between. Gemalto’s solutions are at the heart of modern life, from payment to enterprise security and the Internet of Things. We authenticate people, transactions and objects, encrypt data and create value for software – enabling our clients to deliver secure digital services for billions of individuals and things. Our 14,000+ employees operate out of 118 offices, 45 personalization and data centers, and 27 research and software development centers located in 49 countries. For more information visit www.gemalto.com, or follow @GemaltoSecurity on Twitter.
Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. is principally engaged in the manufacture, research, development and distribution of computer, communication and consumer electronic (3C) products. The Company provides metal casings and structures, heat sink of desktops, servers, notebook computers, tablet computers and other 3C products, as well as consumer electronics. Its products are applied in the manufacture of notebook computers, mobile phones, projectors, electronic books, digital cameras, servers, workstation heat sinks and household game consoles, among others. It distributes its products primarily in Japan, Mainland China and the United States, among others.
Founded in 2015, Ledger is a French startup building a trust platform for the physical world. With a unique combination of expertise in embedded OS, secure hardware, cryptography and Blockchain, the company aims to leverage its technology in various fields, from enterprises to consumers, with a current focus on industrial markets. Ledger is headquartered in Paris, and has offices in Vierzon and San Francisco.
Slock.it brings the benefits of the Blockchain – transparency, security and auditablity – to real-world objects.Slock.it technology can be embedded in almost any device, enabling anyone to rent, sell or share their property without middleman. With Slock.it, the unused bicycle in the shed gets a new lease on life. Parking spots can be sublet on demand. Rental apartments become fully automated. Built by members of the Ethereum project, Slock.it integrates Blockchain nodes in connected objects. The experience of sharing items is improved by making trusting the other party as unnecessary as possible, handling secure peer to peer payments, providing adhoc insurance and freeing the users from having to coordinate with each other to hand over keys. And because it’s built on top of the Ethereum Blockchain, Slock.it is always on, suffers no downtime, features cryptographic security by default, requires no login or signup, and can be audited by anyone. For more information, please visit http://slock.it or follow @slockitproject on Twitter.
Skuchain applies the cryptographic principles developed in the Bitcoin network to security and visibility for the global supply chain. As goods travel from manufacturers to distributors to consumers, the crucial electronic information of what the item is and where it came from becomes disconnected from the SKU itself. A Blockchain offers a universal, secure ledger by which SKUs can attest digitally to their origins and attributes.