The guy behind IBM’s blockchain tech for IoT has left

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Credit: Photo by Jakub Mosur

Paul Brody, the man in charge of selling mobile and internet of things services to business in North America for IBM, left the company as of Tuesday. Brody is also the man who was spearheading a really interesting technology idea that combined Ethereum’s blockchain-based decentralized platform and programming language with BitTorrent and some code called Telehash to create an entirely new framework for building software for the internet of things.

Brody left to pursue his own interests, but IBM will continue working on the blockchain technology with its partner Samsung. IBM demonstrated a working version of the blockchain tech called Adept at its booth during CES last week, with Brody in attendance. I was too sick to stop by, but a draft paper released last Wednesday highlighted how far the idea had come since I had Brody on the podcast discussing it in September.

He also appeared at our Structure Connect conference in October answering some questions about the project and discussing why it’s necessary for the internet of things. Namely, it’s a lot cheaper than providing a cloud back end for every single connected device, especially those that might need a connection for a decade or more to come but provide little in the way of service revenue to compensate for the cost of cloud infrastructure (even cheap cloud infrastructure).

The CES demonstrations involved a washing machine that would re-order its own detergent and a distributed marketplace for advertising that were “working perfectly,” Brody said in a phone interview Tuesday. The next steps will be designing a scalable version of the architecture — hopefully, something IBM and Samsung will get done within the next four to six weeks.

Brody won’t be at IBM to lead it, but he said John Cohn, an IBM fellow, and Veena Pureswaran, global electronics industry lead, will continue with the project, as will folks at Samsung. Meanwhile, keep your eyes open on Github for the Adept white paper explaining how the blockchain proof of concept demonstrations shown at CES work. They make for some awesome reading.

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dosh1965

Adept is a very forward-looking concept and not without architectural merit, being based on a decentralized computing model. From a practical standpoint, Adept can gain traction by ensuring interoperability with standards-based data stream networks, which are based on a globally-distributed model and can ensure end-to-end quality of service for real-time communication among connected devices.

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