GeoSpock is a Cambridge technology company with its roots in the city’s science research community. CEO Richard Baker explained that his co-founder Steve Marsh was researching an area that appears to be very different from where GeoSpock is focussed today: “back in 2010, 2011, [Steve] was doing his PhD in computer engineering at Cambridge and he set about the challenge of building a supercomputer to emulate one second of human brain function.”
What connects Steve’s research with GeoSpock’s current interest in data from sources such as roads, traffic signals and supply chains is, as Richard puts it, “how you deal with extreme datasets”.
The secret lies in creating a “parallel environment …which is all about serial communication.” That allows the speeding up of access to data in large data stores, and to GeoSpock’s claim that whatever query is applied to the data they are working with, they will have an answer in less than a minute.
Richard points out that people are no longer the biggest producers of data: that honour (or shame) is now claimed by machines. As devices connected to the Internet of Things generate more and more data, that creates new problems for technology, and society: “the challenge there is, as this data is pervasive, how do you harness it and how do you translate it into meaningful insights and into decisions ultimately?”
GeoSpock’s software will allow the company to be working in an area that Richard believes can be described as “change for good”. The technology should work across a broad range of industries. Richard gives examples of the kinds of problems he’d hope to be solving: “how do we generate city environments that are good for citizens? How do you ensure that they are clean, that there’s low CO2? How do you plan clean and efficient transport systems? How do those transport systems actually function?”
So how does Bitcoin come into GeoSpock’s plan? And why did nChain recently announce its connection with the company as the lead partner in a $5.4m Series A investment round? Richard explains that while today, the company uses Amazon Web Services, he could see a future where BSV could be a compelling alternative to traditional cloud services.
“Why isn’t Bitcoin SV, both in terms of protocol, but also in terms of what organizations like TAAL are doing, the alternative store? We really see a situation where today we’re dealing with event information coming from sensors, but actually the next step is really dealing with the commercial transactions.”
If the idea of an intimate connection between data and money seems unfamiliar, think again. Isn’t that what happens, in a very manual way, every time you fill up your car at a garage? Well, why not automate the process? “We should be able to plug in our car and our car settles for the amount of time that it’s been on the charging station in a public space. That ultimately will become a machine to machine commercial transaction. And I think we see an opportunity here where Bitcoin SV becomes the digital ledger of choice for those types of transactions in the machine to machine economy.”
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