Episode 102: Is Blockchain the Foundation for a Secure Internet of Things?

In this episode of the Security Ledger Podcast (#102): we think of blockchain as the immutable and distributed ledger that vouches for crypto currency transactions. But is its real potential as a foundation for a secure Internet of Things? We speak with Vaughan Emery, the CEO of the start-up Atonomi, which markets itself as a secure ledger for Things. 

The appreciation in the value of crypto currencies such as BitCoin and Ethereum, the attention of entrepreneurs, investors and Wall Street firms has focused on Blockchain, the underlying distributed ledger technology that is used to record and verify crypto currency transactions.

Vaughan Emery
Vaughan Emery is the CEO of Atonomi.

The future of currencies like BitCoin is anybody’s guess, but many technologists think that the future of distributed ledgers like Blockchain is bright, with many applications. Those include applications for the Internet of Things, where the scale, diversity and criticality of IoT endpoints and transactions make secure identities and immutable transactions a top priority.

Can blockchain secure the Internet of Things?

But how exactly might blockchain enable secure Internet of Things ecosystems? To help answer that, we sat down with Vaughn Emery, the CEO of the firm Atonomi, a start up that is marketing a blockchain -based security solution to protect the Internet of Things and enable secure device-to-device autonomous transactions.

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Atonomi describes itself as a secure ledger of things. (Image courtesy of Atonomi.)

Atonomi has developed its own Security Protocol which can validate device identity, track device reputation, and provides immutable blockchain ledgering of all transactions. The company’s ICO – or initial coin offering – went off in early June to a group of pre-cleared and vetted purchasers. According to Atonomi, the company sold approximately 133 million of its tokens to 14,300 pre-cleared purchasers. In return, the company received 14,000 Ethereum tokens valued (as of this writing) at more than $6.5 million.

Notably: the list of purchasers did not include US residents, given what Atonomi said was an uncertain regulatory climate in the US in regard to ICOs.

Also consider listening to Episode 100: Estonia’s Former CIO talks about engineering a secure electronic vote

In this conversation, Vaughn and I talk about the Atonomi technology and, more broadly, about the application of blockchain technology to IoT security problems like identity and data integrity. That kind of uncertainty is something that makes discussions about blockchain and its various applications tricky – and ICO backed start-ups of particular interest. In this podcast, among other things, I ask Vaughn about the ‘bad rep’ that speculation and scams have given to ICOs and the crypto currency space, in general, and whether that threatens to derail blockchain’s adoption.

Check out our full conversation using the link above.

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