The ALTernative Crypto: IoT Chain (ITC)

An in-depth look at the alternative cryptocurrency ITC, how its about to revolutionize the IoT space & why 2018 will be big year for it.

Adil
Adil
Feb 7, 2018 · 11 min read

(These are my personal views and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before making any investments)

The Internet of Things or, as cool kids call it, IoT. Probably the number one buzzword being thrown around by all manner of tech companies and industry leaders over the past decade. We were sold grandiose visions from having your alarm clock waking you up without being set as it already has access to your calendar, to your fridge knowing when its low on supplies and sends you a text to buy more eggs when you’re at the supermarket, referring to the location data on your Apple watch. All our devices and machines sharing information, working as one and leading us to the “promised land”.

Yet today, the most common consumer use of IoT is probably telling Alexa to order us a new pack of toilet rolls or to turn on our Hue lights in the living room. Don’t let the marketing and endless wave of new IoT products fool you.

The internet of things is going through something of a rough patch. The recent spate of high profile security lapses regarding user data, major hacks well as the fragmented state of the industry has caused people to think twice about replacing their key features of their homes and lives with IoT products. Consumers today are also now more aware of the personal data that they are giving up and are choosing to make decisions that restrict the free flow of user data that companies used to have.

What is IOTchain?

This is where IoT Chain or ITC comes in. Put simply, IoTchain is a secure & lite operating system for IoT, powered by the blockchain. It combines the blockchain with Direct Acrylic Graph (DAG) technology to operate IOT devices with low computing power. Using this mix of technologies, IoT Chain’s grand goal is to provide the framework for low-cost, secure connectivity for the Internet of Things.

Tackling Today’s Key Problems

Security

Today’s current IoT security model is close-sourced and mostly based on the concept of “security through obscurity”. The most recent example of the weakness of this model is the Mirai botnet attack which infected tens of thousands of IoT devices and used the botnet army it created to take down key worldwide internet infrastructure. The leaking of user data either through hacks or security lapses are also starting to occur more frequently.

To solve these problems, IoT Chain proposes the use of asymmetrical encryption. With this model, as long as the users private key is kept secure, the private user data cannot be cracked even if it has been collected by IoT devices. The characteristic nature of the blockchain also means that it is (as far as we know today) immune to traditional internet attacks. Management of identity access and multi-party consensus will also contribute to the recognition of nefarious nodes and stop malicious nodes from accessing the network. This will also prevent tampering by both manufacturers, service providers and as well as nefarious entities.

Cost

Today’s IoT solutions providers are paying millions of dollars a year in fees building and maintaining the infrastructure for a centralized cloud and large-scale server clusters. The level of investment required is huge. With IoT devices as well, equipment manufacturing enterprises do not make enough profits to support the infrastructure over a long time period.

IoT Chain proposes the use of tens of thousands of nodes as well as distributed ledger technology to meet the needs of IoT data storage. The decentralized nature of the blockchain also ensures that there is no need for a centralized, highly intensive, server cluster. This will significantly reduce the costs of IoT infrastructure.

The IoT Chain Infrastructure

IoT Chain aims to solve many of the key problems of applying blockchain technology to the field of IoT today. These include the form of consensus, quick simultaneous payments of very small amounts between devices as well as the protection of personal data. I will be brief in this section to avoid getting too technical. (To understand more do read the whitepaper)

ITC will be as fast as DAG, as safe as DPOS

PBFT + DAG

ITC uses Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance(PBFT) to achieve main chain consensus. If you don’t know what it means, thats fine, Just know that its effective, its fast and it works. PBFT is already in use by the Central Bank of China and IBM’s Hyperledger project. Variants of this consensus algorithm are already being used by Stellar, Ripple and NEO.

The use of Directed Acyclic Graph(DAG) technology also allows for drastically improved transaction performance and makes IoT Chain resistant to quantum attacks. (You can find a brief but decent explanation about DAG here.

Simple Payment Verification (SPV)

SPV also allows payment verification to be made without needing the complete blockchain. This is a key component of having a successful IoT payment mechanism on the blockchain. SPV will help save data as well as bandwidth.

ChainCode Data Analysis

Organisaitons seeking to access IoT Chain user data for any purpose will have to use and submit their ChainCode to IoT Chain (ChainCode explanation here). ITC then uses probability model algorithms to carry out the ChainCode data analysis. This will ensure that contracts submitted to the ChainCode cannot steal user data. It can only obtain the aggregated data.

The ITC Token

The ITC token serves as a unit of value within the IoT Chain ecosystem. If companies utilize users data for their analysis, algorithm model training, advertising or any other purpose, the company has to pay the users who have provided the data to them. This determined amount will be paid for using the ITC token. This puts the user data back into our hands, allowing us to benefit from what we used to give away for free.

The ITC token today is also only an ERC-20 token. It will be converted to the IoT Chain’s native token once the mainnet is up and running.

The IoT Chain Team

As always, I look at the team as one of the most important factors when deciding whether to invest in a token. The IoT Chain team seems to have all the qualifications needed to get this project off the ground. The team is not only well versed in the blockchain space, but also have significant experience working in the field of IoT.

Details regarding the team are a little light but if you have any doubts do watch some of the videos and interviews of the CEO and team. It was from watching the interviews that I started trusting the team more. I believe that they have the technical knowledge and required networks to back up their claims. But let me warn you, some of their English is quite bad. Doesn’t really matter in the technical standpoint but just prepare your ears.

Partnerships

One of the key reasons to invest in ITC is the partnerships that they have. Most of the other ICO startups make big promises of revolutionizing industries but lets be honest, nothing will change without at least some of the big boys adopting the product or solution. Hence I’m very bullish on ITC. Being an IoT company, what ITC needs is users and companies with an existing base of IoT products/hardware that would benefit from leveraging the IoT Chain platform. Listed below are all the confirmed companies that will be working together with IoTchain in one aspect or another in the future.

Shanghai High Flying Electronics Technology Co. Ltd.
- An IoT hardware provider and manufacturer. IoT Chain is working with them to produce chips that contain IoT Chain firmware. The chips will allow other manufacturers to easily integrate IoT Chain functionality into their hardware. This should help to accelerate adoption

Shanghai Shuncom Smart Technology
-
This is a company specialising in the field of wireless communication and also a member of the Alibaba Smart Living IoT Alliance. IoTchain will be working with them to integrate their lighting chips into the IoTchain ecosystem.

Telink Semiconductor Co. Ltd
- Telink designs and sells integrated circuit chips. Intel is an investor in this company and GE is already using Telink BLE Mesh technology in their smart lighting products. IoTchain will be platform what ensures the safety of the underlying devices in the future.

Shenzhen Galaxywind Network System Co. Ltd
- This is a company that produces high performance wireless routers and smart devices such as smart thermostats for air conditioning, smart power points, smart LED bulbs and smart door locks. IoT Chain firmware will be integrated into their products in the future.

#Hashed
- Hashed is a leading crypto fund in South Korea with investments in many well-known projects like OmiseGo and ICON. IoT Chain and Hashed will work together to promote IoT Chain to blockchain supporters in South Korea, the United States, and other regions. They will also join forces to explore IoT Chain’s applications and implementations for the Internet of Things in various industries and further promote the application of blockchain technology in commercial and residential.

Cheetah Mobile (unconfirmed)
-
This partnership remains unconfirmed but the 2 companies are already being strongly linked after an image of the Cheetah mobile CEO surrounded by the ITC and FBG Capital team made its rounds on the web. Cheetah Mobile has over 600 million customers.

+ Shanghai Be-Tiger Network Technology Co. Ltd

+ Shenzhen Lenze Technology Co. Ltd

and many more, some confirmed and some unconfirmed.

Investors

As much research and due diligence that we as retail investors do, the amount of information and access we have is probably but a small percentage of what the institutions have. Hence, having good, well respected investors is probably a good sign of a well-run and high-potential project. These institutional investors will no doubt have spoken to the team members as well as carried out in-depth due diligence into the company before pouring their millions in.

Investors in IoT Chain include:

FBG Capital
-
FBG Capital is one of the biggest players in the blockchain investment space. They have investments in some of the biggest names in the space like 0x as well as Zilliqa. A thumbs up from them is definitely a promising sign.

Hitters Xu
-
The founder of Antshares, now known as NEO.

and more.

Market Capitalisation

As I always like to say, especially in today’s bearish looking market. If you want to make them outsized gains, you have to invest in the coins with a smaller market cap. While ITC had previously reached the heights of over $340 million in market cap at over USD$ 9 a token, the last few weeks the token price has been hovering in the range of USD$1.90-$3.20 with a market cap of about USD$109 million today.

Now is the perfect time to get into ITC or add to your stack. I’m not one for wild projections but I really do believe that ITC will be one of the projects that has a great 2018 and with the discount it’s at now, you could be in for some healthy gains.

Whats Coming Up?

  • IoT Chain just awarded the Blockchain Excellence award at the World Economic Forum in Davos
  • Recent release of IoT Chain DAG source code on GitHub. You can view it here.
  • IoT Chain DAG test network has just been released today, February 7, 2018 @ 20:00 (UTC+8). Check it out on the github: https://github.com/IoTChainCode/itc-ts
  • Next destination for the team is to reach 100,000 transfers per second before the main-net launch, which is 100 times more than the current test-net level
  • IoT Chain yellow paper to be released shortly

My Concerns

Of course, its not all just sunshine and rainbows.

IOTA

Many people are calling this the “IOTA of China” even though the goals of the 2 projects are slightly different. My concern is that IOTA have secured many main stream partnerships and if they start progressing rapidly on their roadmap, it may suck all the oxygen out of the room for IoT Chain.

Poor translation of Whitepaper

There are clearly many issues with the translation of the IoT Chain whitepaper. This is something that is usually a red flag for me. I mean how hard could it be to just pay a professional to convert the paper into English.

Constant Promotions and Giveaways

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The company is constantly having giveaways, promotional periods etc. It can rub some people the wrong way and make people think that the founders are only interested in getting the price of the token up. I personally have not decided what I feel about this. Suffice to say, I am already invested.

The Final Word

I have been buying ITC since it launched on Huobi and will continue to keep adding to my stack, dollar cost averaging my way in. Sure, the token price has come crashing down from its beautiful highs but in all honesty, that rapid climb happened way too quickly.

With 2018 probably being the year of regulation it is also a good sign to me that the founders seem to be ready for it.

Regulation is not contradictory to the decentralization of the blockchain and good regulation can be transparent, guiding companies to disclose relevant information
Lu Xinhao, Co-founder of IoT Chain

This project is solving a legitimate problem, has a solid team, trusted investors as well as strong and relevant partnerships in the industry. The test net allows the team to prove that IoT Chain is not just a whitepaper or an idea, but tangible product with huge real-world applications. In the long run I believe that this will be one of the few successful crypto projects and will play a key role in our IoT future.

IoT devices will only become more and more prevalent in our lives. At the same time, we as users are feeling more and more protective of our personal data. This bodes well for the future IoT Chain is trying to build. Making IoT infrastructure and devices more secure while putting the ownership of our data back into the hands of consumers. Furthermore, even in this bear market, ITC is holding its own pretty well and I have a feeling this will be a good year for ITC hodlers.

So, have fun, good luck and may we see each other on the moon (:


Before you go: If you’ve found the article to be useful and enjoyable in anyway do help a brother out by dropping a few coins so I can get some coffee at the cafe when writing my next piece. Any amount is appreciated. No amount is too little. Links below (:

If you disagree with anything or would just like to chat, drop a response below. I’m open to constructive feedback and thoughts.

Peace out.

Send ETH here : 0xEE70a49c4Ec5463d6a253cDBEB468B7d93cd98e9
Send ITC here : 0xEE70a49c4Ec5463d6a253cDBEB468B7d93cd98e9
Send Stellar (XLM) here : GAG2WUANOMES4RECMJKYMWB3R6XMTC54BM4WXCIZNJCGK4PFLHDMHIWB


Disclaimer: The trading of crypto-currencies has potential rewards, and it also has potential risks involved. Trading may not be suitable for all people. Anyone wishing to invest should seek his or her own independent financial or professional advice. This article is not financial advice and should not be taken as such. Invest at your own risk.

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Adil

Written by

Adil

Keeping it Real. Tech & Investing Enthusiast. Design Engineer @ResMed

HackerNoon.com

how hackers start their afternoons.

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