Protocol Initiative Launches
January 30, 2017
representatives from a group of industry-leading startups and innovative
Fortune 500 companies met in Berkeley, CA 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
"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
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."
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
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
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."