Yet another Record. It’s a season of ‘fairytales’ in crypto land. Yesterday, IOTA made record has one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency ever. Added for trading to the infamous BitFinex exchange at 13:00 GMT, IOTA shot to the top 10 list hitting $1.5bn market cap in less than 2 hours.
Why is this special?
Over the past 2 articles, I’ve been putting the spotlight on some record-breaking ICOs and the amazing technologies fueling their rapid growth. Here, I will be taking a brief look at how we got here and why IOTA ushers in the dawn of something amazing.
The Dawn of IOT and 5G
IOT and 5G. Two buzzwords that have resulted in billions of dollars being spent by companies looking to either consolidate their leading positions or disrupt existing markets.
Interestingly, the two terms are my favorites. And I’ve written quite a number of articles on them in the past. If you’ve got spare time and want to dive in the rabbit hole, check out: Of 5g and Cloud Robotics: Changing Communities With Futuristic Technologies .
At the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, 2017 was dubbed the year of IOT and 5G. This was in recognition of the massive level of innovation going on in that space.
Every Thing Going Smart
Slap the ‘smart’ tag on any device and watch its price soar. But, this is beyond a fad. IOT technology enables devices to communicate with each other rendering human interference unnecessary. Business Analysts project that IOT will be worth trillions of dollars in few years to come becoming the largest device market.
Perhaps the greatest reason why multi-billion dollar companies like Amazon, IBM and other have invested into this tech is that it reduce cost and helps massively scale production.
From Barcode scanners in retail markets to use cases in the medical industry, IOT applications can be used cut costs, reduce human errors and automate inefficiencies.
How IOT has evolved
Ways Blockchain Improves IOT
At first, one would be surprised at how an advanced tech can help improve another constantly-revolving technology. But like in previous articles, a little research will reveal that the blockchain technology can be applied to all other industries and tech due to unique qualities – transparency, interoperability and cryptographically secure.
ADEPT in communication
One of the foundations of IOT tech was the propagation of machine to machine peer communication. However, in doing this, a centralized point is needed to coordinate this communication. Blockchain can help change this.
It was this that spurred IBM and Samsung to co-build the private blockchain, Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry. Built on existing BitTorrent, Ethereum smart contract, and a peer to peer messaging platform Telehash, ADEPT makes it easy for devices to communicate with one another without needed any central hub. For example, Samsung smart devices can communicate with nearby devices to accentuate efficiencies.
The IBM Watson IOT Platform with blockchain also helps tracks automated peer to peer transfer of data in a secured manner. It can be effectively used in keeping logs and speeding the supply chain.
Filament also raised quite a large sum of money to make communication seamless between devices through a sensor package called Tap.
Ensuring Cyber Security
With billions of projected IOT-enabled devices in the foreseeable future, it is highly likely that there will be security breaches. Already, researchers are already positing that IOT devices should expect massive DDOS attacks soon.
The existence of several IOT protocols and the centralized nature also gives cyber-attacks on IOT devices higher chances of being successful.
Instead of something like this (as portrayed by datafloq)
Blockchain can create something like this making decentralized peer to peer communication possible: .
Startups like HYPR and Telstra are solving these IOT potential security risks by using blockchain apps to provide password-less authentication and identity protection management.
Other Use Cases
M2M Data Monetization like in the case of TilePay; Supply chain management like the case of Chain of Shipping (created by the Chain of Things consortium) are some of the numerous use cases of IOT-blockchain combination.
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger protocol that goes 'beyond blockchain' through its core invention of the blockless ‘Tangle’. The IOTA Tangle is a quantum-proof Directed Acyclic Graph, with no fees on transactions & no fixed limit on how many transactions can be confirmed per second in the network. Instead, throughput grows in conjunction with activity in the network; the more activity, the faster the network. Unlike blockchain architecture, IOTA has no separation between users and validators; rather, validation is an intrinsic property of using the ledger, thus avoiding centralization. IOTA is initially focused on serving as the backbone of the emerging Internet-of-Things (IoT).
For visual learners:
What’s special about this?
The idea of a blockchain less based coin ain't a new idea. Coins like BYTEball make no blocks and instead rely on substitutes like DAG (Directed Acrylic Graph) as used by the Tangle too.
Or No fees?
With increasing rise in transaction fees, it’s quite normal for people to seek for no-fees based cryptocurrencies. Coins like XRB are receiving more interest due to the attendant surge of IOTA too.
But IOTA is beyond that, it packs all these nice qualities plus a couple more (like scalability and enabling micropayments) in an interesting manner aiming to improve a revolutionary technology: Internet of Things.
With a total supply of 2779Ti of IOTAs, the tangle is built to be lightweight and fast. Exactly what is needed for a seamless M2M communication.
Both IOT and Blockchain(less) technology are in their nascent stages. It’s expected that there will be attendant challenges like security, legal issues, and computational costs.
However, with all conviction, IOT is the future. And when decentralized Internet of Things and decentralized ledger meet, many more fairytales will be birthed.
It will interesting to see how many more use cases develop from this marriage and if truly they meet the goal of truly making the world a better place to live.