About IOTA

IOTA

What is IOTA?

IOTA is a revolutionary new, next generation public distributed ledger that utilizes a novel invention, called a “Tangle”, at its core. The Tangle is a new data structure based on a Directed Acyclic Graph. As such it has no Blocks, no Chain and also no Miners. Because of this radical new architecture, things in IOTA work quite differently compared to other Blockchains.

Highly Scalable

Increased network activity decreases transaction settlement times.

Zero-fee transactions

Send 1 cent and receive 1 cent, send $1,000,000 and receive $1,000,000.

Offline transactions

Devices never need perfect connectivity.

Low resource requirements

Designed for tiny devices with low resource requirements to participate.

Secure data transfer

All data is encoded, allowing secure data transfer, storage and reference.

Quantum Immune

Using special signatures IOTA is resilient to the next generation of computing.

The problem IOTA solves

Anyone with a bank account is familiar with the concept of a ledger, containing records of their debits and credits. Collectively, IOTA has all entrusted financial institutions for generations to safeguard these highly sensitive records and their accuracy. With no ability to verify the data that IOTA receives on the Internet today, and with cybercrime on the rise, this delegated and unverifiable trust has become a major obstacle for an inclusive and permissionless economy.

With the advent of distributed ledger technologies, IOTA is now able to distribute and synchronize ledgers of data and money in secure, distributed, decentralized and permissionless environments. By removing the need for trusted third-parties as the gatekeepers and arbiters of truth, enormous efficiency gains, innovation opportunities and new value propositions emerge.

Blockchain technology and Bitcoin promised a compelling vision: decentralized networks allowing open innovation and peer-to-peer transactions without intermediaries or fees. Ultimately, they were never built to execute it in full, due to inherent technical flaws in their design. As blockchain adoption has increased over the last decade, early adopters have been hit with sluggish transaction times and skyrocketing fees. As financial rewards for validating blockchain transactions became increasingly competitive, their networks have also become increasingly centralised around a few powerful actors. But the need for decentralized and permissionless systems remains, and has only increased in recent years.

By solving the inefficiencies of the Blockchain, IOTA, based on the revolutionary distributed ledger technology, the Tangle, is the missing link for the Internet of Everything and Web 3.0. Powering a secure, scalable and feeless transaction settlement layer, IOTA will empower machines and humans to participate in flourishing new permissionless economies – the most important one being the Machine Economy which we are building.

IOTA Tangle

IOTA’s distributed ledger, by contrast, does not consist of transactions grouped into blocks and stored in sequential chains, but as a stream of individual transactions entangled together.

Blockchain Tangle

In order to participate in this network, a participant simply needs to perform a small amount of computational work that verifies two previous transactions. Rather than creating a hierarchy of roles and responsibilities in the network, every actor has the same incentives and rewards. In order to make a transaction in the Tangle, two previous transactions must be validated with the reward for doing so being the validation of your own transaction by some subsequent transaction. With this ‘pay-it-forward’ system of validations, there is no need to offer financial rewards. Transacting with IOTA is and will always be completely fee-free.

Moreover, without the need for monetary rewards, IOTA is not limited to transactional value settlements. It is possible to securely store information within Tangle transactions, or even spread larger amounts of information across multiple bundled or linked transactions.

This structure also enables high scalability of transactions. The more activity in ‘the Tangle’, the faster transactions can be confirmed.

Coordicide

The IOTA Foundation is preparing to take its most important step to date in the maturity of the IOTA protocol — realizing the dream of a permissionless and scalable distributed ledger technology (DLT). The IOTA Foundation refer to this event as Coordicide: the death of the Coordinator.

Decentralized & Permissionless

Unlike other DLTs, IOTA’s solution does not compromise decentralization in any way.

Scalable & Lightweight

Truly limitless scalability with no protocol-related bottlenecks. The network is limited by the laws of physics.

Feeless & Data Transaction

Feeless transactions enable the secure transfer of data and values between humans and machines, opening up new business models based on micro-payments.

Finality within Seconds

Transactions reach finality in seconds without having to wait for confirmations by external entities.

Modular & Future Proof

Much like the Internet Protocol, a layered approach enables extension of the base protocol through additional modules.

Reliable Governance & Open Source

The nonprofit organization behind IOTA drives the adoption and evolution of its free and open source technology without any collusion of interests with 3rd parties like miners.

IOTA and the Internet of Things

The number of connected devices that will be in use is estimated to reach 75 billion by 2025. From tiny sensors on roads and bridges to wearable electronics, mobile phones, and more, every day the world is becoming more and more interconnected. The amount of data being produced and consumed by all these devices is already astronomical. By the end of 2016, the run rate of IP traffic was 1.2 zettabytes per year – or enough data to fill over 9 billion of the highest storage capacity iPhone’s available at the time. Over the next five years, global IP traffic is expected to increase five-fold whereby 2021, monthly IP traffic will reach a staggering 31 Gigabytes per capita.

But there is a significant problem. During the same period, broadband speeds are expected only to double, and the electromagnetic spectrum is a fundamental limit for wireless communication. The global data pipelines are becoming congested. It will not be possible for all these devices to continuously connect to centralized cloud silos for all the data they will produce, nor will it be possible for analytic engines in these clouds to respond back to the actuators to act on the data in real time. This is where ‘Fog’ and ‘Mist’ computing, storage, bandwidth, electricity enters the picture. One has to distribute these resources all across the landscape, which immediately brings up the question of how to do this in practice with all the red tape in place when there are 10s, 100s or even 1000s of stakeholders involved in this new Machine Economy. This conundrum was the cause of the inception of IOTA. Through zero fee transactions, these devices can share these technological resources amongst one another in real time locally in a distributed network, thus avoiding the centralized points of failure, unclogging the resource infrastructure and abide by the laws of physics.

  • The Internet-of-Things is not about things communicating over the Internet. This misconception was created by companies trying to sell already existing solutions for the Internet under another name. The things will form their own network, much larger than the Internet. Such the network cannot scale by using the architecture where all traffic goes through a handful of servers controlled by few organizations.
  • The Tangle is one and only. Even if we run several IOTA forks they all will still work with the single Tangle and theoretically could merge together later. Different clusters running IOTA will form different subtangles intertwined into the Tangle. This is a useful feature for mobile things moving from one cluster to another.
  • The network of nodes running IOTA is a system where failure of less than 1/3 of the elements is not critical. And if so the node software should be developed with this feature in mind. Particularly, if a glitch happens the node can be rebooted and the storage cleared if required. Software built on top of IOTA should not assume that the node will work reliably all the time, the software should connect to at least 3 nodes and rely on the information provided by their quorum (67%+).
  • The IOTA protocol will be set in stone. It does not need versioning, all improvements must be done on top of the protocol otherwise IOTA cannot be adopted by things many of which physically cannot be upgraded.
  • IOTA is not for data storage, it is for data delivery. If something is stored on the Tangle do not expect to find it there in 24 hours. Use tricks like a constantly updated root of a Merkle tree containing hashes of data pieces which later can be requested from the data owners or specialized services (so-called permanodes).
  • IOTA enables nanopayments and this should be used to its full potential. Whatever is sold for iotas, it should be sold in small chunks and delivered as quickly as some assurance that the payment will be accepted by the network is got. Very few will bother with doublespending of few cents, even if they succeed the competitive advantage over “slower” sellers will allow to earn more.

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