IoT device security initiative looks to blockchain technology

December 18, 2017 // By Rich Pell
IoT device security initiative looks to blockchain technology
Open source working group Trusted IoT Alliance and blockchain application platform Qtum have announced a joint initiative designed to strengthen connected device security using blockchain technology.

The Qtum Foundation has awarded approximately $250,000 for the Trusted IoT Alliance to provide to its members and the general public who submit proposals for promising approaches to leverage Qtum's protocol for IoT security. The Trusted IoT Alliance Selection Committee - which is expected to meet in January - will then choose from the proposals and provide real market feedback to the Qtum community on the most promising applications.

"There's a reason why these global firms and Qtum are meeting at the intersection of IoT and blockchain technology," says Patrick Dai, founder of the Qtum Foundation. "Blockchain technology presents an unparalleled opportunity to have connected devices operate securely and autonomously while communicating and transacting with one another. We know by accepting proposals for blockchain IoT use cases, the community will be able to highlight Qtum's unique advantages."

The initiative is looking for proposals to build and describe use cases, and that "go towards the development of reference architecture, smart contract code, and prototypes." Desired things from Qtum include:

  • Bridging IoT and mobile ecosystems using Qtum's protocol
  • Data collection in the IoT space from sensors, tracking data for supply chain, etc.
  • Bringing lightning networks and offchain transactions (both value transfer, and smart contract interactions) to IoT
  • Design and prototypes for QTUM smart contract applications

According to Qtum, its protocol offers unique strengths when applied to IoT devices and secure edge computers. Qtum is able to execute Solidity smart contracts from light clients in low-bandwidth environments, and is able to secure the network with a proof-of-stake consensus protocol.

"With Qtum, we hope to pioneer a new model for how public blockchains can inspire deeper collaboration and the creation of an authentic ecosystem and use cases," says Zaki Manian, Executive Director of the Trusted IoT Alliance. "This grant will support exploration into protocols and smart contracts and provide valuable insight to the Qtum community on which directions for future development to pursue."

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