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#229 Ryan John King: FOAM - A Geospatial Proof of Location Protocol for Blockchains and Dapps

Published on April 4th, 2018 by epicenterbitcoin


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In just over ten years, geospatial tracking has gone from being a niche technology used by the military and outdoor enthusiasts to mass adoption, available to just about every connected device in existence. GPS and other location-tracking systems not only allows us to find our way and share our location but is critical to businesses and governments. However, while GPS has become a standard thanks to its accuracy and availability, decentralized applications can't rely on its location data as it can be easily spoofed and lacks reliability.

We're joined by Ryan John King, CEO of FOAM, a blockchain protocol which aims to offer secure location services independent of external centralized sources such as GPS. FOAM introduces a novel crypto-spacial coordinate system that is better suited to blockchains than standard addresses or latitude and longitude coordinates. It also provides a Proof of Location Protocol, which leverages long-range low-power radio networks, and incentive mechanisms, allowing network participants to arrive at consensus on whether an event or agent is verifiably at a particular point in time and space.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Ryan's background and how he became involved in the space
  • How geospatial tracking works and the pitfalls of GPS
  • The vision for FOAM and the problem it is trying to solve
  • The proposed Crypto-Spatial Coordinate Standard
  • FOAM's Spacial Index fullstack visualizer
  • The Proof of Location Protocol proposed by FOAM
  • Low-power radio networks and their role in the system
  • The civil and business applications for FOAM

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Epicenter is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sébastien Couture & Meher Roy.

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