A New Year Exclusive Interview with C114 Focusing on Blockchain+IoT Growth Opportunities in 2021
An interview with Mr. Leo Lin, CEO of aitos.io: Launching a new pathway for integration of Internet of Things + Blockchain to boost the next generation of trusted data
The Internet of Things technology enables low-cost collection of massive data, artificial intelligence aids to mine the value of data, and blockchain technology will help expand human society in the “Digital World”. The combined effect will enhance the worth of data value and fulfill the need for cooperation on data usage, regulation, credibility and privacy-preserving issues. How will this integration of Internet of Things + Artificial Intelligence + Blockchain enable an ecosystem?
aitos.io is a stealthy start-up firm that believes in evangelizing this mantra for the integration of three major technologies: blockchain, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to transform the next generation of trusted data. This undertaking by aitos.io includes the launching globally in 2019 of the “BoAT” (Blockchain of AI Things) Framework. The BoAT is a blockchain application framework carried by a cellular wireless module platform. IoT devices integrated with this new future defacto “blockchain module” concept can quickly capitalize on the ability to access blockchain services. aitos.io expects that the BoAT will empower IoT equipment manufacturers to transport data assets onto the digital world of the blockchain through a journey using the BoAT, and cooperate with mainstream cellular module manufacturers to really transform and adapt to various baseband chip platforms and blockchain networks.
Exactlly what were the opportunities for aitos.io to get involved in this evolving concept of Blockchain IoT Modules industry? What progress has been made so far? What are the prospects for commercial application of Blockchain IoT modules? C114, a highly regarded, leading professional online media specializing in the ICT industry recently interviewed Mr. Leo Lin, CEO of aitos.io answered these questions in detail during this interview.
The Blockchain module alliance continues to grow and start to strengthen cooperation with silicon chip companies
Leo Lin details how blockchain introduces distributed ledger technology to enable the trusted exchange and openness of data, while the Internet of Things continues to enhance the digital capabilities of edge networks. The fusing and collaborative potential of IoT+Blockchain inches forward day after day.
Starting from Q4, 2018, aitos.io stepped forward to evangelize a truly revolutionary concept of integrating the Internet of Things with the Blockchain; this led to strategic investment from Wanxiang Blockchain. aitos.io’s product differentiation strategy and positioning focuses on implementing technological transformation of existing cellular IoT hardware and equipment. The Internet of Things has evolved into a fragmented market, hence we recognized the necessity to bond our middleware to a universal and dedicated “central-component” to help scale the comprehensive and rapid on-chain function of Internet of Things Smart devices. Before founding aitos.io, Mr. Leo Lin served as General Manager for the IoT Business Unit of Gemalto China. This experience helped prepare Leo to become a true "industry insider", watching the pulse of the cellular wireless module ecosystem evolve. As he was founding aitos.io, Leo recognized that cellular wireless modules were an ideal entry point to develop his vision for The Internet of Things with Blockchain-enablement. Additionally, the cellular wireless module connects IoT devices to the cloud, acting as a key component of IoT devices. The cellular wireless module industry has continued to evolve and refine focus over the last two decades of development. The world's top ten suppliers account for more than 90% of the market share, and Chinese manufacturers account for 70% of market share.
It has been narrated that once the BoAT solution was launched, it quickly attracted the attention of Quectel and Fibocom, two of the leading module manufacturers. Fast forward to June 2019, Quectel and Fibocom took the lead in releasing the first 5G blockchain modules, integrating BoAT technology at the 2019 Mobile World Congress Exhibition in Shanghai. Then, in December 2019, aitos.io and the nine major cellular wireless module manufacturers jointly initiated the establishment of the first “Blockchain IoT Module Alliance”. This Alliance helps further accelerate the innovative ideas bubbling from various ecosystem vendors for the integration of the Internet of Things and blockchain technology, and establish synergies among IoT industry stakeholders. When the blockchain capabilities are embedded into the cellular wireless modules, data can be uploaded directly to the cloud and at the same time into blockchain platforms to ensure data credibility and integrity. At the same time, technologies such as distributed ledgers and smart contracts can enable IoT companies to accurately record their contributions in the data generation process, and carry out a more reasonable and seamless revenue distribution models based on the value of the refined data. After the first year of establishment for the Blockchain IoT Module Alliance, aitos.io’s mission continues to focus on maturing the development and growth of the blockchain module alliance ecosystem. Since the alliance’s establishment, there have been three new module companies welcomed to join the blockchain module alliance this year. aitos.io has successively launched blockchain modules of their respective brands with major infrastructure and IoT equipment device vendors, including Lenovo Connect, TD Tech and China Mobile IoT.
While cooperating with almost all cellular module manufacturers, aitos.io also plans upward movement in the semiconductor chip ecosystem by strengthening cooperation with baseband chip vendors. In May 2020, aitos.io partnered with leading domestic IoT chip vendor UNISOC, to offer the world’s first Cat-1 Blockchain IoT chip Ivy 8910DM solution. Ivy 8910DM was jointly released, and integrated with aitos.io’s BoAT blockchain application framework in the baseline version of chip-level. It is convenient for module manufacturers and device makers to quickly develop IoT applications based on accessing blockchain services. In September 2020, aitos.io cooperated with LeapFive Technology (leading RISC-V IoT chip vendor) to release the first RISC-V IoT chip BF that supports blockchain functionality. The BoAT blockchain application framework. This was the initial launch for aitos.io to support open-source RISC-V chipset architecture.
In terms of commercial cases, aitos.io excels at delivering Proof-of-Concept (PoC) pilots for even more newly-emerging vertical industry sectors with blockchain + Internet of Things business model landing. aitos.io, Wanxiang Blockchain, and Juzix jointly launched the PlatONE+BoAT IoT data enablement platform. Currently in the pipeline for aitos.io projects are Daimler, Ingeek , Thundersoft, plus a Dozen more Internet of Things customers are all conducting evaluation pilots.
Trusted data will guarantee the accelerated implementation of innovative IoT business models
Mr. Leo Lin explained “BoAT” blockchain application framework has already completed development and testing integration with mainstream cellular module manufacturers on their mainstream module IoT platforms, and provides a GA version as an optional feature. Blockchain IoT modules are currently on the cusp of a large-scale commercial explosion, and industry verticals includes asset management, logistics, supply chain finance, telematics, new energy, and smart manufacturing.
Of all the recent interesting pilots mentioned, one in particular, the Daimler used car asset (residual value) management project is of key importance to aitos.io and our ecosystem. Blockchain technology helped Daimler solve the problem of trust worthiness in the used car trading market for residual value, while enabling the digital transformation of the used car market with trusted and reliable data. Through blockchain of different key stakeholders such as vehicle gas stations, 4S (Sales & Service) stores, and car rental companies, an unifying cooperation has formed for key vehicle data and transaction information, stored in the blockchain and immutable from tampering. This cooperation helps improve the used car’s actual condition is as well it is market value. The confidence level of the evaluation results effectively helps each vehicle achieve an increase in the residual value when trading in the market, and the technical service provider also has the opportunity to participate in the profit sharing.
In the field of Animal Husbandry asset management, in December 2019, aitos.io, Wanxiang Blockchain and China Unicom jointly released a Smart Cattle Livestock Public Service Ecological Internet Platform. This collaboration was accomplished through assets management and based on the Internet of Things + blockchain technology for large biological assets such as cattle livestock. This consensus provides banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions with first-hand credible data, and for ranches and small cattle farms to obtain funds and insurance services necessary for enterprise development. Financial institutions can also benefit from more risk control methods of fintech innovation through blockchain + Internet of Things technology.
The first RISC-V IoT chip “BF (new species)” chip designed exclusively for Galanz Industry’s 4.0 Smart Home Appliance Manufacturing Demonstration Base project was jointly developed by Galanz and LeapFive. BF-new species chip has been successfully implemented into Galanz’s Consumer electronics usage along with aitos.io’s BoAT blockchain application framework to provide trusted infrastructure architecture support based on blockchain capabilities for future smart home scenarios..
In the above three use cases, business model innovations were made around mining, defining and refining the intrinsic value of data. The key to the success of these innovative ideas and goals is when data is recognized as authentic and credible, when it is exchanged and “accessible” with various key project stakeholders, and when data can be properly used, managed and ensured without threat of monopolistic practices leading to a nirvana of none-compliance risk. The combination of blockchain and the Internet of Things technology ensures that the data collected from the source is authentic, and through the signing with on-chain storage, the data will be trusted throughout its life cycle.
Leo reemphasized his most important goals for aitos.io in 2021 include a steadfast strategy for the integration of blockchain + Internet of Things, increased scale of adoption for the BoAT blockchain application framework, transitioning blockchain modules to become the “defacto” starting point for digital transformation to actively explore traditional industry verticals with open data value, and finally helping the two ecosystems of the Internet of Things and blockchain to deeply integrate their foundations. Concurrently, aitos.io’s path forward includes closer engagement and participation from IoT service providers, telecom operators, Cloud Service Providers, and financial institutions to achieve cross-field and cross-industry cooperation. These are the extra steps needed to realize the vision of “trust to be freer”. aitos.io will advance cellular module usage, the core component of a very fragmented IoT market, to penetrate blockchain capabilities for all walks of life.
aitos.io is a technology start-up focusing on the integrated innovation of IoT and Blockchain. By combining its own rich resources in the IoT industry, aitos.io has raised the standard for a blockchain application framework BoAT (Blockchain of AI Things) with delivered via cellular IoT platform to enable IoT devices quickly implement trusted data on-chain and access the blockchain services. At the end of 2019, aitos.io and nine mainstream cellular wireless module manufacturers jointly initiated the Blockchain IoT Module alliance, and successively released their own brands of BoAT blockchain module products. This resulted in hundreds of millions of IoT devices equipped with the capability of blockchain services access as a trusted entry of IoT+Blockchain application. aitos.io’s vision is to leverage an alliance of global cellular IoT vendors to empower them to tap the value of applications and data.
At the beginning of the project launch in the end of 2018, aitos.io received angel investment from the IoT industry expert group and strategic investment from Wanxiang Blockchain. In December 2018, aitos.io was awarded membership into ARM Accelerator Camp. In June 2019, aitos.io emerged as the founding member of China Unicom IoT and Wanxiang Blockchain IoT+Blockchain Joint Innovation Center. In November, aitos.io became a empowerment partner of Microsoft’s AI and IoT Lab . In August 2020, aitos.io transitioned into Tencent’s Blockchain Accelerator program as the first member.
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