Blockchain has no practical application.
This is something that was thought before the hordes of startups utilizing blockchain for revolutionizing industries emerged. We have distributed ledgers governing possibly every industry now.
Whether it is our social interaction, admission of our location data, or simply creation of a private blockchain for limitless purposes, it is this blockchain that is slowly but surely incentivizing and securing our every move.
I mentioned industries and talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re sure lucky to have someone like Filament.
Filament – the company
Long ago in 2013, Filament was known as Pinoccio, a company that engineered a micro-controller to enable makers to initiate, control, and proliferate projects relating to IoT, companies, and products.
What they did was gaining pace steadily until they saw the light of a new dawn – the promising future of the IoT by the incorporation of blockchain. This is when Filament was born in 2015.
According to them,
Filament’s decentralized protocol expertise, backed by strategic corporate technology investment, allowed the company to introduce the industry’s first blockchain native hardware solutions with out-of-the-box transacting capabilities.
This step was yet to be realized and it was not until this year that the company introduced three of its products, namely Blocklet Software, Blocklet Chip, and Blocklet USB Device. While the Blocklet Software and the Blocklet USB Device are already launched, Blocklet Chip is yet to come soon.
What is Blocklet?
Blocklet is the contract system currently being utilized by the Filament in their products as mentioned above. As it stands, it has blockchain operating at its basis; and therefore, it is more than just secure by eliminating the need of the centralized silos for the interaction of the IoT.
Talking about Filament’s products carrying the Blocklet contract system, the main deal is wrapped up in these words: Blocklet Software. It is the main point of interaction taking place between the devices, the machines, or both in a series of cryptographically secured and driven “chain-of-custody” through an internal PCB assembly.
To put it simply, the Blocklet Software connects machines or IoT lined up in “product manufacturing, delivery to customers, and on-site provisioning”.
The same is the case with the Blocklet Chip and USB form factor. They use the same features of Blocklet and allow the establishment of a foundation for the devices to be governed through contracts, only in the form of hardware.
The chip is one of its kind. It is mentioned to be a;
low cost, IoT-optimized Trusted Execution Environment with a small footprint and less than coin-cell power requirements.
How does Blocklet work?
All of the products of Filament are designed for only one goal:
To let the devices independently and automatically process transactions between each other to ensure digital trust.
Any device connected with Blocklet will have the ability to make decisions on its own pertaining to its needs or render valuable information to the source regarding a certain process. For example, in on-site provisioning, any device could fulfill its supplies by communicating with the supplier, or any manufacture could monitor the delivery of its products to its customers.
In the words of the company itself,
This (the foundation of the Blocklet) has been used to govern and secure network access, route end-to-end encrypted sensor data, safely change states on attached hardware, and facilitate deployment of encrypted updates to configuration and firmware.
The Use of Trusted Apps
The products of Filament use Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) to secure every transaction or communication taking place in the Blocklet ecosystem.
As this architecture is known for providing a secure basis for process execution and currently, it’s being utilized by more than 50 billion devices, according to the whitepaper of Filament.
As evident, Filament’s Blocklet contract system eliminates the central data managers such as cloud service and replaces it with an efficient decentralized system where every device is connected to the other through primal contracts. These contracts are used by them to initiate data or value transactions without the need of any manual monitoring; thus, giving the supply chain management, manufacturing, and overall IoT industry something to base its foundation of innovation upon.
Currently, apart from creating and developing its own products, the company is burning the candle at both ends by partnering with the likes of The Linux Foundation to support Hyperledger Sawtooth. Therefore, eliciting from this, I understand that there’s more to come ahead.