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Why Machines Need Money

July 24, 2017 No Comments

By Steven Sprague, Founder and CEO of Rivetz

The modern cloud is built on the premise that the server can ask for more services and receive instant gratification. The AWS service will spin up and down the capacity to match the demand and even launch new services on demand. The ability for the machine to scale demand in real-time has completely disrupted the corporate data center.

The advent of IoT and mobile devices is begging for a similar model, but security has stood in the way. The recent rise in utility tokens and the services they promise will bring millions of dollars in resources to move closer toward an on-demand decentralized economy.  It is one of the most exciting developments in recent history and may unlock the potential for devices to automatically request the services they need when they need them. From identity, to storage, to VPNs and other critical services, blockchain offers a new approach to key management and decentralized control. However, just below the surface all of these services share a common architectural weakness: the private key.

The software that protects this secret is challenged with all of the problems that online services and online commerce have had for many years. However, there is one major difference. A decentralized system does not have the same central security controls that have been used to watch, control, and remediate fraud.

What is needed is a mechanism to not only store but secure the use of the private key and to provide policies and rules, which are required by the owner of the keys, to assure that the keys can only be used for “approved purposes”. The owner who is in charge of the platform needs to set the rules so the device can have an “allowance” to spend on services that cannot be easily stolen or tricked by malware into spending all of its resources.

At Rivetz we are laying the foundation for this model of a device with resource that can only be spent or consumed for specific services. We think of it as machine money with a policy where the owner fully controls that policy.  We believe that every device and everything will need access to a source of funds, but the use of this store of value will only be useful if the operations are automatic. The device asking, “Dad, can I have a penny?” every 2 minutes will get really annoying. By wrapping the store of value with a very strong policy engine, Rivetz can assure the resources are only used where they are supposed to be used.

Metering is a tried and true decentralized economic model. It however requires world class security to work properly. From parking meters to Pitney Bowes postage meters industries have supported the secure endpoint to enable the creation of proper transactions. Rivetz believes the combination of trusted execution and blockchain will enable this new model of on demand computing for the endpoint. The solution will provide the security and supervision the owner of the platform requires to securely adopt the utility services broadly.

Trusted execution provides the technology that enables this metering model for token utilities that can assure the tokens are only consumed where the owner intends them to be consumed. In addition, the cybersecurity controls are enhanced by creating a model where a known device in a known condition was using the service. Billions of permissioned devices will create a new model for digital services. The Token market is building the utilities but security will be required to achieve the full value for every token.

About the author:

Steven Sprague – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-sprague/0/153/338

Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz Corp. and former president and CEO of Wave Systems Corp. for 14 years, is one of the principal industry evangelists for the application of trusted computing technology. Steven has a strong technical foundation in principles, capabilities and business models of incorporating trusted hardware into everyday computing, making him a popular speaker on cybersecurity and trusted computing.

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