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Major semiconductor firm Infineon launches blockchain hardware security solution

nfc card

Yesterday Infineon Technologies unveiled SECORA, a blockchain security solution that uses an NFC cryptochip. By attaching it to a product of placing it behind a label, a user can scan the item to authenticate the product’s identity, which means SECORA is an anti-counterfeit solution. It also provides cards with the chip inbuilt, so it could be used for wallets or to store keys for blockchain or other solutions.

German-based Infineon has a market capitalization of more than €35 billion and this week reported sales for the year ending September 2020 of €8.6 billion. That was up seven percent year on year despite COVID-19.

One of the challenges of blockchain is linking the real and digital worlds. Data is stored via a blockchain and the identity is securely stored on the NFC cryptochip. The combination enables several applications, such as ensuring the product’s authenticity or simply tracing its sustainability. It could even be used for limited edition collectible items.

Infineon envisages numerous sectors where it could be used from fashion to electronics and healthcare.

One of the key advantages is enhanced security because the cryptochip stores the keys securely and blockchain is hard to tamper with. Hence there is both hardware and software enhanced security.

We suspect the management of private keys will be an attractive solution. Mobile phones have secure enclaves. But anything that’s online always has some level of risk. And some people have a habit of mislaying their phones. 

Instead, if the keys for wallets or business applications are stored on a small physical card, it’s an alternative way to manage the risks.

Developers can buy a pack of ten cards and use Infineon’s software development kit to program apps. The solution is compatible with many blockchain technologies, with the only limitation being the cryptography used. Infineon mentions Ethereum and Bitcoin and provides some sample code for Ethereum. Based on the cryptographic cipher (secp256k1), we believe it’s also compatible with R3’s Corda, Hyperledger Sawtooth and others.

Infineon worked with Austrian startup block42 to integrate the SECORA Blockchain solution with applications. Last week it partnered with the Singapore Government-backed Tribe accelerator to encourage the adoption of SECORA.

Blockchain has been combined with numerous anti-counterfeit solutions from DNA tagging to etching into products, intelligent labels and counterfeit proof paper labels.

But the combination of Infineon’s cards and development kit allows programmers to experiment, which could prove valuable.

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