Project Description

BlockTac: The Factory of Trust

Barcelona, Spain

Established in 2018

blocktac.com

Teaser of the company

BlockTac is a factory of trust: BlockTac fights fake consumer products and data with our certificates and single-use digital seals registered with Blockchain technology, designed for brand protection and consumer engagement. And with our Blockchain-of-things devices, that communicate directly with IoT sensors, encrypt the data, and store it in a public Blockchain. The information now becomes trusted and traceable, impossible to change, truly linked to its source.

BlockTac tested and validated the following blockchain-based solution in the scope of BlockStart:

Blockchain of Things Devices 

Blockchain of Things Devices

Our devices are autonomous Single Board Controllers (SBC) that collect information directly from IoT sensors or machines, encrypt the data, and store it in a public Blockchain. The information now becomes trusted and traceable, impossible to change, truly linked to its source. Privacy is fully protected, and potential scammers are immediately identified. We name these edge computers “Blockchain-of-Things” devices. This approach makes it impossible for third parties to amend or impersonate the real producers of the data, therefore protecting the training of AI systems, and reducing energy consumption. Our competitive advantage is unique and based on the high computing power, low size, and cost of the SBCs, with full compatibility and functionalities.

To further increase the security of our IoT devices, we have implemented a decentralized Key Management System (KMS) also based on Blockchain technology. The goal is to store key sensitive data in a decentralized and encrypted manner outside the device.

Our software may be used by third-party IoT platforms or SBC developers and is easily deployed through the use of Docker and Kubernetes.

This solution will protect IoT platforms and AI systems against data poisoning from cyberattacks. It may be applied in many industries: Automotive, Energy, Healthcare, Smart manufacturing, Smart Retail, Smart Buildings, Smart Homes, and Smart Cities.

Technical development during Prototype stage

During the development of Blockchain of Things Devices, the following technical developments have taken place:

  • Hardware developments: We have been working on scaling down the SBC’s firmware to achieve a faster, real-time capability of processing, slicing out unnecessary Linux capabilities. We have been able to optimize the firmware to execute specific scripts, run fewer services, and achieve faster and real-time capability of processing. This is now a more versatile device capable of serving solutions adequate to different applications, especially to Smart cities and Industry 4.0. This optimization also avoids sending data to an intermediate server for processing before registering the data in Blockchain. We have tested the functionalities that we need to implement and operate our devices: installing Python, SQLite, MQTT (broker and client), SSH availability, Bluetooth… All functions are working now correctly. We have achieved even higher optimization than expected and in smaller but equally powerful devices. We have been able to install the programs and fulfil all the requirements.

  • Decentralized key management: To increase the security of our IoT devices, we have implemented a decentralized Key Management System (KMS) that also uses Blockchain technology. The goal is to store sensitive data in a decentralized and encrypted manner outside the device. This allows us not to have passwords, private keys, addresses, IPs… stored in the device and be well protected. In addition, we may give permissions to the devices and specify which devices can perform certain functions.

  • Deployment and working with Docker: Our software may be deployed with Docker and Kubernetes. Docker is an open-source project for the deployment of software or applications inside “containers”. This provides a layer or encapsulation. Everything needed is installed and run inside this container, without affecting other software installed on the device or machine. In addition, it is also useful for software maintenance and portability.

Business development during Prototype stage

During the development of Blockchain of Things Devices, the following business developments have taken place:

  • Participating in the program has helped us to focus our efforts on the SMEs’ industries interested in the implementation of our solution: Smart cities and Smart Manufacturing. Accordingly, new materials and commercial presentations have been developed that will facilitate coming commercial activities in these industries.

  • The simultaneous opportunity of interacting with development teams specialized in IoT devices and Blockchain technology from the University of Arizona has allowed us to advance more quickly than expected in the optimization of the firmware of our devices and in the encrypting and registration processes of the data on the Blockchain. Some difficulties that would have taken longer to resolve in solitary have benefited from the cooperative work in an international context.

  • The companies interested in developing pilot projects with our devices are:

    • Atfield Technologies: Delivers solutions for the data-driven management of vineyards. Their platform combines advanced data modeling with tailor-made hardware to address the key challenges in sustainable viticulture.
    • Applied Research Solutions: Expertise in the industrial automation field, participating in projects in sectors such as oil and gas, automotive, food industry, chemical industry, urban utilities.
    • Advanced Microturbines: Manufacture autonomous microturbines for natural gas and water pipes. The microturbines for natural gas allow the real-time monitoring and control of gas networks reducing costs and CO2 emissions.
    • Qonteo: A data mining company using AI systems. Their solutions work in different industries: Accommodation and Food Services, Construction, Finance & Banking, Mining, Retail, Security, Smart Cities, Telecommunications, Tourism, Transportation.
  • We had the opportunity to carry out tests with data files of those companies. The encrypting, blockchain registration and verification processes have proven their viability. The mode of integration with their own devices or into their software platforms is part of the work to be developed in the pilot project phase.

  • From the go-to-market point of view, the introduction of any innovative and disruptive technology always faces the difficulties of capturing the attention of potential users. Participating in the BlockStart program has given us access to SMEs from different European countries, which can promote the faster implementation of pilot projects. This will contribute to greater visibility for our solution and will simplify the market entry processes. After the pilot project we will jointly enter in sales activities with partner SMSs in order to reach:

    • System Integrators (IBM, Accenture, Siemens)
    • Network Providers (Cisco, Verizon, Ericsson, AT&T )
    • Product Vendors (Eaton, Honeywell, ABB, Schneider, Siemens)
    • Service Providers (IBM, Serco, SAIC, Infosys)

Meet the Team

Francisco J. Guillén Martínez
Francisco J. Guillén MartínezCofounder & CEO
CEO, Founder of BlockTac. Founder of other successful ventures. Former Professor of Strategy at IESE Business School. He holds an MD, a Ph.D., and an MBA. Former Provost of 2 Universities. Experience of 25 years in Consultancy to different industries
Enrique Lizaso Olmos
Enrique Lizaso OlmosCofounder & R&D
R&D, Founder of BlockTac. Large experience in Finance. Holds a Degree in Mathematics, another in Computer Eng, an MD, a PhD and MBA from IESE. Experienced in Management, Sales, Finance, IT
Marta Romero García
Marta Romero GarcíaCOO
COO. She holds a Degree in Industrial Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, another degree in Management from the International University of Catalunya, and a MsC in Production Management from Politecnico di Torino
Maiol Valentí Bertran
Maiol Valentí BertranCTO
CTO. He holds a Degree in Multimedia Engineering from the University of Vic, where his Thesis Work was about Blockchain. He has worked before in IT for press groups (Regio 7; Diari de Girona)
Elisa Sánchez Polo
Elisa Sánchez PoloCSO
CSO. Large experience (20y+) in Commercial and Strategic Marketing and Digital departments of large companies. She holds a degree in Business Administration from UOC University, and another in Computing Engineering from the University of Alacant
Cristina Cantón Cuevas
Cristina Cantón CuevasBusiness Developer
Business Developer. She holds a Commercial degree and has a long trajectory on sales, having worked at Seifa Keller, SONPURA, and Telefónica Spain. She has also been Head of Sales in Heading2Mark and Red Komunica

BlockTac’s achievements

Media Features

For more information, you can download

Company Portfolio
Company Product Leaflet
Company Digital Seals Leaflet

“We faced two challenges at the start with our Blockchain-of-Things devices. The first had to do with the Deep Tech nature of our solution. Such innovation does not find an easy entry on the market and the prospect to interact with SMEs and to identify opportunities to implement Pilot projects had proved to be difficult. The second challenge was to select the best industries for a diligent market entry, given the crosswise nature of our solution.

As a result of our participation in the BlockStart program, we had the opportunity to meet SMEs interested in implementing our solution to ad higher value to their offers and eager for a join entry into specific industries. We have been able to improve our solution to better accommodate their needs and be ready to access the market in the following industries: Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, and Healthcare.”

FRANCISCO J. GUILLÉN MARTÍNEZ, CEO, BlockTac

Total funding received by HASHED BLOCKTAC S.L. under BlockStart:€16,000 (€1,000 for Ideation Kick-off and €15,000 for Prototype stage)