Vodafone’s digital asset broker (DAB) has demonstrated a proof of concept (PoC) in concert with three other companies which claims to show the potential for blockchain technologies in the global trade ecosystem.
The demonstration, alongside Chainlink Labs, consultants InnoWave, and trading company Sumitomo, focused on the ‘seamless exchange of crucial trade documents across diverse platforms and blockchains’, as Vodafone put it.
The technology underpinning the demo was two-fold. Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) helped to initiate actions – sending messages and transferring tokens – across blockchains. Vodafone’s DAB, however, is arguably more wide-ranging: it is an IoT platform, utilising SIM and blockchain technology, that ‘seamlessly transforms connected devices into automated and cost-efficient economic agents’.
What this could potentially mean, according to the companies, is a single interface which can enable applications to securely exchange data and tokens across public and private blockchain networks, as well as IoT.
An example given was in the marine industry: a vessel detecting a cargo fire could autonomously relay data to smart contracts which, if applicable, could automatically trigger the process to begin marine cargo insurance proceedings.
This sort of use case falls under the category of the Economy of Things (EoT) which – as one may guess from the moniker – is the next step up from the Internet of Things. This means new value being extracted from the IoT, and the turning of physical assets into digital ones.
Vodafone and Sumitomo announced the launch of a new standalone business to target this opportunity in May. This is where the DAB comes in as the technology supporting the EoT. With Vodafone transferring the platform, including intellectual property, contracts, technology and software, into the new business.
According to a report from STL Partners – commissioned by Vodafone – ‘EoT-enabled’ devices will grow from 88 million devices in 2024 to more than three billion by the end of the decade. This will represent approximately 10% of all IoT devices.
“The integration of IoT and blockchains has the potential to provide new monetisation opportunities for IoT devices,” said David Palmer, chief product officer of Vodafone DAB. “Securing consensus and validation between DAB and Chainlink will be important to drive this growth.”
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