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btcltcdigger 01 Jan 1970 03:00

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Reaching a machine-negotiated consensus
The last few years has seen an explosion of interest in distributed ledger systems which operate on consensus algorithms and are not controlled by a central authority. Although such systems have been in use in various guises for many thousands of years, their recent popularity stems from the Bitcoin blockchain algorithm and its many successors which use network nodes and cryptographic techniques to verify transactions in a public ledger. Much work has been done in considering the general economic advantages and disadvantages of such systems, as well as addressing general technical problems which include but are not limited to simple consensus and authority. However, there remains a number of specific problems which relate to applications for ‘machine-to-machine’ (M2M) interactions. Chief amongst these are the challenges of reaching a machine-negotiated consensus, delivering higher ledger throughput, and achieving an appropriate level of utility.

The future of M2M Negotiation
The human world sees complex negotiations occurring between multiple people as a routine part of everyday life. These might be as trivial as a shopper agreeing to purchase goods at the advertised price, or as complex as an agreement between multiple business counterparties to deliver a range of goods and services with multiple interdependencies. Negotiating the specific case of an agreement to buy at an advertised price is itself trivial, and can straightforwardly be synthesised by an algorithm that accepts or declines execution of the contract according to one or more simple parameters.

What does that mean for you?
We are about to enter a world of billions of Internet capable devices with forecasts of over 20 billion IoT (‘Internet-of-Things’) devices globally by 2020 (source: Gartner on 7 Feb 2017 see https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3598917) and by 2035 ARM (the world’s largest computer chip company) forecasting over 1 trillion IoT devices in place by 2035 https://readwrite.com/2017/07/26/arm-iot-2035-dl1/
These devices will become even more capable with AI (Artificial Intelligence) making such devices even more powerful. However, if these devices are to be more than just pieces of metal and plastic connected to the Internet, they need a means by which they can reach sophisticated, commercial agreements between themselves completely autonomously without human intervention.

The Railz protocol has been designed to enable these billions of IoT devices to negotiate sophisticated commercial or other agreements between themselves without any human intervention. And that each agreement reached is the best possible agreement that could be reached between both parties, a so called mathematically proven ‘optimised consensus’.

The Future
Imagine a world where a self-driving electric vehicle (EV) approaches a traffic light and stops above a ‘wireless’ charging point in the road. With Railz, the EV and charging point could carry out a negotiation to buy or sell spare electricity with each other (depending on pricing), either to top up the EV batteries or sell the EV’s spare capacity onto a local or National Grid. Note: the city of Milton Keynes in England already operates

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Our goal is to enable a trillion IoT devices to be able to conduct sophisticated commerce, self-organise into supply chains, trade autonomously without human intervention.

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