It’s been a long time coming, but let’s finally talk about Atonomi.
The Internet of Things has been a concept that has been extremely hyped long before even Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were around. The novel idea that devices themselves could be hooked up to the World Wide Web, interacting with each other, and relaying/receiving information was purported to be one of the largest innovations that were to come in the near future.
It certainly was no surprise to see this thing take off from the heydays of the early 2010’s, with massively increased spending in the sector, compounded further by the overnight success of Silicon Valley experiments and the auspicious reminder of what the dot com boom brought. Every entrepreneur and their mother was trying to get on the IoT bandwagon, and this is only more relevant today:
IoT does to our devices what the Internet did to our society – it caused a groundbreaking shift in the way that we interacted with each other, allowing for instant communications, transactions, and exponential efficiency gains unlike anything seen at any other point in history.
Connecting humans has been a massively successful experiment, to be sure. One can say that the world itself is in a better place because of the Internet (take a look at global poverty levels for example – on the decline and in a BIG way). But what about connecting devices? What advantages are there in introducing hyper-connectivity to electronics that don’t talk, don’t have anything to share, and lack the resources to do so?
Except, of course, that they do.
See, our devices are growing smarter every single day – and I’m not just talking about our cell phones or the newest Alexa model that Amazon has on sale (though that will certainly benefit as well). We are embedding electronics into practically every facet of society; unmanned drones that can scout the weather for us, little devices that track the health and moisture levels of corn crops, and supply chain technology that autonomously sends and receives orders directly from the raw material suppliers themselves.
The truth is that we are replacing a lot of human work with robots – and this is something that is only going to increase over time.
Much of the work we did at one time didn’t require anything to be smart – the horse got replaced by the car for example. But what about a car that is smart enough to self-drive?
Clearly, you’ll need a communications network at that point. A car that can say “Hey, I’m making a right turn here”, signalling to other autonomous vehicles on intent and receiving equally useful data.
I had the pleasure of actually speaking with co-founder David Fragale some time ago, and we had an intense back and forth between our tech team and himself, answering many of the questions we had regarding the project and even giving us some himself to mull over. Essentially, Atonomi wants to be the world leader in securing this Internet of Things. Because you simply can’t have anything function on a technological level without providing it with the proper systems of defense against attacks. That’s the main point of significance for Atonomi, and it is an extremely relevant one for a few reasons.
See, as it stands, most IoT devices in existence today are insecure. You might think of it as a benign point that your thermostat is not protected from hackers, but what if someone jacks into it and starts messing with your air conditioning in the middle of July? More importantly, what happens if the devices responsible for making sure the wind is at an adequate level over the airport feeds the wrong data to an air traffic control center?
There are a multitude of different and diverse IoT devices that all do different and diverse things – the trick here is to create an infrastructure that all devices can follow, a baseline of checklists and protocols that can reduce attack surfaces and increase your peace of mind.
Unfortunately, creating baseline standards for everyone to follow can be about as enjoyable as pulling teeth – everyone thinks they have the best system, it’s uncrackable, and you need to pay me to use it.
That simply won’t work in today’s day and age, and many systems that do resolve these hurdles come across centralization and scalability problems. What happens if your company is directly responsible for the security of a drone part that the NSA want to utilize? Now you’re talking to the men in black, and you just got a whole lot of problems you didn’t ask for.
It wasn’t really until we had another great innovation like blockchain/crypto that we finally came to a resolution of this IoT security and scalability problem. This is where Atonomi comes in, and their offering is certainly one of the most impressive ones we’ve seen to date.
Using blockchain technology, it becomes a simple matter of enabling devices to transact information and value amongst themselves on a public ledger, rather than having to trust any individual centralized source of authority. Offloading additional computational resources is also possible now thanks to the Ethereum Virtual Machine, making Atonomi one of the fastest solutions for IoT security on the market.
Atonomi is decentralized, but the infrastructure they create will allow vertically integrated businesses to build whatever it is they dream of right on top of the ATMI structure. That makes it very easy for companies and existing third parties to get on board and benefit from Atonomi’s success, as well as securing and enhancing the abilities of their own IoT based business. This vertical integration on top of a distributed network (with built-in flat leadership) makes for a potent combination that we feel is just the right mix of merging the old with the new.
Atonomi will be operating under CENTRI, which is a chip manufacturer specializing in IoT security – essentially, they secure the chips that they sell to other individuals looking to buff their IoT defenses. This is really where the partnership shines, however, as it’s much more than just an “on-paper” collaboration.
See, when you design security for an IoT device it needs to be a few things – it needs to be small, because chips often aren’t designed for a large amount of storage space, and it also needs to be light, due to the computational limits of chips and other small devices. You can think of it in terms of how phones these days run Operating Systems that are very light on resource and storage space, while simultaneously offering a sophisticated “desktop-lite” experience.
Atonomi achieves this by reducing their technology stack to an unbelievably impressive 16 kilobyte footprint – one of the leading innovations from the CENTRI team. What does that mean? Using Atonomi, IoT devices won’t have to deploy additional resources for their security, and being embedded on the chip level (CENTRI!) means that Atonomi will work on all CENTRI devices, natively, forever.
The sale itself is of course, one of the most competitive sales we’ve ever tried to get into ourselves, and for most of the crypto public, Atonomi is shaping up to be one of the top crypto projects of the year. It certainly is warranted what with the recent failures of projects such as IOTA (sad!) promising the world and offering but offering the equivalent a small timeshare in the suburbs of Detroit. Atonomi looks to improve, refine, and extend the concepts that were promised in IOTA and actually bring them to production, bring the right people on board, and bring the industry as a whole forward.
Mind you this double dipping aspect makes for a heady brew of speculation and possible future. IoT is growing, and the crypto industry is also exploding in value. If Atonomi position themselves properly for this, they could truly become one of the top leaders of IoT – and we personally make that bet at Globalhalo. We are big here on IoT, and the proper scaling solution presented to the proper companies that would be interested in this tech means that we are talking about potential usecases for billions of future devices.
That’s less of a speculative play and more of a bet on the current trend of IoT. We don’t need to do silly VC bets like “if Atonomi captures just 1% of the market”, because we are much more sophisticated than that. Atonomi already has an onramp mechanism with CENTRI, a product that will be used in one of the most steadily growing sectors in the world, and an amazing team of devoted individuals who will do their very best for the project.
This is a team that is worried more about their connections, partnerships, and getting their infrastructure off of the ground than doing a cash grab like many of us are used to in the crypto world. Atonomi is absolutely focused on getting developers and forming the right relationships in the tech world, not only just the crypto world.
IoT is much bigger than your layman crypto advocate can imagine – it will affect supply chain, heuristics, telemetry, data modelling, deep learning, social augmentation, and so much more. We’re betting big on Atonomi, and we’re expecting it to shake things up in the crypto and IoT sectors in a big way. Look for Atonomi tokens when they go on exchanges, as the incredibly difficult to get into crowdsale simply won’t provide the bandwidth many investors need for a sizeable position of the Atonomi dream.
Disclaimer: I hold tons of Atonomi. Don’t trust any review sites that tell you they are unbiased. To the moon, baby.