Ruff Chain: Address the Issues of IoT Standardization and Security with Blockchain Technology


As the foundation for connecting the real world with the virtual world, the Internet of Things (IoT) has always attracted much attention. Whether in the artificial intelligence revolution or blockchain technology, IoT will always remain an underlying architecture, providing valuable and usable digital recourses. Nonetheless, tons of issues yet to be addressed still exist in IoT at present.

The first issue is fragmentation. Since the day of its birth, IoT is in fragmentation. The omnipresent sharing bikes on the streets are networked, but different types of bikes require different apps to unlock them; moreover, as for those similarly networked sensor doors, infrared lamps, smoke detectors and coffee vending machines, their networks are also separated and closed, so that even products of the same type are fragmented, not to mention those of different types.

Then, can the issue of fragmentation be addressed? The answer is yes. One way of eliminating fragmentation is to introduce a unified operating system and the concept of middleware, compatible with fragmented hardware devices and providing a unified programming interface.

Apart from the fragmentation issue, standardization is a central issue that has plagued and hindered the widespread application of the Internet of Things. IT technologies are standardized. Personal computers interact with the server through the HTTP protocol, presented on the browser, which is a kind of standardization. The all-network broadcast among bitcoin nodes is also standardized. In terms of standardization, the entire IoT industry has tried for over two decades. There are physical layer standards such as WiFi, BLE and ZigBee as well as those for industrial networks such as Modbus, Profibus and Industrial Ethernet. Although different standards are incompatible, no standard at the application layer has been promoted; when Equipment B is successfully connected with Equipment B, Equipment A knows nothing about the operation or the instruction for requesting Equipment B. Even worse, different drivers and different protocols of different software suppliers for the same type of equipment are incompatible, difficult to interact.

Finally, there also exist many difficulties in the large-scale application and safe application of IoT. Firstly, chips, modules, equipment, networks, platforms, applications, data and services etc are a rather long industrial chain in itself, involving numerous and jumbled hardware equipment technologies and software service technologies, with no fully opened market channel, leading to slow value transmission effect. Secondly, the cooperation, trust and value systems among various users, physical objects, sensor control equipment, service platforms, supervision platforms and third party resource systems etc in the industry are not sound, causing great difficulty for IoT to integrating into industries. Lastly, most centralized IoT platforms held by manufacturers or service providers possess the power to collect and analyze users’ data and control users’ equipment without their authorization, posing a great threat to users’ privacy and security.

Well, based on the issues of fragmentation and standardization, Ruff offers a brand new solution, namely, Ruff OS — an IoT operating system that enables operation of hardware by abstracting hardware and calling program libraries. It employs JavaScript, which has numerous developers, as the programming language, enabling the same application code to be operated on different boards, without the need for cross compiling or board programming; it can be tested on PC and deployed for IoT application with one click, so that IoT fragmentation and standardization issues are addressed at the application layer.

Next, programming languages are applied for hardware development to eliminate the gap between hardware and software. By December 2017, 13521 engineers had registered at the Ruff community globally, and over half of them had purchased Ruff development boards and deployed codes.

In terms of the security of large-scale IoT application, Ruff, as an architecture combining IoT with blockchain, includes a distributed operating system and an open main chain so that the peer-to-peer network and consensus mechanism of virtual world are extended offline to enable the information flow to drive the atomic flow.

To put it simply, the blockchain-based distributed ledger may provide Ruff-platform IoT applications with support of trust, ownership records, transparency and communications. Besides, in addition to public chains, private chains will be developed in Ruff to store transaction information in a highly secured way. With centralized server cell phones and data-storing IoT architecture, information may be written into local ledgers and keep synchronized with other local ledgers, guaranteeing the security and uniqueness of facts.

All the IoT transactions on the blockchain will be added with time stamps to guarantee their availability for future generations. Additionally, blockchain digital protocols or smart contracts can be applied to blockchain data, to implement commercial clauses in IoT communications, guaranteeing the effectiveness and security of IoT in large-scale applications. Lastly, blockchains with high-end encryption technologies can help the public chains of Ruff IoT, when used, to reach the highest security standard.

Established in 2014, with edge calculations as its core, Ruff has replaced the original embedded operating system. It currently has over ten thousand developers and is the most common IoT operating system in the industry. Its team members are all from well-known tech companies, such as Nokia, Alipay and Intel, as well as thirty 2017 Forbes China under-30 elite members.

In future, Ruff will be a brand new IoT-based underlying architecture platform, characterized by decentralization, openness, open source and high efficiency. In ecosystem, different participants may provide resources to acquire token returns or consume tokens to acquire resources and share resources to form an economically-driven autonomy.