2020 was an incredible year for the blockchain industry. Core building blocks reached an inflection point in maturity and usability across DeFi (DEXs, loans, synthetic assets), social (NFTs, identity), and stablecoins. These tools have gotten us to where we are today but blockchain is still in its infancy. The billion-dollar question is: what new building blocks will propel blockchain to the next level?
IoTeX believes the answer is verifiable facts to connect what happens in the real world with blockchain applications to fuel automation, settle contracts, and much more. Just like verifiable price feeds (e.g., Chainlink) sparked an incredible wave of DeFi innovation, verifiable real world data feeds will exponentially grow what is possible with blockchain technology.
IoTeX has spent the last year pioneering this concept with Nordic Semiconductor, a top global IoT chip manufacturer. Together we built Pebble — an end-to-end solution that combines tamper-proof hardware/software to make verifiable asset tracking data (e.g., location, climate, motion, light) available to blockchain DApps. The next core building block that will unlock a new universe of blockchain use cases is now here!
As we approach the official launch of Pebble, we are hosting the Pebble Idea-Thon to explore the possibilities of replacing error-prone intermediaries with trusted IoTeX technology. We encourage everyone to check out the video below, which outlines a) what is Pebble + why is it special, b) what use cases Pebble can unlock, and c) how to design your own Pebble use case.
What is Pebble?
Pebble is a first-of-its-kind device that generates data that can be verified, and therefore trusted, by anyone. Pebble does this by combining tamper-proof, open-source hardware and software, which provides end-to-end verifiability of all data capture, validation, and transmission processes. At a high-level, you can think of Pebble as a trusted robot worker — an unbiased third party that serves verifiable data to blockchain applications and builders.
Pebble does this by capturing and cryptographically signing real world data using a built-in secure element, similar to the chips in your smartphone to manage FaceID/fingerprints and crypto hardware wallets to manage private keys. This signed data is hashed to the blockchain for provenance, almost like an “on-chain birth certificate”, which allows anyone to verify its authenticity. It’s an entirely new standard for trust — trusted data from trusted devices to feed trusted applications.
Pebble Use Cases
Pebble is a sophisticated piece of hardware, which is jam-packed with GPS, environmental, motion, and light sensors that produce constant streams of valuable data. But when we think about use cases for Pebble, it’s important to understand the flow of how sensors will generate data that form insights that then trigger actions. All of this data — location, temperature, humidity, air pressure/quality, angular velocity, acceleration, light intensity — but what can we actually do with it?
The truth is raw data alone is not useful — what we are interested in is the insights we can generate from analyzing the raw data. For example, GPS coordinates can tell us much more than where we are on a map. It can be used to calculate proximity to a person or place of interest over time or whether someone is in/outside of a geo-fence at a specific point in time.
Using these verifiable insights, we can trigger verifiable actions via smart contracts. By defining business logic in the form of “if [insight is true], then [trigger this action]”, our Pebble insights can trigger any number of actions, including sending tokens/data, settling a contract, or triggering a new contract. The key is that what triggered the action is 100% verifiable by all participants — this is the start of a new revolution to replace error-prone, centralized intermediaries with verifiably trustworthy devices like Pebble.
Example Use Cases
Feeling Inspired? Join the Pebble Idea-Thon
Now that you know all about Pebble, it’s time to put your ideas into action. The theme of our Idea-Thon is “Closing the Trust Gap” and is all about exploring areas in our personal and professional lives where trust is absent today, and how Pebble can help by establishing a single version of the truth.
The sweeping lack of trust in our institutions and rapid emergence of misinformation compels us to reconsider what we trust and why we trust it. In the future, trust will not be simply assumed but rather proven with verifiable facts. This Idea-Thon will allow you to implement the concept of “don’t trust, but verify” in the real world.
To enter, share with us your best idea that uses verifiable data from Pebble to solve a trust gap in today’s modern world — more than $2,000 in IOTX + prizes will be given to 25 winners! We can’t wait to hear your ideas.
Founded as an open-source platform in 2017, IoTeX is building the Internet of Trusted Things, an open ecosystem where all “things” — humans, machines, businesses, and DApps — can interact with trust and privacy. Backed by a global team of 30+ top research scientists and engineers, IoTeX combines blockchain, secure hardware, and confidential computing to enable next-gen IoT devices, networks, and economies. IoTeX will empower the future decentralized economy by “connecting the physical world, block by block”.