A brief review of our second IOTA Argentina Community Meetup with Serguei Popov

Yesterday, Friday 22 of June, we had our second IOTA Community Meetup down here in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Despite the fact of being a purely grassroots group, we managed to get ourselves a hell of speaker: Serguei Popov, matemathician and IOTA Cofounder. Strictly speaking this was our second Meetup in Buenos Aires. We had the first one in May at Taringa! Headquarters, hosted by Matías Botbol (Taringa! CEO). Yesterday’s was a bit bigger and we already are planning to give the next step in terms of size for July with the presense of some IF guests.

The idea is simple: to be in touch with community members as frequently as possible. If we manage to pull out our next Meetup in July, it would be our third in three months. Additionaly, we are having one Hangout call per week with those members available at the time to discuss what’s happening on the crypto world and specifically with IOTA. Those calls are awesome and we can be for hours speculating about what CFB could have meant on a Discord line or a Medium post.

Serguei Popov participation

Popov’s talk was really nice and allowed us to do some archaeology on how IOTA started. As the mathematician he is, he collaborated in the field of Poisson processes doing some back-of-envelope calculation for Come-From-Beyond (Sergey Ivancheglo) project, Nxt. Those were days of heavy Bitcointalk exchange and also the space in which, together with David Sønstebø and Sergey Ivancheglo, IOTA started as a DAG based project called Amaranth. Later, Dom came in and IOTA was born.

Because this post intention is not to describe what you guys will be able to watch in the video with the full talk, I am only referring two things I consider central.

Timestamps: last time we interviewed Popov we asked him about timestamping and his answer was:

“It must be observed, however, that that solution does not achieve the total ordering of the vertices of the graph; we just obtain some (confidence) intervals for the timestamps.”

This seems to be solved now and Qubic’s Smart Contracts will rely on this solution.

New tip selection algorithm: according to Popov, right now the tip selection mechanism reflects exactly what his whitepaper says. The reason why this was not that way before is that to achieve whitepaper’s model was too expensive in terms of required computational power. So, basically, the IOTA Foundation managed to improve this aspect allowing the reference implementation software (IRI) to reflect the whitepaper tested mathematical models. The result is amazing: peaks of 34 confirmed TPS and an average of 15ish CTPS.

About IOTA Argentina

We created a IOTA Argentina Facebook group a bit after Bitfinex listed IOTA in 2017 and started getting involved in IOTA’s different aspects: we are playing with sensors, libraries, nodes and even doing some journalism, as you can see. ☺

As a member of the IOTA Evangelist Network, I am in contact with people conducting different Proof of Concepts and Meetups around the globe. And as time passes I just could not note how little we are doing in Latin America when you compare to what is going on other places such as Europe, North America or Asia.

I see what guys are doing at the Dutch Meetups and all I can think is, “man, we are so far from that”. For instance, lets take ElaadNL EV charger station based on IOTA: sounds amazing if you live in the Neederland or other european country and you have electric cars connected to stations everywhere. Here in Argentina, I have not yet seen a car connected to a charger station anywhere. EV is slowly emerging but its gonna take us some long years to have working charger stations distributed around the country.

I am pretty sure this is extensive to the rest of Latin America, with some exceptions. That would explain why, despite being in the few groups related IOTA I could find in LATAM, there are not a lot of Meetups and people doing stuff with IOTA yet.

What’s going on down here

Clearly we are not going to develop projects for not yet existing scenarios and the IoT era over here is going to arrive a bit late. This should not be an IOTA killer though, because despite the fact of aiming to be protocol for the internet of things, IOTA as a DLT allows us to address a lot of scenarios that were being thought through Blockchain until here, in a way easier manner.

I cannot stress enough how simpler is to work on descentralized solutions with IOTA and the Tangle. You just pick the library for the language you feel more comfortable with and start interacting with Full Node’s API. So, while we play with XDK, MAM and other features, we are building our little IOTA Argentina Development Cluster and thinking on which will be our first projects. We want to build something of value and ideas are poping up as we brainstorm on this.

We also need to reach out to companies in the IoT sector here in Argentina to coordinate actions and maybe start evangelizing about IOTA. To be honest, I am not sure about how much this guys know about it. That is a must in our TODO list, which keeps getting bigger as we all have jobs and the time we can put on IOTA is not as much as what we would like.

So, to summarize, we are building a strong community, with focus on active connections. Therefore the need to frequently host Hangouts and organize Meetups. Meanwhile our IOTA Argentina Development Cluster is evaluating projects to work in as we explore the IoT Enterprise topography in our country seeking for connections in the private/public sector.