This startup’s new chip connects blockchain to the IoT

blockchain solutions

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Blockchain startup Filament announced a new microchip that will allow companies to connect industrial devices, shipping containers, and similar assets and enable them to communicate with blockchains, according to VentureBeat.

The new Blocklet chip allows connected devices and equipment to complete transactions on their own and create contracts that are recorded on a blockchain based on rules and procedures set by their operator.

Filament’s new chip offers a prime example of one way that companies can use blockchain within the context of an IoT solution, providing an alternative to cloud-based systems and enabling device-level automated commerce.

Filament’s chip will augment the company’s blockchain-based IoT solutions, which use custom hardware paired with software to connect devices to a blockchain, CEO Allison Clift-Jennings previously told BI Intelligence. The company’s solutions use the open-sourced Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain, though it’s also looking into support for the more commonly used Ethereum blockchain ledger, as well Hyperledger Fabric. That should help Filament provide customers with more choices, for instance, by enabling its solutions to support Bitcoin-based microtransactions.

Here are some ways companies could use blockchain for IoT devices with the Blocklet chip:

  • Connected shipping containers could autonomously record, share, and even arrange much of their transit.Using preset rules, a container originating in China, for example, might be put on a truck and delivered to a port where it would check container ships’ rates for various vessels heading to its destination, and then arrange and pay for transit through the shared blockchain. It could also record and share location and arrival data, and arrange transportation from a port to a warehouse through the blockchain, sharing this information with all stakeholders.
  • A piece of manufacturing equipment could record and share information on its usage and supplies. A machine stamping and molding metal, for instance, might record its progress and how quickly it’s stamping sheets. It could also use a blockchain to order additional metal to use on its own, shopping among various suppliers to find the lowest rate and paying through the ledger. And it could record and transmit data about production rates or other usage stats on that blockchain, facilitating analysis to improve operations.

Blockchain provides a useful alternative to cloud services for many companies. Using blockchain can enable a company to cut down the number of vendors it needs for its primary business and reduce the complexity required to implement and maintain IoT solutions. It provides an alternative to traditional IoT projects, allowing companies different means of achieving increased device connectivity, data analysis, interoperability, and even automation through smart rules and dynamic, automated contracts and ledger entries. Filament’s new Blocklet chip will help continue the growth and development of blockchain within the IoT, showcasing the utility of dedicated and custom-built hardware.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on the blockchain in the IoT that:

  • Explains how firms are already exploring ways to make use of blockchain in all sorts of IoT projects.
  • Provides an overview of disruption in critical sectors including the supply chain and asset management.
  • Analyzes how blockchain is poised to see rapid expansion as a tool used in IoT solutions that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and remove reliance on cloud-based platforms.

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