IOTA: Real-world use cases are coming

IOTA: Real-world use cases are coming

First things first: I am not a member of the IOTA Foundation or in any way hired by them — I am just an IOTA supporter 😉

While many people are waiting for announcements revealing the many rumored partnerships of IOTA, I would like to focus on some of today’s news about interested companies and projects and explain why they are/would be real assets to IOTA’s undertaking. But before doing so, I’d like to point out some good news to all the people holding IOTA:

Exchange listings

Both Co-Founders of IOTA have confirmed lately that basically all major exchanges are lined up for adding IOTA. Today, Dominik Schiener narrowed it a bit down by talking about IXI-Hub (an extension which will make it easy for exchanges to add IOTA):

Considering the fact that David Sonstebo, Co-Founder of IOTA, said in his (great!) interview with Ivan that IXI-Hub will make adding IOTA “plug-and-play” (i.e. really easy for exchanges), February could be a good month for exchange listings of IOTA! Moreover, it will be interesting to see what exchanges the Foundation is targeting for (as David mentioned, the Hub-IXI team used to work for real stock exchanges and Dominik said that the goal is to “finally get on mainstream, regulated exchanges”) — interesting, isn’t it?

MeetUp with Big Players

On January 30, some interesting tweets appeared:

RBVC (=Robert Bosch Venture Capital) hosted a meetup in Stuttgart and Dominik Schiener and Andreas Osowski were there to introduce the audience to IOTA.

THIS IS BY NO MEANS PROOF OF A PARTNERSHIP with the companies mentioned in the picture — however, it is interesting to see who is interested in the technology; Dominik seems to think so, too:

In RBVC’s own words:

This Tuesday afternoon / evening we hosted the first RBVC&Friends Meetup Event in our Stuttgart office. We were delighted to host our friends, partners and innovation leaders from the German industry such as BMW, EnBW, Ernst&Young, LBBW, MAHLE, Porsche, Trumpf, Vector, VW and Vito Ventures. The main topic of the event was RBVC’s recent IOTA investment. Dominik Schiener and Andreas Osowski from the IOTA foundation gave us some interesting insights and updates about their tangle technology, use cases and roadmap. Nik Scharmann, project leader of distributed ledger technology at Bosch talked about how distributed ledgers will enable whole industries to better serve their customer needs. After the official part, there was time to network over some food and drinks.

It is great to see what progress IOTA makes in terms of reaching out to big companies.

But now let’s have a look at some recent developments:

1. MatchX

Today, a German company called “MatchX” tweeted the following: 

Obviously there had been a meeting and Dominik can be seen with some kind of antenna in his hand. If you dig a bit deeper what this company is about, you will end up with a term called LPWAN which is short for Low-Power Wide-Area Network and is according to Wikipedia a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery. So in a way this is a wide area (several kilometers!) WiFi-network with very little power consumption — the price you have to pay : less data range (0.3 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s per channel) and less power consumption.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? If you are interested in how it works, I would really recommend you watching this video. Interestingly enough if you look at the members of the lora-alliance, you will find IOTA’s partners at the Trusted IoT Alliance like Cisco, Foxconn and, of course, Bosch. Moreover, IOTA’s marketplace partner Orange is also listed there.

How is this useful to IOTA?

IOTA’s main field of operation is the Internet of Things (IoT). To put it short, millions of devices, big and small, will be connected in the future connecting not only computers, but also things from toasters to wiper-blades; the goal is to transfer interesting (=valuable) data. But how does a wiper-blade connect to the internet? This is where LPWAN plays an important role, look at the homepage of MatchX:

So with ten antenna like the one Dominik is holding in his hand the whole city of Berlin (3.5 million citizens) could be covered to get access to internet (however, at low data range). The wiper-blade could now connect to the tangle and provide the data to interested parties. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to transfer huge amounts of data at once (like a movie etc) due to the low data throughput, but this is not a problem for the kind of data IOTA has to cope with. Also, you might wonder why you would not just use 4G or LTE to do this — well, your wiper-blade would probably need new batteries every week then which simply doesn’t make sense (especially because this would be true for basically all of your devices, just think of your smartphone…). So again, for IOTA’s economy LPWAN simply makes sense.

So MatchX provides the technology to let even the tiniest devices connect to the Internet (at least those that are capable of connecting). Looking at the above-mentioned tweet it seems obvious the MatchX is willing to collaborate in using the Tangle, i.e. IOTA’s network. Their tweeted message underlines what many people have already guessed: “BIG things [are] in the works”…

This leads directly to the next aspect, a possible use case for IOTA using this technology:

2. Taipei

The IOTA Foundation has signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the City of Taipei:

The deal will see IOTA and Taipei work together to explore ways how IOTA’s Tangle, a ‘blockless’ protocol which enables machines to securely transact data and money with each other, can be integrated into the smart city project. […] [A] project underway is Airbox, which will use data sharing technology for palm-sized sensors that can be fitted in homes or public buildings. These can detect changes in temperature, light and pollution and can create a comprehensive environmental network across the city.(link)

(Of course, these sensors must be connected to the internet and LPWAN would make sense). Taipei with its almost 3 million inhabitants (urban area even has 8.5 million inhabitants!) is striving to become one of Asia’s first real smart cities and one of their projects involves the citizens’ identities:

[This IOTA-based] project will be [about] digital citizen cards with built-in TangleID, preventing them from being tampered with. It’s hoped that this will provide citizens with peace of mind without worrying about identity theft or fraud whether through voting, providing background medical record information, or by using any government-related service. Other areas that are being explored include inter-organisation and inter-city data exchanges, and healthcare. (link)

Thus, IOTA is taking the next step in real world adoption (while other projects gain billions in marketcap value without providing any peer-reviewed research papers or proof of concepts). As Lman Chu, Co-Founder of BiiLabs,(who are partnering together with IOTA on the Tapei project) put it:

“There is enormous potential for other opportunities with IOTA’s DLT for the Internet of Things, as well as Smart Cities.” (link)

Wei-bin Lee, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology in the Taipei City Government considers IOTA’s technology pivotal:

With Taipei City always thinking ahead and with IOTA’s technology, this partnership is a strategic move to usher in the era of smart cities to the citizens of Taipei. (link)

3. Identity of Things

Identity of Things (IDoT) is an integral part of the Internet of Things. As the IOTA Foundation said months ago, IOTA will also cover this important field of application which, to put it bluntly, is about giving a tamper-proof “identity information tag” to every little thing of your everyday life:

For instance a sensor should not only have its unique identifier, but also accompanying it attributes such as: who manufactured it, when it was deployed, what is the expected life time cycle, who owns it now, what kind of sensor data is it gathering and at what granularity, does it sell the data and if so for how much? This is imperative for an efficient way to index and enable the Machine Economy and Industry 4.0 predictive maintenance. IDoT equally plays a vital role in securing the connected world. When each device has its own ID one can also establish reputation systems that are vital for anomaly and intrusion detection. By observing whether a device is acting in accordance with its ID or not, the latter which can be indicative of malware being spread, the neighbouring devices can quarantine it. (link)

This shows one more time that with IOTA you have to think in new categories when contemplating its market possibilities — the same is true for IDoT. Read that text again and think a moment what this actually means to companies and customers alike.

As already mentioned, the development of IDoT seems to have been under the hood for almost a year. However, Dominik talked about it today:

Source: Discord

Just to emphasize it: signing up a lot of companies…dedicate their best people…5 companies on board so far.

Bringing IDoT to the masses is an enormous undertaking, but the IOTA Foundation has the means (both financially and manpower-wise) to do so. Enabling this in the real world will certainly be a gamechanger.

4. Kontrol Energy

Yesterday, the Canadian Kontrol Energy Corporation announced that it is entering the IOTA cryptocurrency sector. You don’t get much information from their homepage as to why IOTA would be interesting to them. However, if you dig a bit deeper in their history you can find interesting information why a company like Kontrol focuses first on Blockchain technology (and now on IOTA):

  • In November 2017 Kontrol announced that Blockchain technology will play an integral part in the future for them:

The Kontrol EMS will include full Internet of Things (IOT) functionality, smart learning algorithms and the ability to manage localized distributed energy solutions. Through Blockchain technology Kontrol plans to provide local energy producers and consumers with a peer to peer energy market“Blockchain technology offers a unique opportunity to facilitate the growing demand for distributed energy solutions across North America. The ability to buy and sell locally produced sustainable energy has great potential for both stabilizing existing electricity grids and reducing the cost of energy over time. Blockchain technology also has the potential to eliminate wasted energy and reduce infrastructure costs for governments and utilities.” (Paul Ghezzi, CEO of Kontrol Energy. link)

  • In December 2017 they announced that Carbon offsets would be in their focus: A carbon offset is a credit for greenhouse gas reductions achieved by one party that can be purchased and used to compensate (offset) the emissions of another party. Carbon offsets are typically measured in tons of CO2-equivalents and are bought and sold through various international brokers and trading platforms. These transaction platforms are generally not transparent, liquid or efficient.

Following the Paris Climate Accord, numerous organizations have announced their intention to be carbon neutral by 2050. That’s why we are working on an efficient, timely and cost-effective solution to be rolled out in 2018. Through blockchain technology we will seek to facilitate a transparent carbon measurement and carbon offset market. […] Through blockchain technology we will create a platform where companies can measure and verify their carbon emissions and carbon offsets. Further we will provide our customers with the capability to build their own carbon offset projects and create their own unique loyalty program tied to the acceleration and achievement of their corporate sustainability goals.(Paul Ghezzi, CEO of Kontrol Energy. link)

In this light, entering the IOTA sector a logical step: The company has entered into a binding Letter of Intent (“LOI”) on January 31, 2018 to acquire a profitable and fast growing Blockchain software development firm (the “Target”) operating a successful Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) business that has demonstrated 100% recurring revenue (the “Acquisition”). More information on the “Target” can be found here.

Post-acquisition, Kontrol intends to integrate the Target into the Company’s existing distributed energy and carbon reduction solutions.“This transformative acquisition will allow Kontrol to vertically integrate Blockchain and DLT technology solutions across our operating platform including our three focus areas of Distributed Energy, Carbon Credits and the Internet of Things (IoT) via our own IoT device, the Kontrol EMS.While many Blockchain technology firms are struggling to find real-world commercially viable use cases to grow their customer base and revenues, through this acquisition we will be in a unique leadership position in Canada with significant revenue and the ability to scale in the short and medium term.” (Paul Ghezzi, CEO of Kontrol Energy. link)

This is a good example of a company that finds out about the advantages of Blockchain and in a second step realizes that it can have even more advantages with IOTA — without any fees!

5. Conclusion

As could be seen from these examples (and in comparison to most other crypto projects out there):

  • IOTA has great contacts who are very interested in its technology
  • IOTA is ready to take the next step in real world usage
  • IOTA’s team is more than dedicated to deliver on its promises

Until now, Blockchain was full of promises. 2018 is the year where real world adoption will decide who will be in for the next level — and IOTA is leading the field…

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