Bringing IoT and Blockchain to the World, Part I: On the Edge of Democratization

By October 26, 2018Blogs

Thanks to space tech, we’re closer to IoT-blockchain ubiquity for larger industries. But we must keep our eyes set on real democratization. 


We’re not there yet, but good solutions are being brought to the table.

From kickstarters, to startups, to unicorns — one of the universal aspects of the high-tech business is that you’re never alone in your mission. And the more complex it is, the more likely you’re going to need alliances along the way.

Even when operating without official partners, tech, by nature, is iterative. One organization’s or individual’s efforts lay the groundwork for the next innovator or provides windows of opportunity for others. (E.g. Take for instance, the wireless charging capabilities in an iPhone or the communications networks that make it possible to ship that iPhone overnight.) When building something that seems impossible, that’s often when things get collaborative, even when there are no official project partners involved.

“After all, even Hewlett and Packard, the spiritual godfathers of the Valley, got their start building audio oscillators for Disney, a technology that was first developed more than 40 years before. More recently, well-established tech companies have spun out start-ups such as Quora, leveraging both human capital and product development experience to improve execution on pre-existing concepts. In Quora’s case, the founders were not the first to build an internet answers site (Ask Jeeves in 1996, Yahoo Answers in 2005), but instead were able to draw from their experience working at Facebook to apply a Facebook-style user interface to the well-trodden Q&A format.” Forbes

In the case of IoT and blockchain, we are collectively on the precipice of an information revolution that nears the likes of the World Wide Web, invented in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee with democratization in mind. And while their existence and trajectory are not perfectly analogous, the web’s planned democratization provides a clear route to connective universality.

We are at this edge of IoT-blockchain ubiquity thanks to technologies like cellular satellite communications and WiFi. But what that connectivity lacks right now is accessibility — physically, tactically, and economically. Remote locations on land and sea are inaccessible, especially to those with limited budgets. To take IoT and blockchain to World-Wide-Web-levels of usefulness, what’s needed is a democratizing agent that can take the technology global, regardless of hurdles and borders.

“One of those key agents, we believe, are smallsats and the distributed storage that the Helios system is being designed to augment,” explains Scott Larson, CEO and Co-founder of Helios Wire.


The potential for a high-tech trifecta.

The “space is hard” mantra exists for a reason — space tech is plain difficult , while the business is highly regulated and notoriously tricky to navigate. IoT and blockchain open up even more uncharted, complex waters, and it’s at that confluence of space-IoT-blockchain where Helios Wire has carved out its niche.

Space, because of its intricacy, physics, and regulations, is inherently collaborative — at times between competing organizations and governments. And it’s a model that works. The leaps and bounds made by the space industry since the space race are clear examples of that cooperation.

With three complex industries — space, IoT, and blockchain — the challenges are manifold, yes, but the benefits are something that can provide change across potentially every industry on the planet. In fact, every individual.

“The Blockchain Internet Of Things (BIOT) market is estimated to reach USD 254.31 billion by 2026,” concludes a recent study by Aftrex Market Research. “Various benefits such as accelerated data exchange, enhanced security, and reduced cost are expected to propel the market growth.” Aftrex Market Research

As the IoT-blockchain worlds are merging, so too are the compounded potentials for this amalgamated market. In the case of Helios, IoT and blockchain are heavily reliant upon space technology. Beyond that, there are outside factors that are helping us get closer to the democratization we’re aiming for; from software services, to device and sensor manufacturers, to the smallsat boon.

“Truly global coverage is not yet possible unless you have a sky-high budget. And even then, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off with traditional connectivity options. But given the emerging technological options at our finger tips, and others on the horizon, we’re not far off from a world that is entirely connected, with everyone having the ability to harness IoT and blockchain technology for organizational, and of course personal, needs,” explains Larson.

Each month, market reports extol the potential growth of IoT and its variants. But Helios is looking at that reported revolution from a bigger scope; one that includes not only the Ciscos and IBMs of the world, but literally everyone.

“That vision will take nonstop cooperation and iteration,” says Larson. “The Helios system is designed to work in unison with existing connectivity options like LPWAN or LoRa networks in a way that takes that connectivity further into remote areas, both on land and at sea. Similar to the way that the web is accessible via fiberoptic networks, mobile, as well as dial-up connections. But with the ability to harness all connectivity options to get the job done.”


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