New tech allows crypto users to mint NFTs with ‘proof of presence’


The latest product from IoTeX, a privacy-focused platform for the Internet of Things, reportedly brings the concept of a smartphone’s trusted execution environment with real-world data to the crypto space.

Head of business development at IoTeX Larry Pang told Cointelegraph that the firm’s Pebble Tracker, a device capable of recording and encrypting data from the physical world, offers a new way to bring data ownership to users. Pebble Tracker is reportedly able to capture data including location, temperature, air quality, motion, and even light levels and record it securely for a variety of blockchain-related applications.

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The technology is aimed at allowing the device owners as well as third parties to verify the authenticity of the data. This would reportedly allow use cases including healthcare providers verifying the temperature of COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of their journey from manufacturer to injection, but also provide a new way to incorporate real-world data to non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Comparing IoTeX’s “Pebble Go” project to the popular Pokemon Go smartphone game, Pang said the tech was designed so that users can’t easily spoof locations — as many did to capture rare Pokemon in the game — but instead “use verifiable GPS data to mint NFTs that prove you were at a certain place at a certain time.”

“This technology can be used to absolutely verify the proof of presence of a person,” said Pang.

“A lot of the use cases of NFTs are about clout — ‘I have this, I’m the owner of it’ — even though you can see this JPG on the internet […] The next step for NFTs is not to prove you have reputation that’s transitive from someone else but if you have reputation that says ‘I have a collection of NFTs that were only mintable under verifiable conditions.'”

Though this approach may not necessarily be applicable to some popular NFTs — for example, Jack Dorsey’s tokenized genesis tweet — it could be easily be used for sports digital collectibles issued at games, with the location of the venue verified and minted. As the space is experiencing a boom in the quantity and value of NFTs, the demand for quality in terms of additional verification and data, may also rise.

“If we didn’t have this kind of model, then at every checkpoint there would need to be a group of validators that validate that this data is correct,” said Pang. “It’s a level of verifiability that really connects the physical and digital world in a new way.”

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Author: Turner Wright

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