CES—the name stands for Consumer Electronics Show—is one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows. It takes place every year in Las Vegas, Nevada, with big electronics brands including Sony and Samsung descending on the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off their high-tech concept cars and TikTok-friendly vertical TVs.
Dotted throughout the sprawling exhibition halls at CES 2020 were a collection of blockchain companies, each pushing their products at anyone who so much as glanced their way. So what are the best blockchain products to come out of CES this year?
CES 2020: IoTeX Ucam blockchain security camera
Hesitant to trust security camera networks run by the likes of Wyze and Amazon after they both suffered major security breaches in recent weeks? Don’t blame ya.
But never fear, blockchain’s here. Californian company IoTeX has come out with Ucam, a new blockchain-powered security camera.
Larry Pang, who runs IoTeX’s business development, told Decrypt that existing security camera companies “have to make caveats, saying ‘we won’t look at your data, we promise, but we do have cloud admins that have full access to the data’.” Amazon recently revealed that it’s fired workers for accessing customers’ Ring videos.
By contrast, IoTeX’s blockchain network, which supports the blockchain security camera, runs on a tamper-proof, immutable ledger, meaning that only you have access to your data. And all for under fifty bucks!
It shoots in full 1080p, swivels at all the angles you could possibly desire, and is water-resistant to boot. It can connect to a Wi-Fi network or over Ethernet, and is small enough to sit on your bookcase. It’s expected to launch at the end of the month.
CES 2020: SecuX offline crypto point of sale terminal
Cryptocurrency, long sold as digital cash, is still surprisingly difficult to use. Few shops actually accept it as a genuine alternative to credit cards, debit cards, or cash.
But people want it, presumes Taiwanese payments system’s producer SecuX, so the company’s decided to make a new crypto payments terminal. Its new offering comprises a mobile app, payment module, and hardware wallet. It’s built to work anywhere, from your gym’s vending machine to the mom and pop grocery store down the road.
So here’s how it works: imagine you’re at a hot dog stand, you’re willing to overlook the myriad inconveniences of paying in crypto for the thrill of being able to say you paid for your chili dog in crypto. You whip out your smartphone and scan a QR code on a system run by SecuX.
Your phone connects to SecuX’s server, which processes the transaction. SecuX sends a signal back to your phone, confirming the transaction. Your phone then transmits a signal to our forgotten hero, the hot dog stand owner. Upon completion, the stand owner hands over your delicious, sloppy snack. Are you satisfied? No, of course not. You’ve got chili all over your shirt.
CES 2020: Watch Skins crypto-collectible smartwatch faces
Now “Watch” this, reads a press release for Watch Skins, a new company that sells blockchain smartwatch faces. Ha! These watch skins are crypto-collectibles (like CryptoKitties), meaning that ownership is logged on a blockchain, and each watch skin is a unique, customizable non-fungible token (NFT).
What does it do? Consider it a blockchain-ified, tamper-proof, middle-man-less watch face; ownership of the NFT can be transferred on a marketplace.
CEO Collin Knock said that Watch Skins is “adding an amazing amount of utility to the blockchain” by tying together smart wearables, licensing and crypto-collectibles. “We’ve had a very positive response from respected minds in the crypto space,” he added, noting that it’s preparing to launch the sale of the WATCH utility token on a “major cryptocurrency exchange”.
Knock told Decrypt that he’s also in talks with high profile brands to create licensed Watch Skins, but didn’t want to give the details away to avoid scuppering lucrative deals.
CES 2020: IBM doubles the power of its quantum computer
IBM took to the stage at CES 2020 to announce that it had successfully achieved a Quantum Volume of 32 using its 28-qubit quantum computer, Raleigh. Quantum Volume describes the complexity of problems that a quantum computer can solve—IBM's managed to double the Quantum Volume of its computers every year since 2016. IBM's 28-qubit machine is a long way off the 2,500 qubit processing power needed to crack Bitcoin's encryption, but if IBM keeps up its current rate of progress, crypto will need to prepare itself—and soon.
CES 2020: ToothPic smartphone camera key authentication
Blockchain company ToothPic exploits unique imperfections hidden within every smartphone's camera sensor, embedded into them as part of the production process. That means that every smartphone has a unique fingerprint, which, ToothPic claims, can be used to authenticate your keys.
CES 2020: IBM puts coffee on the blockchain
IBM's latest addition to its IBM Food Trust blockchain is your morning cup of joe. The new Thank My Farmer app, developed by Farmer Connect and announced at CES, enables customers to trace the complete history of the beans that went into their cup of coffee, from farm to roaster to grinder. "Through the blockchain and this consumer app, we're creating a virtuous cycle," said David Behrends, Founder and President of Farmer Connect.
CES 2020: My Sardines—a fishy story
“My Sardines, a leading Luxembourg start-up focused on stablecoins on the blockchain, today announced their public ICO of SARD2020 to take place today at 3pm during the CES conference in Las Vegas at the Luxfactory (Luxembourg National Booth) at Eureka Park,” read an email by one “Teena Touch”. Hehe, gotchoo—turns out it was just a prank. Though there is precedent for sticking seafood on the blockchain...
CES 2020: Blockchain Router
Want true decentralized access to the internet? One company, Blockchain Router, promises the “internet of the future,” today! Specifically, it promises to encrypt your connection as a way to obscure your identity. To showcase the project, they’ve created a music video.
CES 2020: Other noteworthy blockchain projects
- Trillbit: A blockchain system that establishes proof-of-presence using soundwaves
- Anote Music: A stock exchange for music rights
- Stokr: A blockchain marketplace for tokenized digital shares, backed by Luxembourg’s finance authority