IOTA: The bigger picture

IOTA has gained lots of interest over the last weeks. Consequently, many people stick to daytrading and are hoping for “another 20% within the next 48hrs”. Yet there is more to IOTA than some short-term gains and in the following I shall address some links which might have not been obvious so far.

  1. The Foundation
  2. The Big Companies
  3. Financial Industry
  4. Other areas

1. The Foundation

First of all, there is the IOTA Foundation itself: registered as an entity under German (!) law, it is the first fully regulated not-for-profit foundation in Germany to be capitalized with a crypto-currency (IOTA Tokens). Looking at the CVs of the foundation members it is evident that these people are all very well connected in various fields as can be seen from this brief summary:

Oliver Bussmann:

  • UBS (Chief Information Officer)
  • SAP (Global Chief Information Officer)
  • Allianz (CIO for North America and Mexico)
  • Deutsche Bank, IBM (Executive positions)

John Edge:

  • launched new lines of algorithmic trading businesses at UBS, Lehman Brothers and j.P. Morgan
  • Cofounder of Redkite which was the world’s first enterprise real-time trade surveillance system for capital markets
  • contributed to the design of Bitcoin ETF
  • Cofounder of Whitechapel Think (Public-Private forum for the UK Government, Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority)
  • Cofounder of ID2020
  • fellow at MIT Connection Science

Julie Maupin:

  • Monster.com (human capital consultant)
  • Graduade degrees in law and economics (Yale)
  • PhD in international development studies + Seniar Researcher at Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Fintech Advisory Board of the German Ministry of Finance
  • member of G20 Digital Economy Experts Task Force
  • resource person for the UN Internet Governance Forum
  • research appointments with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the University College London Centre for Blockchain Technologies

Dr. Navin Ramachandran:

  • practising radiology consultant at University College London Hospital (UCLH)
  • honorary senior lecturer / healthcare data researcher at University College London Centre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education (UCL CHIME)
  • co-founder of OpenCancer and the Platform for Enhanced Analytics and Computational Healthcare (PEACH)

John D. Halamka:

Carsten Stöcker:

  • physicist (PhD from University of Aachen, Germany)
  • leader of the Machine Economy/Blockchain Lighthouse in the innogyInnovation Hub (formerly RWE Innovation Hub; RWE = second-biggest energy supplier of Germany)
  • worked for German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • worked for Accenture GmbH
  • member of the Future Council Network on Blockchain over at World Economic Forum (WEF)

Per Lind:

  • worked as head of marketing for Bang&Olufsen
  • worked for IBM, Responsetek (US/Europe)
  • through his work he has worked with several of the largest brands in the world including Ford, Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz, SonyEricsson, Virgin Media and more.
  • is leading his own business development company Farmor Cloud Factory which works with a wide range of western companies like HYPR, Falcon.io and iMotions
  • mentor at StartupBootcamp

With regard to the amount of members at the IOTA foundation, one could go on like this for quite a long time (see here (not the full list) and here), but I suppose this already serves to underline the integrity of the people involved in the IOTA foundation.

Yet IOTA would not be successful just because it has some bright minds supporting the vision. The business connections go way deeper and have led to some great partnerships (I know, you must be careful about this word in IOTA context to not let the FUDders freak out). Some of these partnerships have been revealed and some of them have not (yet).

I shall show some interesting connections which I have found myself — this is not an official IOTA Foundation position, it’s just my observations so please draw your own conclusions from it:

2. The Big Companies

  • Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a good example for a very big company which has not yet officialy announced their partnership with IOTA and how far this goes. However, looking at the 2017 Fujitsu Keynote in Munich (done by Fujitsu’s Head of Europe Rolf Werner), you will easily see what role IOTA has in their plans for the future:

HHe already wrote about IOTA in Germany’s most renowned trading paper about iota:

You may also have a look at Werner’s Twitter-account and scan for some IOTA-related news. I will leave it to you what it means if the Head of Europe of a company with $40bn in revenues (2016):

  • Bosch

Right before christmas, many people were struck by the news that BOSCH had made its first investment in distributed ledger technology (DLT) or to be more precise: in IOTA.

In case you don’t know what that German company does, here is a chart which explains its role only in the automotive industry (best you google in case you don’t know the other branches):

You might think that this is just some venture capital for a big company — you’re right. But Bosch has already a working product on sale which is basically tailored to the demands of IOTA. A usecase of which has already been demonstrated here:

Moreover, BOSCH is not only playing a bit around with the technology but has officially partnered with IOTA through its Chicago Connectory:

And if you think that this is just some nice playground for the “kids” it may be interesting to you that even Oliver Meili, Head of IoT Development and Operations at BOSCH Software Innovations, cares quite a lot about IOTA which you can see from his likes and retweets, for example here concerning the news of the new IOTA headquarters in Singapore (teaming up with the world’s largest fintech hub LATTICE80):

But BOSCH is mainly a supply firm for the big players of the industry which means that you find their tiny sensors and products in basically every car, for instance (today’s cars have about 300 sensors built-in!). So it is interesting to see that a innovation-driven force like IOTA is teaming up with a company like BOSCH which again joins forces with companies like Daimler to develop whole new concepts of life and mobility.

We cannot (yet) say that IOTA parts are being tested or implemented in Daimler cars for sure, but probably we will soon find out, especially since Autonomous driving and usecases for electrical charging etc. are of main interest for first usecases of IOTA:

While writing this article the news popped up that IOTA has already teamed up with ITIC to provide a solid ground for future testbed runs and, thus, further enhancements regarding the implementation of the technology. This means that cars with IOTA technology will soon drive on their testsites — and of course, you need cars (and correspondingly partnerships!) to do so!

First live demonstrations at public events as an outcome of the IOTA/ITIC collaboration can be expected in 2018, and the organization says these will involve a larger group of joint partner companies.(source)

In this regard, it is interesting to contemplate news like this one about BOSCH joining major car manufacturers in buying stakes for sensor-related tech (remember, the technology which is at the heart of IOTA): click.

  • Volkswagen

Talking about cars, we have to take a brief look at Volkswagen because they also have not yet announced an official partnership, but if you put the single pieces together, you will get the right picture automatically:

The above-mentioned Carsten Stöcker pioneered in using blockchain and DLT for the energy and automotive industry by linking both: Charging stations for electrical vehicles have been of prime interest to him and his team at innogylabs (which is the innovation HUB of Germany’s second-biggest energy supplier RWE, click here for some IOTA-related insights). But his second innovative approach with working Proof of Concepts is the Digital Twin: One of its usecases is to prevent odometer fraud (in a nutshell: car data is stored safely on a blockchain and can be verified there so that potential fraud can be easily detected).

In this context, Volkswagen is more or less officially a partner as can be seen from this interview on German national TV (turn on subtitles) with Dominik Schiener (Cofounder of IOTA) and VW’s CDO Johann Jungwirth:

Would the CDO of Volkswagen call IOTA a “highly exciting technology” if the company was not REALLY interested?

And would he post such tweets (the question was if he still believes in IOTA) if he thought that all the FUD around IOTA was real?

As can be seen, the big companies are still careful about announcing partnerships officially (which makes sense, of course, looking at the impact such “news” would have on a whole industry and they of course want to be supersafe first before launching stuff).

But what is interesting is following the small and light footsteps some people leave in the internet by commenting and liking certain things. Of course, the following is not a proof in itself but still worthy of further contemplation with regard to potential IOTA-supporting companies.

  • Amazon

Quite lately, IBM’s former CCO and now Head of Desing and Internet of Things at Amazon Joanna Peña-Bickley has tweeted about IOTA. On December 14, she wrote (see also the responses below):

Then there was the FUD-campaign against IOTA and also Joanna was confronted with it:

Yet David, IOTA’s co-founder, offered to get in talks with her:

Obviously, she must have noticed that the “news” were only FUD, because now she is in favour of IOTA apparently:

and she even liked my own article ;-):

So, of course, this is not a confirmation of anything yet, but it is interesting to see that even such big players like Amazon are interested in IOTA’s technology.

3. Financial industry

Disclaimer: The following is just my line of thought, nothing of it has been confirmed so far, but I would consider this interesting:

Asked at an IOTA meetup, Oliver Bussmann (a renowned finance expert), revealed that IOTA foundation is in “serious discussions with central banks to introduce an e-currency” (direct link):

This in itself is really interesting. But adding to it, Per Lind, another IOTA foundation member tweeted in October that IOTA is in talks with national banks:

Looking at the news the tweet refers to you will see that it deals with the Bank of England. Intrestingly enough, an article was published last week by the Telegraph stating that this Bank “plots its own bitcoin-style currency”.

Of course, Lind did not confirm this:

But he liked the tweet asking about if this has something to do with IOTA…

Looking at what banks like the Deutsche Bank (Germany’s biggest bank) have to say about IOTA is also interesting:

In conclusion: IOTA has solved the fundamental problems of blockchain, because it is scalable and does not cause any costs. The problem is, that this payment system only works if cryptocurrencies are compatible with each other, because IOTA does not have blocks and chains.

The full analysis from December 2017 can be found here.

4. Other areas

  • Cities / municipalities

Looking at the latest news you might get the impression that IOTA is all about the car industry — in fact, it is not!

One major area of interest is called smart cities which basically means that cities will adopt IoT-technology to make life more convenient, energy- and cost-efficient. One example would be the Haarlem municipality in the Netherlands which is starting to administer their documents by means of the IOTA technology.

Again, this is in its infancy but if you connect the dots, things are getting clearer: Oslo, capital of Norway, is optimizing its IT operations platform and has chosen Sopra Steria consulting company to do so — nothing special so far, but if you know that this €3.7bn (revenue) company has partnered with IOTA, it would make sense for them to use IOTA technology, right?

Sometimes you stumble across interesting posts: Darmstadt, a city in Germany, is apparently trying to become Germany’s “smartest” city and the hashtag #IOTA appears here also. However, the article does not say a word about IOTA itself, but it seems like a perfect place to try out the capabilities of the tangle.

  • Hotel industry

Projects from the community include reaching out to the founder of booking.com for implementing IOTA in the hotel industry; there are even working terminals operating on the IOTA layer:

So overall it becomes obvious than IOTA is more than just another crypto currency: it has come to establish a whole new type of economy based on sensor-related information which can be sold on its own marketplace and thus providing access to an unseen amount of data.

It would be short-sighted to say that IOTA has not yet delivered to its promises: Looking at what has been achieved already it is way more than most other cryptos can claim for themselves and yet IOTA is only warming up for becoming the base-protocol of a trillion-dollar industry.

What sets it apart from its contenders?Answer: It is a working product which has already real, working usecases among the real big player who have lined up to support it! Any other crypto who can claim that?

If you like this or my previous article (more than 20,000 views!) on IOTA I would be happy about a little donation ;-):

IOTA: KGOZYHJRYVDBSXTUSECYJVEBLDVYFKCAKAWTPTCKXMBNOWNVRDRHRVSJNIVOQUFRODFPXWYSGROKRWKRZWJZTJOHSX

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