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IOHK develops authentication and anti-counterfeiting hardware using Cardano

  • The University of Wyoming and the IOHK are researching a hardware solution for authentication and anti-counterfeiting that utilizes Cardano.
  • The solution will be a special chip that acts as secure hardware module and can perform cryptographic operations.

The cooperation between the University of Wyoming and the company responsible for the development of Cardano, Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), is beginning to bear fruit. IOHK’s CEO, Charles Hoskinson, reported in a video on his YouTube channel on the research the company is conducting together with the university.

In mid-February, CNF reported on the IOHK’s ADA donation of $500,000 to the University of Wyoming. The donation was primarily intended to support the promotion of innovative blockchain applications using smart contracts. In addition, details were announced of the establishment of a new research center that is part of the University of Wyoming’s Blockchain Research and Development Laboratory.

Development of authentication solution using Cardano (ADA)

In his video, Hoskinson highlighted the importance of authentication and anti-counterfeiting for the industry. As he explained, there are solutions that have emerged over the past 15 years to both supply chain issues. However, according to Hoskinson, they are not really “user-friendly”. In this context, IOHK and the University of Wyoming are investigating the development of a chip with a specific purpose. According to Hoskinson, the chip will be a secure hardware module that can perform cryptographic operations:

Basically the idea is that you have safe circuits that are anti tampering. When you’re manipulating it, it’s hard to get things off that chip, they’re isolated from the rest of the operating system. Basically you can use this to store and use private keys. These chips, once you design them, can be very small and they can also have things like NFC or RFID all sorts of cool antenna things they can do and they are extremely cheap to make (…).

Hoskinson explained that the chips can also be used to assign, store and transmit signal signatures. The University of Wyoming, as stated, will work on developing this hardware solution. Its role, according to Hoskinson, will be to explore the technical and commercial requirements behind the construction of such a chip. Once a list of these requirements is finished, the partners will enter a prototype design stage.

Hoskinson continued to say that the entire work will be open source and IOHK intends to use it in the Cardano ecosystem. In that sense, the “Strawman Solution” will be used alongside the multi-asset standard that Cardano will implement in its Shelley or Goguen era.

What we will do is issue an authentication token and that will be done with a special role that will be fulfilled in the supply chain, we will call it the Authenticator. When you create (a product), somewhere in the supply chain, the chip will be inserted (into the product). Then, the authenticator, in the supply chain, will examine (the product), the history and when it is satisfied it will say ‘ok, that’s fine’ and issue a transaction that will send one of the authentication tokens to the TPM (Trusted Platform Module).

Hoskinson said the IOHK proposal would change the problem from a one-to-many situation to a one-to-one situation. This represents progress in itself, according to Hoskinson. In addition, he emphasized that this is a huge project which will take a joint effort with the University of Wyoming. Therefore, he expects the project’s development to extend beyond 2020.

The representative of the 1st District of the Wyoming House, Tyler Lindhold, referred to the progress that the IOHK has made with the University of Wyoming. Lindholm was enthusiastic and proud of the progress being made at the University of Wyoming.

Below you can watch the full video of Charles Hoskinson explaining the project:

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Reynaldo Marquez has closely followed the growth of Bitcoin and blockchain technology since 2016. He has since worked as a columnist on crypto coins covering advances, falls and rises in the market, bifurcations and developments. He believes that crypto coins and blockchain technology will have a great positive impact on people's lives.

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