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Vodafone uses blockchain to let IoT devices make automated transactions

Vodafone has launched a blockchain-backed platform that allows connected devices to make secure transactions on a user’s behalf, promising to offer a common framework for the ‘Economy of Things’.

The Digital Asset Broker (DAB) looks to use the scale of Vodafone’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to provide automated transactions for individuals and businesses who don’t have to build their own infrastructure.

The DAB assigns a device a unique digital identity so it can communicate with other devices on the platform and pay for goods and services using digital wallets secured by SIM card technology.

The Economy of Things 

The blockchain verifies connections as trustworthy, and all payments are made over encrypted connections.

Vodafone hopes its DAB service will solve the challenge of connected devices and infrastructure operating in isolation, opening up new revenue opportunities for businesses. For example, a connected car could interact with a smart car parking space to make a reservation and payment.

In addition to Vodafone’s 140 million global IoT connections, the DAB will provide secure links to third party platforms and device ecosystems, to include as many industries as possible, including automotive, energy, manufacturing, and logistics.

“We are building in-house new, scaled platforms for our customers across Europe and Africa. This, our latest platform, will drive the new Economy of Things where everyday objects and devices can negotiate, buy and sell services on our behalf,” said John Wibergh, Vodafone’s chief technology officer. 

“We are actively talking with many other companies to rapidly expand partnerships and widen the ecosystem worldwide to include other features and payment schemes.”

A pilot of the service is now live in Vodafone’s hometown of Newbury, allowing electric vehicles to communicate with compatible charging points.

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