Microsoft ITM IoT blockchain

Microsoft, ITM build IoT blockchain for Taiwanese energy firm

The partnership uses internet-of-things devices to record and send tamper-proof power usage meter readings without requiring in-person visits or third-party audits

Microsoft Azure and blockchain firm International Trust Machines Corporation have created blockchain-based, internet of things-enabled solar power meters that can collect trusted data without in-person readings.

According to a Feb. 5 announcement, the new solution allows Taiwan’s largest energy distributor, TaiPower, to avoid sending personnel to homes and businesses during (and after) the COVID pandemic.

The solution uses MediaTek’s AIoT Ecosystem smart meters to collect data and store it on a tamper-proof blockchain.

“The pandemic has caused increased disruption in the mobility and communication of office personnel,” said ITM CEO Julian Chen. “ITM uses blockchain technology to ensure the accountability of your data and reduce the need for third-party verifications. The audit process is automatically done by the machine, which speeds up data exchange between supply chain participants.”

The announcement notes that traditional data verification efforts usually involve third parties and are more time-consuming and expensive. Immediately storing the data on-chain, on the other hand, “creates an automatic audit mechanism that verifies and validates data in a cost and time effective way,” it said.

The technology will play a pivotal role in accelerating post-crisis digital transformation initiatives, the company added.

“Scalability, privacy and cost are the common issues enterprises face,” Chen said. “Most public chains face the difficulty of processing a large amount of data generated by IoT devices and that affects the scaling up of a company. 

Blockchain is seeing increasing adoption by a growing number of firms looking to ensure that data from various sources is auditable and tamperproof—often with the assistance of IoT smart tags that do everything from register products’ arrival or departure to ensuring perishables were transported at the right temperature.

One recent example is provenance tracking firm Everledger’s partnership with the University of Glasgow to use IoT-based smart tags affixed at the distillery to ensure the whisky in rare Scotch bottles is genuine.

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Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.