As the blockchain train keeps speeding up day by day, we see more emerging projects using the distributed ledger technology (DLT) for specific use-cases. One of the most rapidly advancing sphere to be integrating blockchain solutions is The Internet Of Things (IoT). Projects like IOTA (MIOTA), Walton (WTC), and IBM‘s Supercomputer Watson‘s IoT Network are leading the way with innovative ideas that could apply to the blockchain x IoT relationship. In addition, there are dozens of IoT focused blockchain platforms fueled by the increased demand for both Internet Of Things Applications and Blockchain Solutions. One of the latest projects in this particular scene is Weeve. A Berlin-based company using the Ethereum Network, being an ERC-20 token itself, that has high expectations of disrupting the world of IoT as we know it.
The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm is filled with opportunities due to the fact that things can mine, process, transfer data, and this way create valuable digital assets. An Economy of Things (EoT) is thus formed when these digital assets are autonomously traded for related digital assets, most notably Blockchain-based currencies (Cryptocurrencies). This idealistic economy tho is problematic at the moment. IoT base devices are easily susceptible to be compromised and data can be manipulated and falsified. Existing IoT technologies are unable to leverage against this underlying crux and prove inadequate, as they are not able to provide a guarantee to the data’s truthfulness.
It is the accepted belief in the “physical world” that on the purchase of a good the product’s quality is as claimed and its properties have been verified. Only then a fair price can be negotiated. In the “IoT world” the dual mechanism is lacking, as IoT data cannot yet be verifiably attested and thus holds no guarantee of its integrity and economic value. Here comes Weeve with an attempt to change that.
Weeve’s plan is to change entirely the way blockchain and IoT interferes with Harvesting, Processing, Transporation, Assesment, and Trading of Digital Information. The above five stages are elementary to any economy of things. They reflect the stages of turning data into digital assets (i.e. digital goods with value). Any deviation from or error in any of the stages leads to an unsatisfactory situation: Fair and existential trading is impossible. It is simply unlikely to determine the truthful value of the asset and the integrity of the good.
The cause lies in the inability to validate the data. Data is merely a sequence of bitstrings,
harvested, processed, transported and assessed by machines. In this supply chain, different computing entities are involved. It is well known, since the introduction of computers, that machines are prone to errors. Likewise, it is well known that they can be compromised.
Nowadays IoT devices are nothing more than lightweight computers. They build upon computing architecture supported by rich Operating System’s functionalities similar to that of commodity personal computers. A vast amount of attack vectors already exist in the world, ranging from network attacks like man-in-the-middle to application attacks like buffer overflow and return-oriented programming. (Discussing the attack anatomy in more detail is out of scope.
According to their White Paper, Weeve’s ultimate aim is to empower an Economy of Things where IoT machines (or “weeves” thereof) index, process and trade harvested data against digital assets, most notably crypto coins. They envision a public or private marketplace, where producers and consumers (respectively buyers, and sellers) come together, escrow their supply and demand, and exchange their digital assets.
It sounds really interesting, and we are looking forward to seeing how they’re going to do that and what would be their key point since IOTA‘s Data Marketplace is already proved to work and is backed by Microsoft, Volkswagen, Samsung, Huawei, Orange and other major companies with presence in the IoT scene already.
Weeve‘s Core Technologies include the “Trusted Execution Environment” (TEE) which offers an execution space that provides higher security guarantees than a commodity operating system, and the “ARM TrustZone”, a System on Chip (SoC) and CPU system-wide approach to security. Being one of today’s three solutions, next to Intel and AMD, TrustZone is already implemented in various devices utilizing ARM architecture, like the Cortex-A2 and M3 series.
Other key technologies developing under Weeve‘s wing include Secure and Highly Scalable IoT Communication, the TEE-MQTTS Protocol (Low Latency and High Throughput, Lean Cryptography, and Code Base, Security Hardening through TEE), Testified IoT Data labeling, a Trusted Blockchain IoT Wallet, and of course the Exchange of Blockchain-based Testified Digital Assets.
Weeve definitely seems and sounds like a well-thought and put-together idea that the Internet Of Things world could benefit from.
At the same time, being an Ethereum based platform while trying to outcompete IOTA on scalability is probably a bad idea if not a mistake from the beginning.
Let me guys know what you think of this in the comments below. Could Weeve really do a change in the IoT sphere, regardless of if it’s better or worst that IOTA?
I personally think that if it’s a good product it doesn’t have to compete with anything, but it can prove itself and establish a trusted network of international partners the same way IOTA did, step by step.