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IOTA is derived from the 9th (!) letter in the Greek alphabet, iota, which is commonly used to denote the smallest possible unit. This refers to the possibility to send extremely small amounts via the IOTA tangle, thanks to feeless transactions. With its leightweight design, IOTA and the IOTA protocol aims to improve efficiency, increase production, and ensure data integrity in a machine-to-machine economy. Unlike most other crypto currencies, the IOTA protocol is not based on a blockchain, but on a directed acyclic graph (DAG). While the block-chain is based on a rigid chain of blocks (bundles of transactions) that can only be processed one by one, in IOTA transactions are linked directly forming the so called tangle. In order to carry out a transaction, a user must certify at least two other transactions (tips). If a transaction collects a minimum number of authentications in this way, it is considered verified and can be executed.
For each transaction attached to the ledger, two previous transactions are validated. This process makes IOTA incredibly scalable because the more new transactions that propagate across the network, the faster other transactions are validated.
IOTA uses quantum-resistant cryptography to secure the network and prevent attackers from stealing IOTA tokens.
All IOTA that will ever exist were generated in the genesis block. The amount will never increase or decrese. The total money supply of 2,779,530,283,277,761 IOTA is optimized for ternary computation and notation ease of use utilizing SI units. ((333-1)/2) = 2.779 x 10^15 . With increasing demand, the value of IOTA will also increase.
As there are no miners in the system, no transaction fees have to be paid. This enables micro-transactions, which opens up completely new possibilities for the machine-to-machine economy.
The CAP theorem states that a distributed system can only be two of the following at the same time: consistent, available and partition tolerant. Most distributed ledger technologies focus on consistency and availability. In a world of machine economics, however, it is important to consider the failure of subsystems. IOTA thus enables offline transactions and is therefore partition tolerant, but less consistent.
Masked authenticated messaging (MAM) is a second layer data communication protocol which adds functionality to emit and access an encrypted data stream, like RSS, over the Tangle (IOTA’s distributed ledger). IOTA’s consensus protocol adds integrity to these message streams. Given these properties, MAM fulfills an important need in industries where integrity and privacy meet. Bosch XDK2MAM
Because of its design, IOTA is vulnerable to a 34% attack. This means that an attacker who controls 34% or more of the computing power on the IOTA network will be able to perform transactions at will. To protect IOTA from a hostile takeover, the coordinator was introduced. The coordinator is not part of the IOTA protocol, but confirms as a centrally controlled entity, incoming transactions in a certain time interval. This should be imagined as a kind of support wheel that prevents the IOTA network from being successfully attacked during its infancy. The disadvantage of the coordinator, on the other hand, is that it prevents the network from achieving the performance in terms of transactions per second that would at least theoretically be possible. For this reason alone, the goal must be to turn the coordinator off in the long run. The way to achieve this is explained in detail in a 5-part blog: The Path to Coordicide.
Once the coordinator is turned off, IOTA will be the only fully distributed ledger technology, with the limit of throughput determined solely by the underlying physical characteristics of the medium through which the transactions are transmitted.
Something that many bring up as a disadvantage is that IOTA is based on the ternary numerical system. Why should one run a ternary based protocol on binary computers? This is indeed a problem until the widespread availability of ternary processors. Until then, there is no advantage of a ternary based protocol running on a binary hardware. But fact is that the ternary numerical system is closer to the optimal radix, which is E (2.71..), than the binary system. And taking into account that IOTA is designed for billions of tiny devices, forming the fully decentralized internet of everything and being capable of doing massively distributed computing, then it is a wise choice to have ternary processors for those tiny devices. You find a more elaborated response to this question by David Sønstebø here: Why does IOTA use a ternary number system (on iota.stackexchange.com)
While IOTA itself was founded by Dominik Schiener, David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo and Dr. Serguei Popov as early as 2015 and all ever available tokens were created in late 2015 and made available in a public ICO, the IOTA foundation (IF) itself was established in November 2017 in Berlin (Germany) as a not for profit organisation by Dominik Schiener and David Sønstebø. This form of organisation is the only logical step when it comes to the idea of making the technology freely accessible to all.
Until March 2019 the IOTA foundation counts about 88 employees from all over the world and is still growing. So far, IF has managed to find many right people for key positions within the Foundation. For example, Dr. Richard Mark Soley, member of the IF supervisory board, who is chairman of the Object Management Group and therefore very familiar with standardization, or Professor Bill Buchanan, member of the IOTA research council, who leads the Centre for Distributed Computing and Security at Edinburgh Napier University. And last but not least I'd like to emphasize Dr. Julie Maupin who is at the position of the director of social impact & public regulatory affairs. She currently sits on the Fintech advisory board of the German Ministry of Finance and the G20 Digital Economy Experts Task Force and is a resource person for the UN Internet Governance Forum. You find the full Team listed here: www.iota.org/the-foundation/team
The economy of things has yet to be created. IOTA is leading the way in this area and in particular is pushing ahead with standardisation. Standardization is the key element for far-reaching adoption of technology across national and corporate borders.
IF builds production-ready software for the community, partners and ecosystem to use and expand upon. Trinity, the IOTA wallet for example is on the official project list of the Eclipse foundation and IF is developing and specifying the programming languages ABRA and Qupla, using trinary and functional programming, designed for the internet of things.
A not for profit organisation registered in Germany is a trustworthy institution. This enables the IOTA Foundation to enter into legal cooperations and partnerships with other institutions, be it with governments, the private sector, communities or other non-profit organizations.
IF is actively researching how the tangle behaves under various conditions. There are various research topics considering the DAG as permissionless distributed ledger technology. One main question is, how the tangle will behave, once the coordinator is turned off. Another topic is that of incentives for providing computational power. IOTA Whitepaper. List of academic papers
The data is the new oil. The goal of the IF and the tangle as a distributed ledger technology is to return the rights to the data back to the owners. It is the owner of the data who decides who has access to the data and to what extent. IOTA's data marketplace enables secure storage, sale and access to data streams.
Last but not least, the IF aims to disseminate the technology through education and promote applications that come from the bottom, from the community. For this purpose, the IOTA Ecosystem was created, where ideas can be collected and presented to the general public. The tangle: An ilustrated introduction
With the creation of the data market place and in particular the IOTA ecosystem, the IOTA Foundation has created two important platforms that are actively used by the community. In particular, the IOTA Ecosystem helps to structure the ideas, proof-of-concepts and solutions that come from community members.
Another channel is the IEN (Iota Evangelist Network). The IEN was initiated by IOTA enthusiasts in order to provide a platform for building a critical mass of support for the IOTA technology, and subsequently establishing IOTA as a technical standard within the global market.
To date, a plethora of possible real world applications for IOTA technology have been outlined. Reaching from storing personal health data in the tangle, intelligent waste management in smart cities, Integrated IOTA Tangle Based Car Wallet, etc. The following showcase is just to give you an impression of where IOTA might play a major role in the future:
There are several ways to get involved in the IOTA community, be it by applying directly to the IOTA Foundation, through the IOTA Evangelist Network, or as an independent enthusiast. There are many independent developers who are already developing hardware and software for the IOTA ecosystem. And then there are those who enjoy supporting IOTA with their own node, be it to get direct access to the Tangle via a full node, to help shape the future of edge computing via an ICT (IOTA controlled agent) node, or simply to keep up with the latest developments and be part of the 4th industrial revolution.
Edge computing is the practice of processing data near the edge of your network, where the data is being generated, instead of in a centralised data-processing warehouse. IOTA ICT is the latest development from IOTA to make this vision come true.
The following list contains a collection of links, which lead to important information in order to facilitate the first steps for those interested.
|www.iota.org||IOTA Foundation Official Homepage|
|trinity.iota.org||Get the official IOTA wallet|
|data.iota.org||IOTA data marketplace|
|jobs.iota.org||Open positions at IOTA Foundation|
|blog.iota.org||IOTA Foundation's official announcements|
|IOTA youtube||IOTA Foundation's youtube channel|
|qubic.iota.org||IOTA qubic Quorum Based Computations|
|ien.io||IOTA Evangelist Network Official Homepage|
|IOTA Discord||You are welcome to chat with the community|
|tangleblog.com||No Bells And Whistles, Just Information by The Tangler|
|biotasphere.com||A collaborative environment focused on DLT by IOTA|
|thinktangle.com||Get inspired and share your ideas based on IOTA|
|iotalink.directory||Links to almost every IOTA related website|
|tangleuniverse||Check the IOTA love in your neighborhood|
|paracosm.games||Cross-reality game universe based on IOTA|
|IOTAshops||Find your IOTA shop - pay with IOTA|
|Get started||Get started to develop|
|docs.iota.org||IOTA Developer documentation|
|github.com||IOTA Foundation's github repository|
|ICT||ICT on github|
|IXI||IOTA eXtension Interface on github|
|XDK2MAM||Bosch XDK: Sensor data to the Tangle via MAM|
|IOTA-Hardware||Find Hardware to Interact with the tangle|
|devnet||Devnet tangle explorer|
There is a rule that applies for every cryptocurrency:
The owner of the key (IOTA seed) is the owner of the tokens ($MIOTA).
Always bear in mind that you own your IOTA tokens only if you own the seed to the addresses where the tokens are stored. As long as your tokens are stored on an exchange, where you most likely will have to buy them first, it's the exchange that has the ownership of the seed and hence the ownership of the tokens. In order to make sure, that you and only you have access to your IOTA tokens, it is inevitable to transfer them to your own wallet. Well actually the tokens will not be transfered to your wallet, since the IOTA tokens exist only within the distributed ledger, but your IOTA tokens will be made accessible through your own seed, which serves as unique access key to your addresses where your tokens are stored.
Never use an online or third-party seed generator that you do not fully trust.
The seed is an 81-character string, comprised of capital letters A-Z and the number 9. It is the unique access key to your wallet. Your wallet seed must be securely stored to safeguard your funds There are 2781=8.7 E+115 possible seeds. So if you'll lose your seed, there is no way to get access to your tokens again.
Each seed serves as a starting point for the addresses to which the IOTA tokens can be transferred. The order of the addresses is deterministic. So every seed will give you access to more than only one address.
Each address can receive tokens several times. But tokens should be sent only once from one address because of security reasons! This is something very special among cryptocurrencies and has been criticized many times. An easy way to circumvent this issue is to generate a new address for every deposit, and that's what IF's official wallet Trinity actually does. You may also check out the illustration here: IOTA addresses explained.
A wallet holds the seed and gives access to the tokens. The official software wallet is Trinity which is available as desktop and mobile application and can handle multiple seeds for multiple access points to the IOTA tangle. Ledger Nano S and the brand new Ledger Nano X are hardware or cold storage wallets that support IOTA tokens.
The following full nodes are provided by iota.family and ready to use for IOTA's trinity wallet.
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The official IOTA Foundation's website can be found at www.iota.org