The MXC Foundation is building the Machine eXchange Protocol (MXProtocol) to connect wireless IoT sensors with permissionless blockchains. As these sensors are wireless, and often mobile (bike sharing, asset location management, facilities), we are also creating a smart bidding platform for sensors to connect with base stations owned by others, paying a tiny bit of MXC (Machine eXchange Coin) for that connection. The whole system runs on low power wide area networks (LPWAN) - and anybody can participate.
Because we expect LPWAN to be the center of Smart City development, we are preparing for massive deployment by adding an anti-collision coordinator to keep wireless signals from colliding; ensuring more reliable connections throughout the shared network.
With all of this, also comes data management. Sensor owners can easily sell their data to companies, apps, or even governments. This can be done individually, or via smart contracts using the Interchain Data Market included in MXProtocol. Naturally - this data will also be purchased using MXC.
Questions about LPWAN
Low power wide access networks provide long-range communication between devices and gateways (up to 40 kilometers). A major benefit of LPWAN technology is that one LPWAN sensor can transmit data up to 10 years on a single battery charge.
A complete network contains sensors, gateways and a server to manage and make sense of the incoming flow of data. For example, a farmer might have a sensor in a field to measure soil moisture. This sensor then:
LPWAN functions as a blanket term describing both NB-IoT and LoRaWAN networks (and a few others). NB-IoT is an LPWAN network set up by cellular providers. Because of this, NB-IoT always costs money to access and a company wishing to use a network in an area without service, waits for the provider to deploy the network. If service is interrupted, the company using it must again wait for the provider to fix it.
In contrast, anybody can set up a LoRaWAN network because it uses unlicensed frequencies. This places the management of the service fully in the hands of the company or individual wishing to use it. At the MXC Foundation, we commonly refer to LoRaWAN when using the acronym LPWAN.
4G is a network built to transmit large amounts of data, and in doing so requires a considerable amount of power. In contrast, a single LPWAN gateway uses very little power and LPWAN sensors use even less. Because an LPWAN uses so little power, it is possible for a single sensor to transmit up to 10 years without changing or charging the battery.
During peak hours, 4G slows down considerably. This happens because so many people are trying to use it. When considering that IHS Markit projected that in 2030 more there will be more than 125 billion connected devices, it is easy to see why having a network dedicated to devices is
Most smart devices only send small amounts of data, easily managed by an LPWAN network. So in this case, LPWAN is a network for devices, whereas LTE is a network for people.
Have you ever driven on a toll road or used a bridge that charged a toll? This toll is a result of a private company owning and maintaining that road or bridge. Wireless frequencies function much in the same way. Some frequencies are owned by companies who purchase them to resell access to their customers. Other frequencies, referred to as “unlicensed radio frequencies” are reserved by the government for public use. This is why it is possible for individuals or companies to set up a LoRaWAN Gateway without having to pay a monthly fee.
Most homes have a WiFi router that creates a wireless network that people use to access the internet. An LPWAN Gateway is the “router” providing network access for LPWAN devices.
Questions about MXProtocol
Protocols are used to determine how devices communicate. Most people use protocols daily without realizing it. For example, hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is the standard used to load most websites today (including this one).
MXProtocol will be the standard used for machine to machine (M2M) communication between LPWAN devices. Using MXProtocol will solve the problem of data collision on LPWAN networks and create the platform for smart bidding, and data trade between permissionless blockchains.
Remember walkie-talkies? Or two-way radios? These radios were the perfect way for people to communicate over short distances. Unfortunately, if more than one person attempted to talk at the same time, the messages were lost. This happened because two or more people attempted to send data using the same frequency at exactly the same time, resulting in data collision and data loss.
Frequencies function like train tracks. Only one train can travel on one track at the same time. When two devices try to send data over a single frequency at the same time, the data collides and is lost.
Smart bidding is the automated auction of unused LPWAN resources.
Due to government oversight of unlicensed frequencies, a downlink in an LPWAN network is a precious commodity. In an attempt to reduce data collision, governments set specific time intervals that a device transmitting over an LPWAN must wait before sending the next bit of data.
Smart bidding allows people to trade unused downlinks for MXC (Machine eXchange Coin). We described exactly how this is done in our technical white paper.
Most of us know that there are a lot of cryptocurrencies providing traditional data markets that allow a data owner to securely transmit data to the consumer, as long as they’re using the same blockchain. Our interchain data market builds a bridge between blockchains, allowing data trade from one blockchain to another.
Data collected by an LPWAN sensor can be sold and used in applications built for other blockchains; greatly increasing the potential market for this data. The interchain data market also provides the opportunity for third parties to build APIs; allowing a data feed from a sensor to be purchased live and integrated into an app or website. We described exactly how this is done in our technical white paper.
Permissionless blockchains allow anyone to create an address and connect with them. These are the decentralized blockchain solutions that you most commonly hear about. A blockchain that is not permissionless is often controlled by a single entity.
Ethereum is an example of a permissionless blockchain.
A sharing economy is often a platform allowing people to share things they own with other people for a fee. With MXC, the sharing economy refers to individuals or companies sharing LPWAN access, or data collected with an LPWAN connected sensor.
End-to-end encryption is a security feature that prevents people from “listening in” and stealing your data. Before a message leaves your sensor, it is encrypted, making it look like nonsense to anybody else trying to take it. This encrypted data is sent through a gateway until it reaches your server which then decrypts the data so that it can be used.
Questions about MXC
Automating machine to machine (M2M) payments between devices was a challenge. First, we wanted to ensure that people only paid for exactly for the service they received. That means if you sent one bit of data, then you only pay for one bit of data (likely valued at a small portion of a cent). We then needed to be sure that each service provided is properly paid for.
Devices connected to LPWANs are also global (you can even see many of them here). We wanted to ensure that everybody could participate without discussing which currency
The only solution available to solve these problems is cryptocurrency. It can be broken down into a fraction of a coin, it can be quickly and automatically sent between devices, and each payment is then visible and verifiable in the blockchain. With everybody using a cryptocurrency there is no need to discuss currencies, international payments and which party has to pay the inevitable bank fees.
To solve all of this, we created the MXC - the Machine eXchange Coin.