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Xage reveals new IoT blockchain security innovations

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California-based Xage Security announced yesterday that it has developed two innovations which improve security and scalability on its blockchain platform. The firm, focused on industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications, revealed a ‘supermajority’ consensus protocol for cross-business use and a hierarchical tree to support blockchain synchronization.

Xage uses blockchain in its Fabric security product, allowing for efficient detection of cyberattacks such as compromised passwords or policies. The technology enables tamper-proofing in that details stored separately across a decentralized network are checked against one another regularly. If something looks amiss, it’s easily found.

One of the new innovations makes this checking more efficient and reliable. Xage claims its hierarchical tree system in Fabric now allows local blockchain updates to sync with global updates without compromising security.

Essentially, a consensus must be first formed among local nodes to enable a local update. Then it is synced with the global blockchain which revalidates the local updates, overriding any issues and accepting only valid changes. This hierarchical solution ensures that work can continue even when a local node is disconnected from the global network.

The second innovation aims to improve trust between different organizations sharing a blockchain. Xage gives an example of two collaborating firms of varying size; one has 6000 nodes and one 4000. With conventional methods, the smaller company could be out-voted on decisions benefitting only the larger company.

Xage’s solution means that consensus can only be reached when a majority of both companies agree. So, most of the 6000 nodes and most of the 4000 nodes must vote ‘yes’ for a decision to go through.

The firm’s CEO, Duncan Greatwood, said: “The Xage Fabric’s hierarchical blockchain and supermajority consensus ensure secure multi-party collaboration and governance, and improved operations and efficiency across rich industrial ecosystems.”

He added: “With these technological innovations, we’re creating an unparalleled level of support for cooperation and protection at scale, empowering major industries as they undergo digital transformation.”

Last year, Xage completed its Series A funding round with $12 million from firms including GE Ventures and March Capital Partners. Since then, it has been granted five patents for its use of blockchain for IoT security and won a research grant from the US Dept of Energy. Just two weeks ago, Xage partnered with ComEd to secure distributed energy resources.