This article is based on a guest lecture delivered at the Technical University of Denmark.

I’m an IoT researcher with more than 10 years of experience in low-power wireless networks and embedded systems. In the early days, often our main goal was to make things work at all. Security was an afterthought; besides the fact that many of the first uses of IoT were in “toy” applications, few people were even aware of the existence of these low-power wireless sensor networks, and fewer still had the means to attack them. Now, IoT becomes more and more widely used, and we start to make important decisions based on data coming from these low-cost low-power devices, IoT security must become now a sharp point of focus. …

There are few openly available quantitative results about IOTA. Motivated by this fact, we experimented with IOTA on two different IoT devices and two modern desktop and server computers. We found that despite the theoretical scalability of the Tangle, the actual IOTA protocol has relatively high energy consumption. The Proof-of-Work and transaction signing operations are computationally complex relative to the limited capabilities of many IoT devices and and may be impractical on energy-limited / battery-powered devices.

Note: this article uses results from the research paper Distributed Ledger Technology and the Internet of Things: A Feasibility Study, presented in the 1st Workshop on Blockchain-enabled Networked Sensor Systems (BlockSys).

Right now, the cryptocurrency market is down from its all-time high, and some of its newly attracted investors and enthusiasts risk losing their interest in the technology. It’s a good time to take a step back and reexamine the fundamentals. While it’s not possible to say which way the market is going to go from here, one thing is for sure — cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Here’s why.

1. Global scale cooperation without trust

What makes humans so powerful? It’s not our intelligence. Humans in the Stone Age had the same brain capacity as the modern humans. However, as a population Stone Age humans were weak, vulnerable, and exposed to a number of dangers. …

Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Yet they’re not problem-free. I’ll look at how cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to the weaknesses of free markets.

Future of cryptocurrencies: the optimistic view

In a simplified economic theory, the free market is an optimization mechanism that, given enough time, eventually arrives at a competitive equilibrium. The equilibrium is Pareto-optimal in a sense that once it’s reached, no one can improve the outcome for one of the participants without making the overall situation significantly worse. That is, whatever correction is applied, it always cumulatively hurts some participants more than it cumulatively benefits the others.

When this idea is applied to the future of cryptocurrencies, the envisioned outcome is…

About

Atis Elsts

Internet of Things researcher and software developer, PhD Computer Science.

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