Shifting from tax haven to bitcoin trading hub, the blockchain might push the Isle toward IoT innovation as the island launches a pilot project with startup Credits.
UK-based blockchain startup Credits and the government of the Isle of Man are launching an IoT security trial across the island, the two announced Monday, and it could be the beginning of a new renaissance for tech experimentation on the Isle of Man.
“The idea behind [the experiment] is that IoT has a promise of assigning a unique, non-forgeable identity to physical items and what the blockchain provides is the way of managing and maintaining an identity,” Credits Co-founder and CEO Nick Williamson told Financial News. Spoofing, as it is commonly known, allows hackers to mimic someone else’s authorized devices in order to gain access to information or attack private computer networks, in this case IoT networks.
For the purposes of the experiment, the Isle of Man and Credits will assign test IoT devices with unique ID numbers that will be recorded on the blockchain, presumably allowing security software to use the blockchain ledger as a reference to verify authorized devices and block duplicates.
Credits was made the UK’s official — yes, official — blockchain technology provider in an agreement announced last week through the government’s G-Cloud program (“government cloud”) to integrate government bodies with cloud-based IT. Thanks to G-Cloud, London has been gleefully experimenting with cloud, and by extension blockchain, over the last year. The program is making it easier for tech startups to sell their products to government interests, opening up the so-called B2G “Digital Marketplace” in the UK. July brought revelations that the UK, Barclays and blockchain startup GovCoin were tracking benefit payments with the technology, for instance.
The Isle of Man has had a working relationship with the company for over a year already, which means that the ball on this particular project has probably been rolling for some time now. The partnership between the Isle and Credits, then called Pythia, started in May 2015 with the announcement that Credits would help organize a registry of digital currency companies who were taking advantage of the Isle of Man location, with 25 formally located there in 2015 according to CoinDesk. Some businesses on the island, like café and restaurant Java Express, have begun accepting bitcoin payments via QR code.
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