IOTA: The Foundation answers
Today, IOTA had some very interesting news for all the interested people:
1. The AMA provided valuable new insights and information
Due to the high demand of interested yet doubtful people, the IOTA foundation agreed to host another AMA (= Ask me anything) about IOTA. Among the Co-founders were alsoFoundation members like Oliver Bussmann (EX-IBM and UBS-CTO; IOTA foundation member).
In order to provide a brief overview, I decided to sort the answers to certain “headlines”:
- fairly healthy, numer of nodes is “in the thousands” (exact number is hard to determine)
- The coordinator will not be suddenly shut off, it will be gradually removed (probably in January there will be an overall explanation of coordinator). Quote: “We are however starting to do some very exciting research in this area already, that will benefit the entire crypto space :) More to follow soon”
- Bandwidth is the ultimate bottleneck for sure. Can’t do anything about the speed of light. But theoretical limits on LiFi I think are in terabytes per microsecond order of magnitude range (read: a shit load of transactions).
- (how to speed up the network:)Improve the software, and ensure that people reliably run their nodes.
- A swarm node is a device with software/hardware implementing a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_intelligencealgorithm aiming for allowing several swarm nodes behave as a full node.
- Naturally the details pertaining to the Coordinator is extremely sensitive for security reasons. What I can say is that we are going to open source it and that the next step of the Coordinator is further distribution, until the network is self-reliant and will be phased out entirely.
- (permanently spamming network in order to increase tps?): During the early bootstrap phase. This is one of the things we’re exploring to achieve a reliable network state.
- (thousands of tps in the beta version in the medium/long term?): For a device to process thousands of tx/s there are hardware requirements. IoT devices need to be installed with specialized ASICs. David explains this really well on the Ether Review podcast he did.
- Trinity (aka UCL wallet) will reach public beta in January. There is a security audit going on so the release date cannot be said yet.
- The new Trinity wallet is stateful — which should overcome the problem when you are on a single device and a snaphshot occurs.
- Android and iOS will be released together. We have already integrated 2FA into the mobile wallet.
- There’s no set date. But mobile alpha testing has been going well and we should release the public beta this month. Desktop is a little further behind, but the private alpha should not be long after. (by Cvarley)
- Build up the IOTA Foundation as a globally operating organization, with key people and organizations from all industries being represented in the Foundation.
- Achieve the reliability of the software and the network (1000CTPS = Confirmed Transactions Per Second); Dom said previously on slack that his is the goal for 2018!
- Form more strategic partnerships
- Foster our permissionless ecosystem, and enable more and more people to build stuff with IOTA (especially do startups!)
- Lots and lots of use cases.
- Supply chain tracking will probably be the first use case in the industry
- 2018 will be the year where we’re working on IOTA Tangle reliablity, and start to gradually remove the coordinator. We’re starting to do some exciting research with some renown professors for that.
- IOTA roadmap will be updated “soonish”
- (hiring people) The Foundation is focused on both practical implementation of DLTs and theoretical exploration. Given this we are hiring from both sides, for example see yesterday’s blog posts about Clara and Koen.Main focuses are stability of the Mainnet and also the security of the protocol. However, we have a wide range of work being done behind the scenes.We are looking at putting up listings for specific roles, no date on that though.
- (Plans for India/South Asia): We got quite a lot going in this region that will be announced as they are official. the ASEAN region is of great importance in general.
- Developing nations will probably adopt M2M and IoT in a grander scale and more rapidly than the developed world. Developing nations have the benefit of being able to just leap frog all the slow iterative processes we have gone through to reach a certain technological maturity. Example: Nairobi in Kenya got a way, way better internet infrastructure than Berlin.
- IOTA will enter different industries: Mobility, Energy, eHealth, Banking, Transportation & Logistics etc. Whenever it comes to transactions in form of data or values, data verification, authentification, IOTA is the enabler for m2m to user communication and transaction. For example: ehealth: verification and proof of data which comes from medical devices. IOTA makes sure that the life-dependent data is the correct data and could be automatically transferred between medical devices without the possibility of human mistakes. Another expample is mobility: IOTA enables payment between cars, charging stations, parking lots etc. without any human interaction, thus accelerating the things currently done. (by Energine, Foundation member)
- And no, we will not disrupt the traditional banking system. We are creating an entirely new market. (by Dom) I agree — there will be new ecosystems with payment services embedded across industries. (by Oliver Bussmann, Ex-CTO of UBS, IBM and the likes)
- We add the people that we know will bring value to the IOTA Foundation. We are looking to hire ~100 more people in 2018, most will, of course, be developers, cryptographers, mathematicians, economists etc. However, also executive assistants, content creators etc.
- (tangle platform viable without a ternary chip?): Yes.
- (On the questions, where contracts will be stored): I don’t think i’m allowed to answer this one? lol David? (by johndomenic)
- (Will there be smart contracts or something similar?) Yes.
- (How will smart contracts on IOTA be different from Blockchain): Smart contracts will differ for many reasons, but the most obvious one is that they will actually be scalable. DApps, may have to be more local (think about like an uber service, ‘i am here, I want to go here’, don’t need anything but local information).
Banks / Financial sector
- Banks play a crucial role in the IOTA Ecosystem, especially in the short and mid term. For one, banks are there to provide liquidity, and act as an entry and exit point between the current legacy system (i.e. Fiat currencies), and IOTA.
- In 2018 we will be working more closely with Banks, not just industrial companies. Mostly on new use cases (think PSD2, and how IOTA can enable new business models there), but also specifically on products that we can develop together with them. Central banks are obviously the most strategic partners that we at the IOTA Foundation could think of :)
- We are in touch with a few central banks and entities in the state sector which are interested in exploring how Distributed Ledgers can be integrated into the preexisting infrastructure and push forth a digital paradigmshift. We are not at liberty to disclose which or at what stage these dialogs are yet.
- Banks and central banks are playing are critical role in all existing and new ecosystems. In all use cases, the payment process has to move from a fiat currency to a digital currency in a realtime connected world. The huge volume, scale and low cost requirements are an excellent match with the IOTA technology. (Quote by Oliver Bussmann, Ex-CTO of UBS, IBM and the likes)
- (What Oliver Bussmann liked most about IOTA initially): The value proposition around the IOTA tangle is fantastic especially in industries with huge transaction volumes like the Financial Services Industry. Scale, transaction cost and performance are the biggest bottlenecks of the other ledger protocols. In addition, the IOTA team and communication is great and very special. (by Oliver Bussmann) During one of my first Crypto Valley Meetupshttps://www.meetup.com/Crypto-Valley-Forum/ I got in touch with IOTA and was fascinated about the Tangle approach knowing the scale and performance issues with other ledgers. (David’s answer on how they met:) Met at Consensus > several calls > similar visions > made perfect sense to bring him on board.
- The financial services industry will be embedded in new ecosystems like mobility, smart home, B2B etcs. The ledger and IoT technology will enable the set up of new ecosystems and the integration of services across old lines of industries. Therefore a technology like IOTA enabling scale, performance and very low transaction fees will be a game changer for these industries. (by Oliver Bussmann, Ex-CTO of UBS, IBM and the likes)
- will be open for the public in January
- (most advanced usecase?) My opinion, the data marketplace. The possibilities there are so revolutionary. From distributed AI, smart cities, ownership of data and privacy rights, it is hard to truly fathom the impact this would have if implemented at scale. (by johndomenic) It’s hard to pick one, but securing machine learning inferences and distributing them is certainly an insanely powerful and important one. I also agree with John who has already replied, the free flow of data which is secured and incentivized by the IOTA protocol is insanely powerful. (by David)
Cogniota (this is about machine learning, link)
- CognIOTA is currently being developed by a great group of IOTA community machine learning experts. The vision I have for CognIOTA is to utilize all the potential idle Machine Learning that the countless millions of GPUs in computers that are not in use represent. I do not want Amazon, Google or other conglomerates to have a monopoly on Machine Learning.However, there is also a bigger strategy here. There’s a lot of miningfarms today that have invested major money into mining pointless blocks, they are naturally very opposed to IOTA because it renders their business model useless in the long term. A lot of these miningfarms consist of GPUs, with CognIOTA we can give them an ‘out’ by simply earning iotas for providing a genuine service to the world, rather than waste energy as is the case today solving cryptopuzzles.
Companies / partnerships
- (number of companies under NDA): Too many to remember tbh.
- (CES) We initially had intended for a bigger unveil (one of our partnerships), but that was postponed for a later point. We have a lot of meetings setup for CES though.
- Obviously I can´t comment on any project that hasn´t been announced. But in general, it is all about the data (integrity, security and monetarization) in the industrial environment. This could be a basic technology for many use cases in the smart city, smart transportation smart building and industrial 4.0. Therefore it might not matter so much which use case will be the first one, but rather to prove the industrial grade capability of the technology in the next months. Once the technology is mature enough, there will be plenty of rea world use cases / projects. (by H_Jiang)
- (plans for platform solution for EV charging stations?) IOTA tangle is the technology which definitly could serve this solution and IOTA is envolved in PoCs for that. (by Energine, Foundation member)
- (Planned partnership with Oyster Pearl Team?): No, but we’re generally very open.
- (could google use IOTA for project “Quayside”?): Possibly use IOTA: for sure. We are however, not in contact with Google right now (not sure if they even care about Distributed Ledgers).
- (How did BOSCH buy its tokens?): RBVC bought directly from the Foundation. There are other companies that express interest yes, but I can’t give any details. In principle the IOTA Foundation is reluctant to part with its iotas except for securing runway.
- (Can we expect REALLY BIG partnerships in 2018?): We will make sure of that.
- (When autonomous cars drving in testing equipped with IOTA?) A lot of the work around IOTA happens as part of a open innovation initiative, but a lot of work also happens behind closed doors. With the ITIC partnership will be able to work across open and closed test beds to test IOTA applications in connected, autonomous and electric vehicles. (by Alexander Renz)It is in the nature of the open source approach of the IOTA Foundation that any company large or small can leverage this technology to create new business models in areas such as Car as a wallet, Platooning, Optimized Laning, Toll Stations etc. For competitive reasons, not all of these initiatives leveraging IOTA will be public. (by Jochen Renz)
- (why Foundation in Germany?): The main reason is strategical. Norway is a great country for idealistic non-Profits and is one of the most digital countries in the world, far ahead of Germany. However, Germany is still the center of Europe, and in many ways the international center of industry, it bears a lot of gravitas that make it easier for us to gain traction fast. Even though it is registered in Germany, IOTA itself is very international and distributed. Norway will forever remain it’s HQ in the Nordics though ;)
- (What use are IOTA tokens if other tokens can be built on top of it?) IOTA is an open-source, distributed, decentralized and permissionless protocol — people are free to, and undoubtedly will, build whatever they want on the tangle. This may include these ‘utility tokens’ we see running on Ethereum. This has been a great way for new ideas to raise capital quickly and easily (as this ICO craze has demonstrated), but it remains unclear to me what benefit to users these tokens have as opposed to just paying for a service with money. The reason the native IOTA token would typically make more sense in my mind is that one of the biggest things that makes a currency a currency is its network effect. IOTA’s native token will undoubtedly have this, whereas other tokens built on top of the tangle will not. And if other tokens on-top of the tangle are simply a ‘utility token’ which can buy x,y,z, product. Why would I want this and not simply IOTA? It would be like paying for a hamburger in Apple shares. Ya they have value, and ya they are liquid, but I’d prefer cash (or IOTA, hehe)
- Quite frankly, our top priority is to not dictate our strategy exclusively by the price of IOTA, in fact, our strategy is it to decouple ourselves from this whole market craze as soon as possible, and establish IOTA as the first legitimate project with use cases that add concrete value to society. Remember when we were speaking about Blockchain helping the developing world by solving crucial issues related to trust, corruption and financial access? Very few do. The focus is now on where the quickest gains are to be made, and quite frankly, most of the people at IOTA are disgusted by this, as it will achieve nothing but make those early adopters rich (I mean the Ripple Founder being one of the richest individuals in the world, to me is one of the most ridiculous things ever). So to quickly answer your question: no. We do our own thing. Let the crypto-currency market do theirs.
- (are IoT Chain or SteamR competitors) No, they could work with IOTA.
- (digital ID like passport secured by tangle/DLT?) Quite frankly,in my opinion, a digital identity protocol should be standalone, with a distributed ledger only playing a small, but important part (storing attestations and identity hashes, making them immutable).
2. The Foundation’s response to the DCI attacks
A few weeks ago, a tiny subdivision of the highly-renowned MIT, made a criticism of IOTA which did not follow the rules of a scientific peer-review. Since it was obvious that the accusations were not meant in a collaborative and helpful, but rather in a destructive way, the IOTA foundation decided to de-construct the ways in which IOTA was meant to be harmed: If you believed in what these allegedly renowned scientists said or if you are in doubt about IOTA Foundation’s transparency I strongly advise you to read this article.
The IOTA Foundation was established in Germany in 2017 to support the development of the IOTA platform and related…blog.iota.org
3. Connection to Huawei has been made public
As Jimmy Xiong mentioned on Twitter, IOTA was introduced at the Huawai NB-IOT Partner Annual Meeting in China:
If you cannot understand Chinese, I suggest to read what Mrs.Peng said via the google translator. One can be certain that influential people were listening to her…
If you like this or my previous articles (more than 50,000 views!) on IOTA I would be happy about a little donation ;-):