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IOTA: the future is now

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ICO Facts: Held on Q1 2015, Raised 1’337 Bitcoins

Token IOTA: Cryptocurrency supporting the IoT, issued in Genesis (no mining needed), a total hard cap supply of 2779530 Gi (10^9 IOTA). Largely tradable on Binance, Bitfinex.

In a nutshell: A futuristic, blockless, feeless distributed ledger technology protocol.

Editor’s Notes and Disclosure: The author holds no business stakes or dividends at the startup. This article is an informative one. Both the author and Decentral Magazine encourage our readers to seek advice from a financial advisor and do their due diligence before considering any investment.

Believe it when I say, this is probably the easiest blog title I had to come up with. When I started my good-old investigative work, it became obvious to me that IOTA’s future has nothing to do with speculations. This is the story of drones, communicating with self -driven cars, and utterly optimizing every decision-making process. This is the Economy of Things, the road to Industry 4.0 through the IOTA gate.

On December 1st, 2014, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley proclaimed the city to be the Industry 4.0 Demonstration City. For the fastest growing economy in the Midwest, hosting major 500 Fortune companies headquarters, the choice is loud and clear: it’s Smart factories.

In the upcoming economy branded “Economy of Things“, cyber-physical systems will be bosses and shift supervisors. They would monitor the physical processes of the factory and make decentralized decisions through the Internet of Things. They would communicate and cooperate both with each other and with humans, in real time, via the wireless web. And this is where IOTA comes into play.

Born in 2014, the project theorizes for a “distributed ledger with scalability, quantum resistance and decentralization for all IoT devices“. IOTA enables companies to explore new business-2-business models by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, with no fees. Here’s a great video to start with.

IOTA at a glance (Source: This Is IOTA, Youtube)

Obviously, getting a full grasp of the system’s capabilities and design features isn’t straightforward. I tried to simplify it as much as possible, knowing that, like most people out there, we are still learning by the day. Let’s dive deeper.

The Tangle

The IOTA Whitepaper is a great resource to drill down into details and understand the Tangle’s mathematical approach. Simply put, a tangle-based cryptocurrency works in the following way: when a new transaction arrives, it must approve two previous tips (i.e. unconfirmed transactions) as payment via “proof of work”. That’s the equivalent of the “gas” fueling Ethereum. Hence, the feeless feature of the Tangle.

Consequently, the network would look like this:

The tangle (source: IOTA Blog)

Hence, IOTA’s architecture is inherently decentralized on a superior level to the Blockchain.

Since consensus is parallelized, the network grows and scales dynamically with every new transaction. This is a great Visual tool to see how the Tangle scales indefinitely.

Beyond the Blockchain

Undeniably, Blockchain technology has real-world value. However, it comes with a number of drawbacks like transaction fees. Although trivial, those fees doubled between February 2017 and November 2017 from 0.05 to 0.1 USD per transaction. The Blockchain also inherits a systemic need for mining capabilities, an increasing blocks difficulty and a limited scalability. The Tangle fixes these drawbacks, for it requires no mining, has no transaction fees and doesn’t put any limit on scalability.

The IOTA cryptocurrency

Solid and growing, IOTA is currently the eighth biggest cryptocurrency by market share on CoinMarketCap, boasting a market cap of USD 3.85 billion. While in the process of writing this article, I personally bought USD 50 worth of IOTAs for USD 1.3 a unit. I made a solid 6% profit overnight, and am considering to buy me a new cup holder!!

IOTA Marketcap
IOTA Index and Market cap evolution to December 1st, 2017  (source: coinmarketcap.com)

The IOTA Foundation

Based in Berlin, the IOTA Foundation is a non-profit. It consists of dedicated and talented people with a proven track record in IoT, M2M Econ-modeling, and software development. Notable members are David Sønstebø (IOTA founder), Dominik Schiener, Serguei Popov (Mthcl) and Sergey Ivancheglo (Come-from-Beyond).

On November 27th, 2017, IOTA partnered with industry giants Microsoft and Fujitsu to launch the first publicly accessible IoT data marketplace. (Source: TheNextWeb, more information here). A number of other high-profile companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Cisco, Volkswagen, Accenture, and PwC have shown a keen interest in partnering with IOTA.

Furthermore, the foundation is actively very open to members that want to contribute. As a matter of fact, our readers are encouraged to submit an E-mail to contact@iotatoken.com including a short biography to be considered for membership.

A final word

A little less than a decade after the birth of the Blockchain, it looks like another revolution is undergoing. As exciting as it might sound, IOTA offers solid foundations for our future. While eagerly waiting for case studies to put into context the technology promises, it’s fair to say that the road ahead of IOTA is very exciting.

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