Multiversing the Blockchain Cracks Open the Epic Potential of AI and IoT

Blake Burris 🏔
FLUX Protocol
Published in
6 min readJul 18, 2018


The Internet of Things (IoT) — where hardware speaks through the internet — and artificial intelligence (AI) — where software anticipates the future’s best solution — are the world’s next tech frontiers. They are bigger than what the internet was 25 years ago.

Little work has been done to make these two worlds combine eloquently and efficiently. But the tech company Flux unlocks the best of IoT and AI using a new military-based, blockchain-fueled hardware that speaks the language of both worlds to better our world.

Source: Digital Nature

Silo Building

It’s good to store grain in silos. That’s how the Egyptians made it through a decade of drought. But with data, not so much. Problems exist in AI and IoT, in really making them both come to life beyond Siri and Alexa. This is because the realms of IoT and AI have been owned by the “big business thinking” that centralizing and holding on to data is the way to build a billion-dollar company. The challenges that Mark Zuckerberg faces with threats of global mutiny based on Facebook show how people expect and want more from their data and contributions. Monsanto, a global seed and pesticide company, was scandalized so badly by its silo thinking and practices that it was forced to merge with another global superpower.

Tower of Babel Thinking

The companies that build IoT sensors or offer cloud-based IoT platforms have done little to make their solutions compatible with third-party developer communities, hoping to become the next Apple but ending up more like a Betamax machine. The same is true of AI platforms, which also tend to be highly proprietary, each operating in its own universe. Although we all know the decentralized nature of blockchain technology could make IoT and AI open, transparent, efficient and smart, most stakeholders in these communities have had little incentive to embrace open, decentralized, blockchain-based protocols.

Flux, a hardware-enabled blockchain chip, will solve this. This MICO chip runs AI and open-sourced IoT hardware on an open environmental data standard, making it possible to collect data from a range of disparate realms.

Why should ExxonMobil or Chevron care about the price of tomatoes in Portugal? Or Chase Bank the effects of dwindling milk production in India? This is where Flux comes to life. The protocol leverages data, which may seem disparate or inconsequential, to gain critical insights in areas such as commodities trading, climate shifts for environmental health, agriculture and livestock. In Flux’s multiverse language, the blockchain runs in unlimited “universes,” not just linearly, not only ensuring data is open and transparent but rewarding those who contribute data and research to the global community.

How We Are Multiversing:

Data Silos Analysts predict that the planet will have more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. That number represents enormous potential for humans to monitor and study the world in a way that was never before possible. Maybe we can cure cancer, produce flying cars and help create enough minimal-impact food for a future of abundance?

Yet there is one major problem standing in the way of humanity’s ability to make the most of all of this data: Most of the companies that develop IoT devices or IoT data protocols rely on proprietary technology — which you’d expect since there’s historically been little incentive for these companies to collaborate with one another or share their data or technology with a broad ecosystem.

As a result, the vast majority of the data collected by IoT devices remains siloed away, accessible only to the particular group that collects or owns it. These are the same multinational companies threatened by the promise of blockchain to “decentralize everything!” Our ability to derive major insights from the IoT is therefore strictly limited…but not for much longer. Think about how the Bluetooth standard changed everything for putting devices online at home and at play.

An ancillary problem is the fact that the technology necessary to study and analyze IoT data to the greatest effect is also inaccessible to many individuals and organizations, such as researchers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Although AI has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, many of the tools necessary to process data using AI — like the machine-learning platforms hosted by public cloud providers such as Google and Amazon — are expensive, centralized and based on proprietary technology. And guess who is yearning for global domination? Amazon and Google.

The Solution: The Flux Protocol and the TARA Alliance

What if anyone could combine together data from a multitude of IoT-based sources and then analyze it using freely available AI tools, just like Bluetooth united all device manufacturers? In IoT, the problems are infinitely more complex.

That is precisely what Flux aims to enable: To make complex devices, their ports and collection points, their software and standards, their meters and yards, all of this to speak one language.

Three bridges make it work:

  1. The TARA Alliance, a token-curated registry (TCR) of organizations that share IoT data via an open protocol and use the data to learn important insights about the environment and natural systems.
  2. Perception Engines, an AI system that members of the TARA Alliance can leverage to set up machine-learning models in order to study a particular question using the data collected by the Flux ecosystem of IOT-connected sensors and data.
  3. MICO-based sensors and systems, inexpensive, open-source hardware that allows anyone to produce and contribute IoT data capsules from connected sensors. Data capsules are packets of information collected via a data encapsulation protocol as established by the TARA Alliance. Alliance members can utilize data capsules on the network via Perception Engines to derive insights.

By combining these three solutions together, Flux makes it possible for anyone to leverage the power of IoT data in conjunction with AI to learn more about the health of the planet that we all depend on to survive and for unlocking a new era of abundance accessible to an unprecedented percentage of mankind. We don’t see the future of AI-enabled IoT devices as a threat, but as a way to free up more time so humanity can live more abundantly.

Leading by Example

What does Flux mean in practice? To understand, consider how Flux could help us to understand the trends and consequences associated with climate shifts in Africa.

Currently, no organization possesses anything close to a complete data set regarding the historical or current state of the climate in Africa. To collect this data would require deploying low-cost IoT sensors (provided by Flux or a third party) to study a variety of different data points, from soil desertification and the health of trees to rainfall amounts and satellite imagery. You’d then need to be able to combine these disparate data sources together — a task made difficult by the lack of an open IoT data-sharing standard. Sure, Climate Corp is handy, but it only collected data that was basically already open source anyway. We will connect all the points, for the first time in history.

With Flux, it will be simple for anyone to deploy the IoT devices needed to collect the types of data described above using MICO-enabled sensor nodes, to share that data via the TARA Alliance and to study it using Flux Perception Engines. We’d gain much deeper insight into the state of the climate in Africa, without needing to rely on any centralized organization to collect and process the data. We open up opportunities for new device and sensor manufacturers and reward those who contribute meaningful data to the network.

An Abundant Future for All

The confluence of IoT, AI and blockchain technologies holds enormous promise for developing critical data-driven knowledge into questions that we cannot yet answer. To date, no tools combine these three technologies together in an effective way.

With Flux, however, this combination becomes possible — and so does the unlocking of vital new insights that will help answer some of the most pressing questions facing our planet today.

Flux enables an equitable future of abundance, a future where we spend less time in the office, the field or factory and more time doing that which we love — a future where underdogs in developing nations live on par with those of the West, a vision that reverses the damage we’ve done to our planet — and that’s something we can all support!



Blake Burris 🏔
FLUX Protocol

Engineering Sovereignism. Father. Fisherman. Mountaineer