When slock.it was first founded, the goal was to enable smart locks to be controlled through Ethereum-based smart contracts, hence the name slock.it. Slock stood for a secure, safe, or smart lock (your pick); “slock.it” was the call to action to use a smart contract-enabled lock (“slock”) to lock something in a way that someone would pay to use it, thereby enabling a decentralized sharing economy.

Well, that was 2015 and we have evolved substantially such that we are no longer focusing on smart locks. First, we developed the world’s smallest blockchain client (in terms of size and footprint: ~300kb) called Incubed (IN3) — which can be used for IoT, mobile, and other applications. Then, after our successful M&A with Blockchains, we were no longer an independent company and our scope tremendously increased to not only focus on IoT, but to develop a technology platform on top of the Ethereum chain capable of empowering individuals with greater control of their digital assets, better protection through professional key management, and freedom of choice and customization when navigating the Web3. …

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A new era is starting for slock.it.

Looking back at the history of slock.it, we have had a lot of ups and some downs. In spring 2015, my brother Simon and I began working on prototypes for smart locks connected to the Ethereum blockchain that would use smart contracts to handle access-control permissions. We presented the first prototype on June 30 at the Bitdevs NYC MeetUp in Manhattan.

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Booking an apartment through our mobile app, paying for it, and opening a DanaLock based on events in a smart contract

After working for the Ethereum Foundation for about a year and a half as a lead tester, I officially founded slock.it together with Simon and Stephan Tual, the former CCO of Ethereum. We made our first public announcements at Devcon1 in London. …

Enabling the economy of things

Exploring the field of technical devices means exploring new technologies and understanding the world around us. In recent years, we’ve learned that interaction with software is first and foremost screen-based. But that is changing now. As the machine to machine interaction as well as the machine to human interaction become more and more important, they open up new possibilities for us to experience the world around us. The more devices are connected to each other, the more possibilities they offer us. This change provides a completely new way for users to experience their private and work lives.

Most of us are familiar with human to machine interaction, in short: We as humans pay a machine to do a certain service for us. In these times of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, an example could look like this: We pay a smart door lock to give us access to the apartment behind. Or we pay a smart bike lock to let us use a bicycle. We can also pay a smart power plug to turn on the power of any connected machine. …

Christoph Jentzsch

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