IOTA: Area Codes, Trinity Update, New Untangled Episode on Smart Cities, Payments App Zeux Adds IOTA, New Team Members

Biweekly update 8th March — 22th March

This is not financial advice.

During the last two weeks, IOTA team made progress with development. They introduced IOTA Area Codes (IACs) — short, tryte-encoded, location codes that can be used to tag and retrieve IOTA transactions related to specific locations. A blog post with Trinity Wallet progress and results was published. After bug fixing, the team’s focus has shifted towards completing the outstanding issues and features required for full release. They aim to introduce deep linking into the final release and to have manual sweeps ready. Another area that the team is focusing on is test coverage. They also plan to add end-to-end tests, which will allow them to test changes in an environment that simulates user behavior. As for social encounters, these weeks the team attended several events, there were few short interviews given. Richard Soley’s blogged on his meetings with the IOTA Foundation and the McKinsey EMEA IoT Summit 2019. New Untangled Episode on the topic of Smart Cities with a focus on the energy sector and the immense challenges residing therein was published. Zeux, payments and banking services app, has teamed with the IOTA Foundation to create a system that will allow users to use MIOTA tokens as payment with merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. IOTA Research Grant awarded to professor Robert Shorten. Three new team members added to IOTA. IOTA community and ecosystem are increasing in size and this is amazing. Stay tuned!

Development

GitHub metrics

Development is ongoing. Commits on public GitHub appears regularly, several times a day.

Developer activity (from Coinlib.io)

IOTA Area Codes — A proposal to geo-tag IOTA transactions:

IOTA is a flexible protocol that can be utilized in various ways. The most common is value transfer via the native token. However, IOTA can be easily extended by building standards on top of the base protocol. Both Masked Authenticated Messaging & Flash Channels are a perfect example of this.

IOTA is proposing a new standard that will enable IOTA-based applications to be built around geographic regions.

Introducing IOTA Area Codes (IACs)

IACs are short, tryte-encoded, location codes that can be used to tag and retrieve IOTA transactions related to specific locations. The IACs are typically 10 trytes long and will represent a 13.5m by 13.5m area, at the equator. However IACs can be 11 trytes long and represent a 2.8m by 3.5m grid.

IACs are a direct copy of the Open Location Codes, also known as Plus Codes, proposed by Google Zurich in 2014. There are a few minor changes to make it compatible with IOTA’s encoding.

Source: IOTA Blog.

Why this is powerful

When publishing information on IOTA there is no way to easily identify transactions that relate to a geographic areas. These transactions could contain localized service advertisements, sensor information or any number of other data formats.

In order to find transactions related to an area you’d have to register your transactions with a centralized service, like a data marketplace, that collects locations to store and serve it to consumers.

By using IACs in the first 11 trytes of the 27 tryte tag field in an IOTA transaction, the team can localize an IOTA transaction to a 2.8m by 3.5m area. This allows for someone to find a transaction related to a small area, however the real value of this system comes from the ability to query large swaths of land for related transactions.

Querying large areas

The original OLC protocol is able to accurately represent areas on the globe by using 5 pairs of characters. Each pair of characters added to the code represent a 400x increase in accuracy. A side effect of the code being determined by sequential set of pairs, rather than a unique code, is the team is able to vary the accuracy by removing pairs from right to left. This allows them to ingest and store the pairs in a way that they can query somewhat efficiently.

So by querying the initial 4 trytes of tags, that match the correct IAC format, they can find transactions in a 100km by 100 km area.

Example: By querying for all tags that start with NPHT they can find all items in a 100km by 100km area covering Berlin & parts of Potsdam. Then by using these 6 trytes: NPHTQO they are able to see transactions within a few suburbs in central/north Berlin.

Examples

Today, IOTA is publishing the library that enables encoding and decoding of location data. Along with this, Martyn Janes has created a fully featured demonstration that allows you to do the following:

  • Create & convert IACs
  • Publish IAC messages to the Devnet
  • Wildcard query all IAC transactions on the Devnet.
  • Watch IAC transactions appear in realtime on a map.

Demo Application.

Github Library.

NPM Repo.

Trinity Update: March 19th:

In the previous update, IOTA team highlighted some of the ongoing developments for the security audit of the Trinity wallet. This post outlines their progress and results.

As announced in the last update, the Trinity mobile and desktop applications are undergoing a security audit by a leading security firm. The audit will assess authentication, storage areas, configuration and validation in the applications, and will ensure that a high level of security is in place. Since submission for security audit, the team has tackled the outstanding bug list for mobile reported by their beta testers.

Here is a summary of some of the recent completed and in-progress works.

Desktop

- Add retry button, error log and change node Realm migration (#1041)

- Add migration retry and node change functionality (#1094)

- Update Entangled node use 1) add batched proof-of-work and 2) switch to trits address generation (#1095)

- Ledger functionality and UX bug fixes (#1101)

Mobile

- Correctly update history screen props when modal props are updated (#1046)

- Automate entangled android build (#1065)

- Integrate native signing (#1097)

- Fix Entangled (iOS) bugs/memory leaks (#1100)

- Replace QR dependency (#1119)

- Rebuild Entangled libs with API level 19 (#1138)

- Fix UI bugs and refactor some areas of codebase (#1146)

- Enable 2FA on “view seed” screen and improve UI (#1171)

- Use local time for SeedVault export file (#1178)

- Document entangled build steps (#1052)

- Add account name autofill for SeedVault (#1181)

- Link up trit-based checksums (#1172)

- Refactor CustomTextInput component and add ability to mask/unmask text (#1173)

Shared

- Fix issues related to renaming account (#1045, 1077)

- Integrate batched proof-of-work (#1071)

- Remove dead nodes from local configuration (#1087)

- Setup realm schema migration (#1089)

- Update Argon2iOS to accept Int8 array (#1090)

- Fix invalid bundle issue on zero value transaction with bundle size > 1 (#1093)

- Add more default nodes (#1106)

- Fix order in which bundles are stored (#1108)

- Do not store invalid bundles constructed with local PoW (#1122)

- Fix account index issue (#1139)

- Add eclipse project files path to gitignore (#1140)

- Add polling service for automatically retrying failed transactions in wallet (#1142)

- Resolve request package to version >=2.88.0 (#1148)

- Reduce quorum size temporarily to reduce load times (#1149)

- Fix propType warnings in tests (#1150)

- Disable quorum on login (#1157)

- Update the year header to be current (#1160)

- Resolve node.extend package to version >=1.1.7 (#1161)

- Update sinonjs to version ^7.2.7 (#1163)

- Improve realm schema and data migration setup (#1168)

After bug fixing, team’s focus has shifted towards completing the outstanding issues and features required for full release.

Taking into consideration advice from the security audit team, they aim to introduce deep linking into the final release. This will allow users to automatically open Trinity by clicking on a link on a vendor’s site, ready to pay the correct amount to the correct address.

The team also hopes to have manual sweeps ready before (or soon after) full release. Trinity does not traditionally allow spending from “previously spent addresses” for safety reasons. This new Manual Sweep feature will unblock these funds by securely transferring them to an unused address, whilst minimising the chance of attack.

Another area that the team is focusing on before full release is test coverage. While Trinity already has good overall test coverage, it still misses some tests for critical areas such as the keychain and the Realm database. They also plan to add end-to-end tests, which will allow them to test changes in an environment that simulates user behavior.

More on Trinity Wallet.

Videos from Official IOTA Foundation Youtube channel:

In this stream, Dave de Fijter dives into the Open Sourced Data Marketplace code. He goes over how to deploy a new marketplace to Firebase and talks about the sensor he plans to add to it in a next stream.

Source code.

More about Open sourcing the Data Marketplace.

In this webinar, IOTA’s Director of Ecosystems, Lewis Freiberg, provides a comprehensive exploration of the IOTA protocol: Distributed ledgers and their practical applications. He provides several examples of IOTA Smart City use cases.

IOTA is hosting a Smart City contest via Hackster.io, which ends April 6th, 2019. At the heart of the contest is the opportunity for developers from around the globe to solve inter-city challenges submitted by a variety of corporate entities. Corporate sponsors who developed the Smart City challenges include Groupe Renault, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, Birdz by Veolia, and Sopra Steria while supporting sponsors include Tech Mahindra, Future State CoFoundery, City of Austin (Transportation Department), and Norske Helsehus.

IOTA’s unique distributed ledger Tangle technology will be used by participants to develop innovative IoT/M2M and data driven concepts for the smart city environment for an opportunity to win over $10,000 in prizes.

For more information on specific themes and how to participate, visit the IOTA contest page on Hackster.

Social encounters

In this episode of Untangled the team is digging into the substantial topic of Smart Cities with a specific focus on the energy sector and the immense challenges residing therein.

To uncover what the cities of the near future will be like to live in and how they will be shaped, they are talking to André Bryde Alnor, Market Developer at Energinet’s Digitalization Department, Danish operator of energy infrastructure and Patrick Driscoll, Project Developer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and Technical Manager of the EU-funded Smart City project, +CityxChange.

They are also talking to IOTA Business Development Manager, Wilfried Pimenta, about the roles of distributed ledger technologies in the creation of Smart Cities and in the existing and upcoming version of the energy sector.

There is a lot of territory to cover within the realm of Smart Cities, so this will be a two-part-series, with the second part airing already next week with the same guests, but with a specific focus on citizen centric solutions within Smart Cities and energy distribution.

Listen to the episode here.

Untangled is available on a wide array of platforms; all listed below:

Transistor, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Castro, Radio Public, TuneIn

After a busy week in Raleigh for the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) February’s meeting, Richard spent a week in Berlin, primarily for meetings with the IOTA Foundation and the McKinsey EMEA IoT Summit 2019. IOTA is doing quite well, focusing on distributed ledger technology designed for the IoT machine-to-machine world. OMG is looking at the technology for standardization and several IIC members and other interested parties are looking at it for the trustworthiness component of a new testbed or two, so my IOTA Foundation duties meld well with Object Management Group (OMG) ones! There are some interesting and impactful new announcements coming from the Foundation in the coming months ─ including their applications for liaison with both OMG and IIC.

The highlight of the week was Richard’s “fireside chat” at the McKinsey EMEA IoT Summit 2019 with McKinsey partner Brett May. Bringing together some hundreds of McKinsey’s biggest customers worldwide, this event focused on building IoT ecosystems ─ the core of the IIC approach to its mission after all. Their fireside chat focused on the trends driving IoT adoption, which closely match what they see at both the OMG and the IIC.

Dr Soley (left) discusses IIoT adoption trends with McKinsey’s Brett May (right). Source: Richard’s blog post.

Upcoming events:

  • March 27th, 2019: Janna Zielinski and Regine Haschka-Helmer will be speaking at C3 Crypto Conference in Berlin.
Source: C3 Crypto Conference.

Finance

Information from Thetangle.org (March 22th, 2019)

Roadmap

Research & Development Roadmap: Status of projects in progress at the IOTA Foundation.

Research: Projects still in the research phase

  • Coordicide

List and solve all the problems on the way to a Coo-less IOTA. This project is mostly theoretical, and includes threat analysis, mathematical modeling, simulation, and formalization of our consensus protocol.

  • Spam prevention and detection

IOTA is looking for creative ways of dealing with FPGAs and asymmetric PoW. They are examining various options, mostly around the idea of throttling noisy neighbors. Their aim is to isolate spammers and protect the rest of the network.

  • Automatic peer discovery

Given the community input and various ecosystem projects, IOTA is taking a closer look at the security implications of auto-peering. Although this is a complex research topic, it is important for the team to formulate a well-founded position on this matter, and carefully assess the risks involved.

  • Economic Incentives

Continuing the recent efforts of Popov et al with their Nash Equilibria work, the team is analyzing the IOTA incentive model using increasingly more realistic game theoretical models. This incentive analysis plays a fundamental role in understanding the Tangle behavior and its stability when deployed at scale.

  • Consensus Algorithm spec

IOTA is working on detailed spec of the Tangle consensus algorithm, building upon the foundation set by the white paper. The main purpose of this doc is allowing public peer review of the algorithm.

  • Cryptography spec

This spec details all the cryptographic elements of IOTA: the hash functions, signing schemes, and threat model assumptions. The purpose of this document is to provide a basis for a public peer review and audit.

  • Attack analysis

This project is related to the Coordicide efforts, and involves analytical and numerical analysis of various sorts of attacks, from the simplest side-chain double spend to the more complex thug, parasite chain, and splitting attacks. IOTA is working to get numerical estimations for the cost of attacking the network, and making sure the price tag stays prohibitively in the post-Coordinator world.

Engineering: Projects under active development

  • Hub

While a number of exchanges have had great success integrating IOTA, it is certainly not the easiest task in the world. Hub simplifies exchange integration of IOTA so that IOTA can be listed in weeks, not months.

  • IRI

The IOTA Reference Implementation is the de facto model for running an IOTA node. It is the place where both community and Foundation engineers meet and collaborate to improve the Tangle, and the focus of IOTA network target.

  • Coo-free IRI

As it stands, IRI does not support the Tangle as described in the white paper. In order to support alternate consensus mechanisms, the current approach to consensus must be abstracted out so that it can later be replaced by a fully distributed mechanism. This project is separate from, but closely related to Coordicide, and this separation allows us to work on different parts of the problem in parallel.

  • Qubic

Enable smart contracts, oracles, and outsourced computation on the Tangle.

  • Trinity

While the original desktop IOTA wallet got the job done, it is not exactly the best in terms of user experience. With Trinity, IOTA brings a top quality user experience together with in-depth security audits, enabling more people to use IOTA easily and safely.

  • Local Snapshots & Permanodes

Some IOTA nodes care about the entire history of the Tangle, and some don’t. As the Tangle scales, it would become impossible for smaller nodes to keep up. Allowing for local snapshots and permanodes are the ‘two sides of the same coin’ needed to allow for either permanent and selective storage as required for a particular use case.

  • C Client

Most existing client libraries are written in higher-level languages unsuitable for embedded devices. Since IOTA is designed for the IoT, it will ultimately be necessary to support small, low-powered, embedded devices, and C is the ‘lowest common denominator’ programming language for many of these potential applications.

  • MAM+

While MAM already exists, it is missing a few key features and documentation. A formal specification and improved version of MAM leveraging public-key encryption is currently being written by the experts from the Research Institute for Applied Problems of Mathematics and Informatics at Belarusian State University.

  • Tanglescope

Performance and monitoring tools such as TangleScope allow researchers, engineers and interested 3rd parties to gain deeper insights into the Tangle’s network capabilities.

  • PoWBox

One of the difficulties in developing for IOTA is waiting for Proof of Work results for every transaction. Additionally, small or low-powered devices may simply be unable to do PoW in a realistic timeframe. The PoWBox provides an example of how PoW may simply be outsourced to a more powerful machine, and demonstrates the flexibility of the IOTA protocol.

  • iota.lib.js

The JavaScript client library is widely used for IOTA development, and serves as a reference point for client libraries in other languages.

  • Curl+

Since replacing Curl-P with the industry standard Keccak hash function, IOTA has enlisted the help of the renowned cryptography experts from CyberCrypt. CyberCrypt’s experts will take what they’ve learned from Curl-P, work to understand IOTA’s specific requirements, and design a better, more secure lightweight hash function specifically for the IoT.

You can also follow the development on IOTA Official Discord.

Partnerships and team members

Source: IOTA Blog.

Payments and banking services app Zeux has teamed with the IOTA Foundation to create a system that will allow users to use MIOTA tokens as payment with merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Zeux, an FCA authorized financial service company, will launch in Europe this April and in the US in 2020 at hundreds of merchants, ranging from coffee shops to grocery stores. The app company provides a simpler way to pay, bank and invest by integrating all these services onto one place. It is a digital banking solution for both fiat and cryptocurrencies and leverages a long list of third-party partners to provide integrated investment products to its customers. The company charges no fees for account opening, money transfers, top-up or crypto payment commissions.

David Sønstebø, founder and co-chairman of IOTA Foundation, said “This partnership with Zeux will provide a significant convenience benefit for IOTA ecosystem. We are very excited for this. Now IOTA digital currency can be used as payment with merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. By combining existing technology with another form of currency, this is a big step forward towards the adoption of crypto for the masses.’’

Frank Zhou, Founder and CEO of Zeux, said the partnership will drive the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency use in daily lives. “Zeux is very excited about partnering with the IOTA,” Zhou said. ”As a distributed ledger with zero transaction fees, The Tangle is a very promising chain for us to build our customer data Dapp. This marks another step forward in our journey. We look forward to working with IOTA and giving their customer base even more financial freedom.”

More about Zeux

The company has also introduced the ZeuxCoin Token (ZUC), a loyalty holding token for cashback on all crypto purchases and a payment fee token for all the commissions paid by financial product providers. Zeux will launch the multi-function app in April where it will become available in Europe.

Zeux website

Telegram Group

Twitter

Whitepaper

Facebook

The IOTA Foundation announced that Professor Robert Shorten is the recipient of a substantial research grant that will fund academic researchers’ work on the IOTA Tangle for a three-year program of research. The grant includes three years of funding for a full-time Ph.D. student (€92,000), 18 months for a Postdoctoral researcher (€81,000), as well as covering travel costs, open-access publication costs, and the costs for realizing several demonstrations and prototypes.

Professor Robert Shorten was recently announced as a member of the IOTA Research Advisory Council. The team is delighted to have his expertise and input on various issues, including fundamental properties of the IOTA DAG data structure, attack vulnerabilities of the IOTA DAG data structure, ensuring fast validation times, and the preservation of user privacy.

The research program covered by this grant focuses on IOTA’s potential to help solve compliance problems in Smart Cities, and more generally, in designing certain types of cyber-physical systems. The research covers both theoretical and practical aspects of the IOTA Tangle that are important in designing such systems.

Research department note: The IOTA Research Department is currently accepting research grant applications through the Ecosystem Development Fund. They are always happy to collaborate with experts from academia, so please feel free to reach out to the team to inquire about collaborative opportunities.

New IOTA Foundation Team Members

Rajiv is joining IOTA as a software engineer. In this role, he will focus on the Trinity wallet.

Rajiv Shah is a software engineer with experience in cross-platform mobile software development. His fascination with programming was sparked by work with Scratch and Lego League in elementary and middle school. After learning the basics of Java in eighth grade, he became interested in a wide range of technological fields, including machine learning, robotics, and cybersecurity, to name a few. Once he graduates from high school this year, he plans to pursue a degree in Computational Data Sciences from Penn State University.

After discovering IOTA in 2017, Rajiv wanted to contribute to the code behind it. He began working on the Trinity wallet later that year under the guidance of Navin Ramachandran, Charlie Varley, and the rest of the Trinity team, and quickly became familiar with the code and underlying frameworks. Since then, he has helped fix bugs and add new features to the app. He can’t wait to see what the future holds for Trinity and IOTA.

Philipp Blum is joining IOTA as Developer Advocate of the Ecosystem team. In this role, he will focus on growing and developing an IoT developer community. Philipp lives in Berlin, Germany and has been in the technology sector for over 6 years. He has experience as a marketing developer for startups and wrote software to optimize Web- and TV-Advertising.

At his last job at Webtrekk, he worked as Technical Consultant and switched later to the department focusing on writing the core software for big data processing.

Some years ago, he started working with embedded devices. What started as a little idea for distributed computing, became a passion. He joined the IOTA community in end of 2017 and started the IOTA Engineer & Research Meetup in Berlin.

Marcos Andrade is joining IOTA as an Illustrator for IOTA growing Communications team. In this role, Marcos will focus on developing graphics and digital illustrations for IOTA Multimedia content.

After studying illustration at a young age at the Academy of Advanced Arts, he decided to expand his knowledge and pursue a career in Visual Communication in Prodiseño and then moved on to doing a specialization in Multimedia at the Digital Design Center (Venezuela). He graduated and became part of a well-known motion graphic company in Latin America: Totuma. It was an enriching and fruitful stage for Marcos in all aspects, the best of which was working with long-time friends from college.

The turns of life brought him to Spain and now, from a Mediterranean town full of charm, he bet again on his art. Since he moving, he has been working as an illustrator in his small studio in Altea, under the pseudonym of “Mork Work”.

Ecosystem

Source: @iotatoken.

Ict is an ongoing research project conducted by the IOTA Foundation. It has been designed from the beginning to fit the requirements of IoT. This new system aims to become the future reference implementation of the IOTA protocol.

Ict is constructed using a modular approach so its capabilities can be enhanced through extensions (IXIs). At its very core, Ict only consists of a gossip protocol, swarm logic and a consensus model based on Economic Clustering. Everything else is added through IXIs.

Jim Huang @jserv on March 18th, 2019: BiiLabs optimizing binary < → trinary conversion 10x.

Source: @jserv.

Social media metrics

Social media activity
Social media dynamics

IOTA community continues to grow, there is a constant increase in the number of subscribers of IOTA social media channels. However the number of subscribers of IOTA official Telegram chats slightly decreased these weeks.

Twitter — Official announcements channel. Average number of retweets is 50–100 for one post. Publications with 250–350 likes.

Facebook — Not active since 2019. 50–100 likes per publication, 5–10 shares.

Reddit — Threads with 10–30 comments, 50–100 upvotes.

IOTA Bitcointalk.org: since October 21st, 2015. Discussions on latest updates, price, social encounters etc. Last publication — on March 22th, 2019.

IOTA Family website — Basic knowledge for IOTA beginners such as: what is IOTA, how is it organized, how you can contribute, where you can buy $MIOTA on a onepager website, etc.

See also and IOTA forum.

Top publications:

The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of IOTA Facebook likes, Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.


This is not financial advice.

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