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article imageNew chip links blockchain to industrial IoT devices

By Tim Sandle     Feb 4, 2018 in Business
The harnessing of blockchain and Internet-of-Things technology has many potential applications for business, not least gaining greater visibility over the supply chain. A new chip, developed by startup Filament, aims to improve this synergy.
The new chip has been developed by an industrial internet solutions startup called Filament, which is based in Reno, Nevada, U.S. the chip enables industrial Internet-of-Things devices to communicate with blockchains. This chip thus works with IoT-optimized Trusted Execution Environments.
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A further advantage with the chip is that it has a very small footprint and low power consumption. It is also very secure, containing a robust cryptographic chain-of-custody protocol. The chip currently supports Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain, and this will shortly be expanded to encompass the Ethereum blockchain ledger. The Filament technology stack was built upon five key principles, described as: Security, Privacy, Autonomy, Decentralization, and Exchange (SPADE).
The secure contract system is called the Blocklet chip and it has been designed to allow any industrial device to interact with any blockchain technology, and for where multiple blockchains are in use. Filament have told Smart2Zero that through the use of the chip connected devices can complete transactions independently and create contracts that are captured on a blockchain. These activities, in terms of rules, can be defined by the owner.
As set out in the white paper “Foundations for the Next Economic Revolution”, Filament provides examples of application. These include such digital supply chain innovations as connected shipping containers with the capability of autonomously recording and sharing data with all stakeholders, thereby increasing transparency. Moreover such ‘smart containers’ could schedule their own transit and make payments through a shared blockchain.
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Another application is with next generation manufacturing equipment that would have the ability to record and share information on its usage and automatically order supplies.
In a statement, Filament CEO Allison Clift-Jennings outlines why the new chip promises much for logistics businesses: “This is a big step in digital transformation as Blockchain solves long-standing problems in the technology world.”
She adds further: “Our new products demonstrate and validate the inherent trust that Blockchain ledgers create. And with devices in the field today, we are quickly proving that blockchain as a technology is bigger than its first and most famous application, Bitcoin."
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