Tech

Erik Gibbs

Decentralized IoT gets a boost from a blockchain development board

The Internet of Things (IoT) basically describes any device that can plug into the Internet. These days, everything from televisions to refrigerators to vehicles can communicate over the Internet. Refrigerators can tell you that you need to restock the milk by sending a warning to your smartphone, and can even then place the order for you. It’s a brave new world for technology, but one that still can be developed. Security is still at risk with IoT devices and a new device is coming to market that could not only mitigate those risks, but could increase the prevalence of blockchain technology in households across the globe.

Elk is a blockchain development board that can be incorporated into any IoT device. It includes sensors that can link to a blockchain to trigger action in a smart contract, accept payments and control devices. According to TechCrunch, other examples include “… a connected door-lock that doesn’t demand that your ability to access your own property be dependent on the uptime (and accord) of servers of a remote corporate giant, nor your comings and goings be logged by a commercial third party.”

The board could also be used as a motivational tool. If you hit the snooze button one too many times on the alarm clock, it could be programmed to charge you a cryptocurrency micropayment. It is described as “a development board for the blockchain and the decentralized web. It combines the simplicity of Arduino along with native support for decentralized networks. With only a few lines of code you can build IoT that interfaces with Ethereum, IPFS, Whisper, and more!”

Elk is new, even though the company behind it isn’t. The same individuals who brought 1Sheeld, a multi-Arduino shield for smartphones, to the public eye in 2013 are now ready to put blockchain technology in the palm of developers’ and tech companies’ hands.

Financing for Elk is being provided through several angel investor and venture capital firms, including Tachyon, Endura Capital, Flat6labs and more. It is also being funded by a Kickstarter program that looks to raise $20,000. That program launched about a month and a half ago and has already raised $12,343 of its goal.

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