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IoT Consortium Seeks To Expand Blockchain Use Cases By Registering Physical Objects




Companies band together to develop a system designed to register physical objects on the internet with Ethereum’s blockchain platform.

Bosch, Chronicled, Cisco, Skuchain, and several other companies have pooled resources to create a consortium aimed at letting users register IoT devices.

Those who register their products will be able to use blockchain platforms to link together devices and their relevant data, providing a connection between physical objects and the internet.

Skuchain's press release on April 19, 2017, said, "Blockchain technology is driving a broader trend towards securing digital identities of people, organizations, and physical objects. Machines capable of cryptographically-secured transactions can prevent hacking, data breaches, and more of the problems that plague digital economies today."

The consensus that many things lacking a digital identification will one day be tracked online has encouraged innovation towards registration processes; this system is aimed at strengthening the identities of devices by pooling associated data and the device itself on verifiable blockchain platforms supported by Ethereum, Hyperledger, and Quorum.

Proofs of concept are currently being explored by the consortium. Cisco is working on associating device identities, and the data they use, to create a singular trackable digital entity. Bosch is using the blockchain to keep track of automobile mileage and safeguard against misrepresentation. Other use cases are being developed by Skuchain with aerospace supply chains using executable distributed code contracts, while Chronicled is in the pharmaceutical space, tracking temperatures and serializations.

On February 28, 2017, at the EntEthAlliance kickoff, Chronicled Software Engineer Maksym Petkus gave a presentation demonstrating how a title deed could be digitally registered, focusing on how physical objects can be easily differentiated using blockchain technology.

"I think we can put cryptographic technology into any technical object," said Petkus. He went on to provide details as to how objects are registered using two different types of chips, both of which generate private keys.

The ability to register physical objects on a blockchain backed platform, such as Ethereum, is an innovative transition for the technology as it  continues to expand beyond fintech related applications.

Jeremy Nation

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine.

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