Filament introduces tech to get industrial devices interacting with blockchains
(Credit: Filament)

Filament introduces tech to get industrial devices interacting with blockchains

IoT blockchain company Filament has engineered its latest software/hardware release to more closely suit the deployment needs thrown up by data exchange to and from industrial and enterprise machines and sensors.

Reno, Nevada-based start-up Filament’s software works with its own-branded Blocklet Chip hardware, to provide industrial and enterprise devices with the ability to securely interact with and transact against any given blockchain. Blockchain is a method of creating an ‘immutable’ ledger of transaction records. Initially developed with a view to specific cryptocurrency deployments, blockchain can also be applied to other transactional record bases.

Due to its distributed nature (in other words, it’s held on many computers), a blockchain can be said to be immutable and therefore highly secure – although it should be added that blockchain is not totally unhackable, since its record base can (in some instances) be reverse-engineered through log file analytics, depending on the system of records that it holds.

“From the start, Filament has been dedicated to furthering the value and economics of the digitally connected world, right at the edge of the network. We are taking enterprise and industrial IoT connectivity benefits to the next level where data can be transacted and inherent trust is created,” said Allison Clift-Jennings, CEO of Filament.

Read more: Opinion: Why blockchain matters for the IoT

Device independence just got real

What Filament is essentially doing is enabling e-commerce for devices; that is to say, it is working towards empowering devices with the ability to transact value using distributed ledger technology. This is what we call ‘device independence’, an idea that is establishing itself as a key theme for mobile and IoT technologies.

Filament’s distributed blockchain capabilities use open protocols so that devices are able to independently process and record transactions. That’s (arguably) not a bad thing when it comes to thorny areas like digital trust.

The company’s application software and Blocklet Chip, currently in beta, are designed to communicate and interact with multiple blockchain technologies natively. The software, implemented on existing hardware, will deliver a distributed ledger technology product. The Blocklet Chip will theoretically allow industrial corporations and enterprises to extract the value of recording and monetizing data assets, at the edge of the network, on the sensors themselves.

Filament is supporting the open-source business blockchain framework, Hyperledger Sawtooth, hosted by The Linux Foundation, on its own native hardware. Hyperledger Sawtooth is a modular platform designed for building, deploying and running scalable distributed ledgers that provide a digital record that is maintained without central authority or implementation.  

Approximately 200 members are a part of the Hyperledger consortium, including many Fortune 500 corporations.

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