Atonomi (ATMI) Technical Report

Atonomi is the Secure Ledger of Things, a security protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT). Atonomi provides a new security protocol and infrastructure to enable billions of IoT devices to have trusted interoperability for both data and commerce.

The number of IoT devices is growing exponentially, with 5.5 million new IoT devices added each day in 2016, reaching over 20 billion in total by 2020.[1] The number of data transactions between these devices is astounding. As IoT continues to integrate with our daily lives, and as the number of devices and associated transactions grow, security threats rise as well. Strong security in IoT technology will become the top concern to tackle in the near-future.
Atonomi is being developed by CENTRI Technology, creators of IoTAS – Internet of Things Advanced Security. CENTRI’s current partners include the largest IoT ecosystem players, like Arm, Flex, Microsoft, Intel, and others.[2]

The IoT space has a few significant limitations, namely security, performance, and standardization. Devices can be compromised by installed malware or by executing aman-in-the-middle attack, an attack that allows the culprit to observe and record the device’s network traffic. Atonomi’s partnership with CENTRI will enable them to leverage IoTAS, a security package which has a small enough footprint to fit IoT devices, and this is combined with patented encrypted communication protocols specifically designed to be lightweight for reduced overhead while still employing vetted encryption algorithms. Along with Root of Trust (RoT) fingerprinting and device registration on the Atonomi platform and services, this combination allows whitelisted IoT devices to engage in data and resource exchanges securely. The immutability of blockchain technology is leveraged to ensure audit trails exist for device registration, activation, deactivation, reputation tracking, and for IoT-specific configurations.

 

Since devices registered with the Atonomi platform will have access to the Ethereum blockchain, an added advantage will be the potential to leverage other tokenized services to increase the usefulness of IoT devices significantly. Two resources which are especially scarce for IoT devices are computational power and storage. Leveraging the secure, decentralized token marketplaces made available by other blockchain technologies, such as STORJ or Sia, will allow the seamless removal of these space and computational limits placed on IoT devices. Even raw resources, such as electricity, could potentially be delivered with POWR.
For standardization, CENTRI and Atonomi’s SDKs and communication protocols will allow for consistent, secure, and extensible programming of IoT devices to take place. This will reduce development and roll-out costs, which is a major win for the deployment of IoT solutions.

All the above technologies, along with others from CENTRI’s patent portfolio, will take a substantial first step in solving IoT-specific problems with security, standardization, performance, and economic and resource exchange between IoT devices.

Overview

The Atonomi network is creating a new ecosystem based on device identity and reputation. The ability to establish immutable device identity and dynamic device reputation enables the secure interoperability between devices without the need for human intervention. Utilizing blockchain technology and bringing a decentralized architecture and consensus mechanism to the IoT space gives Atonomi the ability to:

  1. Establish an immutable digital identity for every device on its network.
  2. Enable secure and immutable management of a device’s reputation throughout its life.
  3. Trust and reputation are essential for autonomous devices to engage in transactions of data and value. The Atonomi network’s Reputation Tracking service allows for automated identification of, and action against, rogue or compromised devices. Atonomi will not leave the critical elements of trust and reputation to be handled by third-parties.

The Atonomi network is being designed for others to build upon and extend to meet the needs of this ever-growing market. A key advantage here is that Atonomi’s protocols, a progressive iteration of CENTRI’s security suite, are not embedded at the device level but rather the chip. As CENTRI’s IoTAS is already integrated with Arm’s ARMv8-M chipset[3] and a partnership with Intel could be in the future, Atonomi is poised against competitive offerings. Integrating their protocols at the chipset level offers increased scalability, interoperability, and future-proofing, and as there are significantly less chipset manufactures to on-board in comparison to device manufacturers, Atonomi has a clear advantage in the potential to reach widespread use.

There are no other projects using blockchain technology to solve the security problem, which is the single point of failure for IoT technology today. Atonomi stands out by focusing on interoperability, extensibility, and establishing an immutable identity with reputation tracking.

There are many potential use cases for Atonomi. A few are listed below:

  • Healthcare – Healthcare providers can use Atonomi to secure IoT devices in the hospital or at home
  • Smart Home – Homeowners can secure and enable smart home devices with Atonomi Tokens
  • Industrial IoT – Manufacturers can securely deploy new IoT devices via Atonomi Network
  • Smart Cities – Cities can securely link IoT devices to enhance citywide operations

Atonomi Roadmap

Phase I – Initial release of the Atonomi Network

  • Atonomi token sale
  • Atonomi has partnered with Ambisafe to build the initial release of the Atonomi network
  • Functional version of the Atonomi Security Protocol and at least three root Identity and Auditor servers
  • Atonomi Agent and developer SDK

Phase II – Expanding the Atonomi ecosystem, six to nine months

  • Triple the number of root Identity and Auditor servers
  • Atonomi Agent and developer SDK intends to support additional popular operating systems and hardware platforms
  • Expand initial Atonomi server infrastructure to include not only Amazon Web Services, but also Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud
  • Fully automated device registration service and more

Phase III – Increase scale and expand platform support, nine to twelve months

  • Significantly expand the number of root Identity and Auditor servers
  • Atonomi Agent and developer SDK will be built to support all popular IoT hardware and operating systems
  • Significant increase in the integration capabilities with third-party systems to leverage the device identity and reputation capabilities of Atonomi

Token Use

Atonomi tokens serve as a multi-use token for the internal mechanics of the Atonomi network. As new devices are registered and activated, the Atonomi token can be used to pay fees associated with creating a device’s digital identity through smart contracts. The token is also designed to be a key component of Atonomi’s Reputation Tracking service by enabling reputation data to be captured, analyzed, and scored. Atonomi tokens also allow devices to validate other device identities that are stored on the blockchain encountered throughout its lifecycle.

Atonomi tokens can be used to enable device-to-device autonomous transactions. This allows devices to engage in commercial transactions with each other as well. For example, a smart meter on a home or building may autonomously negotiate with the power company or a microgrid to acquire electricity and pay for services using the Atonomi token. Tokens will also be used to pay fees associated with device registration, activation, validation of other devices, reputation management, as well as commercial transactions.

Device manufacturers may elect to serve as auditors and record reputation data and receive Atonomi tokens as a reward for their service on the network. Atonomi tokens may also be used to attract new device manufacturers to the network through customer acquisition programs. Developers may also build upon the Atonomi security protocol, creating new projects and service offerings leveraging the Atonomi token as fuel.

The Team

The Atonomi team is composed of experts in the field of IoT security technologies, blockchain technology, and team management. Most of the team members, including the founder of Atonomi, work for CENTRI Technology, while other members have worked for large companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Vaughan Emery

Founder and CEO of Atonomi

Vaughan Emery is a veteran in the field of information technology security. After completing his MBA at the Pacific Lutheran University, he went on to work for two years as a Business Analyst at Fairchild. He then worked for seven years as a Business Analyst at Weyerhaeuser and as Chief Technology Officer in the Home Builder Division. Following that, he started a 15-year career as Manager of an information security company at ITSource. In 2010, he founded CENTRI technology. Vaughan’s next phase was to expand his security experience to the blockchain in order to provide even more secure solutions for IoT by founding Atonomi.

David Fragale

Co-Founder of Atonomi

David Fragale finished his MBA at MIT before working for the US Department of Defense for two years as a Financial Analyst of DoD weapon system programs and as a Portfolio Manager of the Department of Navy’s research and development budget. He then worked as a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers for almost ten years. Following his work at PwC, David worked for MIT as a Sloan Fellow in Innovation and Global Leadership. This position allowed him to research the essence of blockchain technology and to work closely with professors from the MIT. After a year of working at MIT, he returned to PwC but this time as Director of Strategic Threat Management. During his time at PwC, he helped Fortune 100 companies develop blockchain technology, created PwC’s Blockchain Intelligence Lab, and gave numerous speeches at cryptocurrency events and conferences.

Michael Mackey

CTO at CENTRI Technology

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science at the University of Washington, Michael Mackey worked as a Development Manager for the Cobalt Group. He directed a team of up to 22 employees for seven years. The company had contracts with original equipment manufacturers, such as Hyundai. He then moved on to work as a Director of Professional Services of Engineering and Architecture for Nuance Communications. He directed a team of 45 employees and contractors in development, quality assurance, and solution architecture while managing resources across four different regions. Michael worked with Nuance for two years, and then started working as the CTO and VP of CENTRI Technology.

Luis Paris

Chief Scientist at CENTRI Technology

Before completing his Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of Mississippi, Luis gained valuable experience as a software consultant, software developer, instructor, and R&D engineer. He was a Research Assistant from 2000 to 2005 at the University of Mississippi, where he gave courses, completed projects, and improved techniques for data compression through his research. Luis then became an Associate Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology for seven years. While there, Luis coordinated the Computer & Information Science program, taught over 30 courses, and was an advisor to many students. In 2012, Luis joined CENTRI Technology as Chief Scientist. His primary focus is to manage and enhance CENTRI’s core security suite, develop proving grounds for concept proofing of IoT encryption and protocols CENTRI has developed, and provide scientific support for the company’s engineers.

Andrii Zamovsky

Strategic development partner

While earning his Bachelor of Computer Science, It from Ukrainian State Chemical Technology University, Andrii worked various jobs as a junior software engineer, software engineer, and project manager. After completing his degree in 2013, he became interested in blockchain technology and founded HolyTransaction, a universal wallet. He then moved on to another project known as Propy, and works as their Chief Blockchain Evangelist. Andrii also founded Ambisafe in 2015 (which he still operates). Ambisafe is an ICO wallet, an asset manager, and a registry framework. He also founded Orderbook, which is a trading platform for ETH tokens, before joining Atonomi.

Advisors

The advisors of Atonomi are numerous and varied in their field of expertise. They are Ph.D. holders, researchers, have blockchain technology experience and/or are advisors for other blockchain projects. Though they will not all be presented, they can be found here.

Ulf Lindqvist

Advisor
Dr. Lindqvist obtained his Computer Engineering doctorate at the Chalmers University of Technology. He has worked for SRI International since earning his doctorate. SRI International is a non-profit and independent research center, with focuses on various complex problems, including IoT security and cell-targeted cancer drug delivery. He began working there as a Computer Scientist and was integral in the development of the EMERALD security technology. Later on, he started working as a Program Director and managed R&D projects in security infrastructure. He is now the Senior Technical Director for SRI International.

John Henry Clippinger

Advisor
Dr. Clippinger obtained his Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and received his BA in Philosophy from Yale University. He has worked in many fields of research, including data protection, and is primarily focused on civic, economic, and ecological issues. He was a Research Scientist at MIT from 2011 to 2017, where he worked on trust frameworks for mobile platforms. He is currently working as a Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab, and as an advisor to several other blockchain companies: Bancor, Smart Valor, and Cashaa.

Points of Confidence:

⇑   CENTRI is an established company in the IoT space.
⇑    The team is composed of experts in the field of IoT security technologies.
⇑    Security is the primary concern with the growing IoT space, one which Atonomi seems poised to solve.
⇑    Atonomi has established some great partnerships in the IoT space; their connections should give them an advantage over the competition.
⇑    Atonomi’s protocols will be embedded at the chipset level rather than with the multitude of device manufacturers, allowing for much easier on-boarding.

Risks:

⇓    Competition in this space is likely to increase.
⇓    The success of Atonomi is dependent on developers adopting their protocol.

ICO

Token symbol: ATMI
Hard cap: $25 million
Conversion rate: TBD
Total supply: TBD
Available for token sale: 50%
Bonus structure: TBD

Conclusion

IoT is a rapidly-expanding aspect of our everyday lives, where we might not be far from having all of our gadgets communicating directly to one another. A world full of smart cities will be one full of conveniences, but with our current technology, it will entail numerous security risks. Atonomi aims to fix these problems by utilizing the immutability of the blockchain.

Atonomi’s basis for their token offering is built on the team’s previous experience with IoT security from CENTRI, migrating some of their solutions over and improving upon others. One of the main improvements is a blockchain foundation with its own token economy. The team is fully aware of the current limitations of the Ethereum blockchain they are building on, though this should not be an issue if Ethereum’s roadmap is any indication.

While looking at Atonomi’s strong suits, the primary quality to take note of is their experience and established presence in the IoT field from CENTRI, which does bring confidence that they will be able to succeed in their current plans. Furthermore, while they want to run as many of their solutions as possible directly on the Ethereum blockchain, they are prepared for the impracticality of this in the short-term and would use off-chain solutions if necessary for the ecosystem.

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Disclaimer:

All content provided by IRG is purely observational and should not be considered financial advice.  IRG is not an investment group, but a research group that meticulously scans the market for those projects deemed to have the most potential. Cryptoassets are subject to high market volatility and risk, invest responsibly at your own risk. Seek a licensed professional before making any investments.


 

 

 


[1] Louis Columbus, Forbes, “Roundup of Internet of Things Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2016,” Nov. 27th, 2016

[2] Note: Direct partnerships with Intel and Microsoft could not be confirmed from sources outside of Atonomi. However, when the team was reached out to, they replied that CENTRI is under contract or working closely with all of those listed. In addition, CENTRI is confirmed as part of Intel’s IoT Solutions Alliance.

[3] CENTRI Technology, “CENTRI Supports the Armv8-M architecture and new Platform Security Architecture (PSA) from Arm,” Oct. 23trd, 2017


 

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