Use Cases, Technology and User Experience
What is the use case of the token?
IOTA is a token designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). The typical use case of IOTA is the exchange of data among machines. IOTA is building for an area that will be dominated by autonomous vehicles, the smart grid, smart home devices and wearables. Besides collecting data IOTA wants to empower IoT devices to monetize the data they collect. One of the weak points of IOTA is that the typical use cases that it wants to serve do not yet exist at scale today. This implies there is a lot of uncertainty involved.
What does the technology behind look like?
IOTA is not using conventional blockchain technology. Instead it makes use of the DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) technology. DAG implies that the graph is not cyclic and movements can only occur in one way. IOTA’s implementation of this technology is called the Tangle. The Tangle technology does not require to submit records of historic transactions, which is a typical characteristic of blockchain technology. Instead the Tangle is based on a system where every new transaction on the network validates two previous transactions.
How is the User Experience?
In the past IOTA occasionally suffered from network congestions. Furthermore, users experienced difficulties and delays when withdrawing their IOTA tokens from the exchanges. With the new IOTA Hub designed for processing transactions with exchanges and the launch of the Trinity wallet IOTA wants to overcome these problems and provide an easier and smoother UX experience.
Team & Developer Community
IOTA has four co-founders that joined at different stages. The IOTA Foundation is based in Berlin, Germany, despite all four co-founders not being originally from Germany. Many of the IOTA developers are based in Berlin as well. The IOTA co-founders met online.
David Sønstebø is the IOTA co-founder who originally conceived the idea. He was already involved with the Internet of Things before starting IOTA.
Sergey Ivancheglo is a co-founder of IOTA and has been working together with David since the very beginning. He holds a Bachelor in Electronics and Artificial Intelligence and counts with many years of experience as a software engineer.
Serguei Popov is the third IOTA co-founder. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from Moscow State University. Besides IOTA he works as a university professor in Campinas, Brazil.
Dominik Schiener is the IOTA co-founder who last joined the team and he is also the youngest. Before IOTA he tried to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Switzerland. He is a self-taught hacker from childhood days and won significant prizes in blockchain hackathons before joining IOTA.
The IOTA token supply is fixed and pre-mined. No transaction fees apply for IOTA. This is necessary to support micropayments which is the typical use case in the Internet of Things, which IOTA wants to serve.
The future value of the IOTA token will entirely depend on the adoption of IOTA as the payment token of the Internet of Things. No benefits are associated with holding the token.
Progress History, Achievements and Road Map
IOTA has not yet released the mainnet. The latest testnet called Devnet was launched in May 2018. It is unclear when the mainnet will eventually launch.
In terms of business development major companies have already announced their support for IOTA. The automotive supplier Bosch wants to use IOTA technology and underlined this statement by purchasing significant amounts of IOTA tokens.
Currently the IOTA Foundation is trying to introduce more external developers to the ecosystem and to reach a higher degree of decentralization of the IOTA network. Independent cryptographic professionals from CyberCrypt were hired for improving IOTA’s hash function, that received criticism from researchers.
Qubic is the name of a IOTA extension that the community is looking forward to. A qubic represents a quorum-based computational task. With the quibic users will be able to outsource their tasks to oracle machines. A first version of Qubic should be launched in late 2018.
Additionally, IOTA will publish research papers about the tangle consensus mechanism. Other projects of IOTA include building performance monitoring tools in the shape of the TangleScope and providing a better wallet to users. The new wallet that will be briefly rolled out and is called Trinity wallet. It is currently available in beta and supports mobile and desktop clients.
At the moment IOTA is rolling out the IOTA Hub which enables exchanges to interact with the IOTA network in a faster and more efficient way by providing a developer friendly API. The exchange Bitpanda recently announced that it starts supporting the IOTA Hub.
IOTA counts with an active reddit community with more than 110,000 subscribers and the official Twitter account has more than 117,000 followers. As it is typical for many of the larger coins a lot of community curated content about IOTA is available such as for example the tangleblog, a blog with extensive coverage about IOTA.
IOTA is the leading cryptocurrency offering an alternative to blockchain technology. The technology that IOTA offers is tailored for the Internet of Things. It is less proven than the well established Proof of Work based consensus mechanism of Bitcoin. However, it provides a completely fresh design for tackling scalability and energy consumption, two problems that are associated with traditional blockchain based cryptocurrencies.
* The information contained in this article is for education purpose only and not financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.