The Bank of New York Mellon is one of several Fortune 500 firms teaming up with a host of distributed ledger technology startups to work on a blockchain-based Internet of Things protocol.
The initiative has grown out of a conference held in December which saw representatives from BNY Mellon and other major companies such as Gemalto, Cisco and Bosch meet startups including ConsenSys and Ledger.
Up for discussion was how blockchain can be used to improve the interoperability and security within IoT, securing the identity of physical property. Many of the firms involved say they have made leaps in deploying blockchain-registered tamper-proof hardware for various use cases and making new blockchain-based software systems available to enterprises.
Now they want a protocol that takes into consideration the need for integration and interoperability across multiple chip types, communication protocols, proprietary platforms, cloud service providers, and blockchain systems.
To develop this, a loose, "nimble" consortium of startups with elective steer from the bigger players, are working on defining the scope and implementation of a smart contracts protocol layer across several major blockchain systems.
"Blockchain has the power to improve resiliency and efficiency in a fully connected world," says Alex Batlin, head, blockchain, BNY Mellon. "What’s missing today is a solution that provides trusted, tamper-proof guarantees for any title deed, public record, compliance event, or transaction, building on the way paper documents are used currently."
Patrick Dai, CTO, BitSE, adds: "If we want to secure the Internet of Things we need to standardise how we identify, manage and communicate with internet enabled devices through blockchain technology. With a standardised protocol, more people will be able to share in these benefits."