IOTA and Yallvend present vending machines at the CES 2020

  • Yallvend presents its first IOTA-based vending machine at CES 2020.
  • The vending machines will allow age restricted products to be purchased via a digital ID that is stored on the IOTA Tangle.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will run until January 10, 2020. IOTA is also present with its partners Yallvend and Biilabs. Together they are presenting the unmanned vending machines with age restriction developed by Yallvend in cooperation with BiiLabs. Currently, there is a worldwide problem that various products sold through vending machines require an identity check.

In Germany, for example, this is the case for cigarettes. In Japan, tobacco products and alcohols can be purchased through unnamed vending machines. However, there are various problems with this, which is why, for example, the number of alcohol vending machines in Japan has fallen rapidly from 180,000 in 1996 to 3,000 in 2018: on the one hand, it is possible to trick identity checks by means of ID cards (using a different ID card). On the other hand, even foreigners in Japan have to buy a TASPO card to legally purchase tobacco from vending machines.

To simplify identification at unmanned vending machines, BiiLabs has developed a solution that uses IOTA’s decentralized identifier technology (DIDs). The DIDs are used to provide secure and reliable ID authentication at vending machines.

The digital IDs could be issued by governments or the private sector, for example, and then stored tamper-proof on the IOTA Tange. Users can then easily verify their identity with their smartphone and DID when they make a purchase. The video below shows how the system works.

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Four steps are required for verification at the vending machine. First, the barcode must be scanned at the vending machine. In the second step, Yallvend’s app accesses the IOTA Tangle and checks whether a valid ID is present. If so, in the next step the user can enter how much money he wants to send to the machine. Besides Google Pay and Apple Pay, payment via IOTA is also possible. In the last step the user can choose the desired product at the vending machine.

Background to the project and BiiLabs

BiiLabs, a blockchain-as-a-service start-up, specializes in the development of distributed ledger technology. As one of the major supporters and active technology developers in Asia, BiiLabs works closely with the IOTA Foundation to promote the presence and development of IOTA Tangle technologies, as in the case of vending machines.

In early December 2019, the company announced that Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA and co-chairman of the IOTA Foundation, was appointed consultant to BiiLabs. Lman Chu, co-founder and CEO of BiiLabs explained at the time:

As the pioneer of BaaS provider, we are keen to establish this type of business model and promote the industrial ecosystem. We make efforts to make IOTA based software products and services go to market to enable distributed ledger technology (DLT) on enterprise applications while support the IOTA ecosystem members in developing solutions for certain scenarios such as smart mobility and energy.

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About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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