As a startup, Filament has for several years focused on a distributed loT platform where the edge devices could operate autonomously during periods of disconnection. Hardly surprising, then, that as a next step the company announced the beta release of a chip that enables end-device hardware to perform basic blockchain operations.

So, now, there’s a chip with blockchain and IoT that spends your hard-earned cryptocurrency right from the edge device. The company’s new Blocklet Chip, according to Filament CEO Allison Clift-Jennings, can perform interactions such as signing transactions, placing those transactions in a blockchain distributed ledger and receiving insertions to the ledgers from other blockchain participants.

Clift-Jennings also noted that “if a transaction includes currency representation via tokens such as bitcoin or Ether, then it could essentially send or receive that bitcoin or that Ether directly within the hardware itself.” Like Bluetooth chips that provide devices with complete wireless capabilities in one stroke, Blocklet Chip gives a manufacturer or vendor distributed ledger capabilities and a trusted data store, where encryption keys and certificates can be stored.

With these tools, vendors can create devices that make or receive automated micropayments, or that can cryptographically attest to the authenticity of sensor readings. Devices such as smart electric meters could, therefore, manage their own cryptocurrency wallets and make micropayments for electric services used.

And when the local solar grid produces extra electricity, for example, devices could charge other meters to which the locally produced power was sold. “What we’re really doing now is the sci-fi part,” Clift-Jennings said, “bringing about economic capabilities so that machines can not only be data-driven, but they can also be economically driven.” Read more from…

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