The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to grow to more than 75 billion smart devices generating nearly unimaginable 80 trillion GB of data by 2025. McKinsey estimates that the market will be worth a staggering $11 trillion.
More and more everyday objects are equipped with cameras and sensors, from door locks to lights and mirrors. While turning everyday objects into smart devices can bring various benefits for users, there are still massive gaps in security, privacy, and interoperability.
Occasionally, consumers outrage wages when they find out that Alexa has been listening to them at all times and uses the data to target them with ads better. Something privacy advocates have warned of a long time ago. But it’s not just corporates spying on their consumers (after they agreed to it in the T&Cs). Users also miss out on monetizing all the valuable data their smart devices generate.
IoTeX is set to change that.
Started as an open-source project in 2017, the network has grown to include 7245 devices, facilitates more than 12,8 million transactions, and hosts a community of 200,000 members.
What is IoTeX?
IoTeX is on a mission to provide a decentralized platform that empowers open economics for machines. A network that allows people and machines to interact based on trust and properly aligned economic incentives.
Over 40 researchers, scientists, and engineers are dedicated full-time to maintaining and continually improving the blockchain network. The IoTeX blockchain is a native blockchain built from scratch to serve many IoT use cases. It’s inherently EVM compatible, making it easy for developers to port smart contracts from one blockchain to IoTeX, and facilitates connectivity to other blockchains like Ethereum, BSC, and more.
The IoTeX team has established that they do not see their solution as an “Ethereum killer” but as a hub for IoT devices and data. They’re more interested in collaborating with Ethereum and other layer 1-s to create network effects.
Under the hood, IoTeX employs its unique version of a delegated-Proof-of-Stake in combination with Ring Signatures to enable privacy.
How does the IoTeX blockchain work?
As a blockchain platform connecting various IoT devices with very varied hardware, a consensus algorithm like Proof-of-Work was unsuitable for the network. To still establish a trustless environment, IoTeX developed its algorithm based on dPoS.
In traditional delegated Proof-of-Stake, token holders can delegate their tokens to a validating node in return for a share of the block rewards.
IoTeX added an element of randomizing nodes to this algorithm to enhance capabilities in terms of decentralization and extensibility and called it Roll-DPoS. Roll-DPoS runs in periods, called epochs. This is how it works:
- On the IoTeX blockchain, any node can self-nominate and register to become a block producer.
- The community casts their votes to their favorite node. The weight of their vote is proportional to the tokens a community member holds.
- At the beginning of each epoch, the nodes with the highest vote counts are selected.
- Selected nodes form a candidate pool.
- Block Producers are picked at random from the candidate pool through a deterministic random bit generator.
- Producers take turns, propose and validate blocks. They reach consensus through a practicalBFT mechanism (read more on BFT here).
- At the end of each epoch, the algorithm automatically adjusts the size of the pool, depending on the network load.
By adjusting the size of the pools at each epoch, IoTeX can scale near infinitely while accommodating the resource limitations of IoT devices.
Other crucial parts of the network include:
- decentralized IDs: every user and machine is allocated a decentralized ID on IoTeX. The self-managed digital id enables devices and people to interact. The framework the team has developed is now even being standardized in enterprise tech consortiums such as the Industrial Internet Consortium.
- Real-World Data Oracle: connect the blockchain with the real world. They bring together off-chain data with smart contracts. IoTeX has built its first “real-world data oracle” to unlock a new data source for the blockchain industry: Verifiable real-world data from trusted devices.
- Secure Hardware: IoTeX pioneered bringing together TEE (trusted hardware elements) with the concept of blockchain in multiple forms, including edge devices and confidential computing servers.
Lastly, the network includes various privacy features to ensure that data integrity and confidentiality are adhered to.
IoTeX is already powering real devices such as UCAM, a private home camera that keeps thieves out and ensures that the only one with access to it is the person who holds the 256bit private key. The ecosystem has grown tremendously over the years since its main net launch in April 2019.
All transactions on IoTeX are facilitated by the native IOTX token, which is used to reward block producers and pay for services on-chain. Holding IoTX will also give traders access to cast their votes for block producers.
Recently, the price of IOTX experienced a huge pump bringing it from $0.02 to $0.11, a more than 5-fold increase within a short amount of time since the price has slightly retraced to lower levels.