Is it just me, or does it creep you out too, to think of a world filled with data collectors and transmitters, designed to analyze their surroundings while embedded in your devices, appliances and clothing? Taking data, day and night, on any number of environmental variables with little regard for your privacy, microchips are being deployed with increasing frequency in an open arms race against our civil liberties.
At the same time, these sensors and transmitters help farmers make more environmentally conscious decisions on their land, help to inform scientists with precise real-time weather information, and enhance digital collaboration between countless industries stuck in the antiquated world of handshakes and paper receipts.
Whether you love it or hate it, The Internet of Things (IoT) is here. And it’s connected microchips and data sensors will forever search for the immutability of a public ledger. But it may take a dedicated team leveraging blockchain technology to build a platform for communication between them.
Enter VeChain (VEN)
Vechain claims to be the world’s leading blockchain platform for products and information. Striving for a trust-free, distributed business eco-system, the platform is much more than a theoretical whitepaper and a roadmap. One of the earliest blockchain technologies, VeChain has successfully implemented products and solutions across multiple industries. Including micro-chipping women’s purses (to prevent counterfeiting, of course). Lulz.
The VeChain foundation acts as the company’s sponsor entity. It is a non-profit based in Singapore with a commitment to VeChain’s development. Giving little reassurance to the consumers belief in a decentralized market however, the VeChain development team states on their website an intention to adopt a more traditional, corporate governance. Lame.
Words of assurance like that make me wonder who the competitors are within the budding IoT universe.
Enter Iota (MIOTA)
IOTA created the ‘Ledger of Things’ as its answer to the problems faced by the IoT (namely, secure transfers and infinite scalability). Enabling companies to explore new business-to-business models, this brand-new ledger makes technological resources trade-able on an open market. Settling transactions and trading exact amounts on demand, sensors and data-loggers can now store verified information securely on what the development team has dubbed, the Tangle. A block-less distributed ledger, the Tangle is the first to handle micro-transactions without fees, a necessary step for increased speed and efficiency in the marketplace.
Iota is still anguishing from their nearly month old faux-pas, having boasted of a partnership with Microsoft (and a host of other companies), only to reveal these companies later as mere participants in a showcase of potential, future, markets. The huge gains made on the run-up to this revelation have largely held however, leading us to believe that Iota is in this game for the long haul, poised to finslly connect your smart fridge to their Directed Acyclic Graph.
Strides are still being made toward the questionable future this altcoin darling is selling. Rumor has it they may even have a working wallet now. Sheesh.
The future is here. And the automation of data communicated through the blockchain (or Tangle) is already proving itself as a groundbreaking technology. But while the use of environmental and industrial microchips communicating with open and verifiable transparency comes with obvious benefits to science and industry, I fear another darker side to sensor tech awaits us around the corner. It is up to us to direct our fiat toward a future we are comfortable with. And if our investments today create the world of tomorrow, we just might want to pause and consider more than the next candlestick graph when choosing an appropriate currency to speculate in. Going forward, VeChain and Iota seem like solid holds for future gains, but they also seem a lot like the beginning of Skynet!