You may have heard of it or you make have no given it one “IOTAs” thought but this cryptocurrency is designed for the “Internet of Things” and has 4 HUGE advantages over other Blockchain cryptocurrencies:
IOTA has a range of features that are unique thanks to its architecture:
- Scalability: IOTA can achieve high transaction throughput thanks to parallelized validation of transactions with no limit as to the number of transactions that can be confirmed in a certain interval
- No Transaction Fees: IOTA has no transaction fees.
- Decentralization: IOTA has no miners. Every participant in the network that is making a transaction actively participates in the consensus. As such, IOTA is more decentralized than any Blockchain.
- Tech – Quantum-immunity: IOTA utilized a newly designed trinary hash function called Curl, which is quantum immune (Winternitz signatures)
The major difference that is worth mentioning is how IOTA achieves consensus and how transactions are made. As mentioned previously, there are no miners. Simply, each participant in the network that wants to make a transaction has to actively participate in the consensus of the network by approving 2 previous transactions. Proof of the validity of two past transactions ensures that the whole network achieves consensus on the current state of approved transactions, and it enables a variety of unique features that are only seen in IOTA.
What is IOTA exactly – The techy bit
IOTA is a revolutionary new, next-generation public distributed ledger that utilizes a novel invention, called a “Tangle”, at its core. The Tangle is a new data structure based on a Directed Acyclic Graph and works quite differently compared to other Blockchains.
The technological breakthrough that makes this possible is The Tangle (which looks something like this).
Unlike Bitcoin, which uses a blockchain architecture for maintaining its ledger, IOTA uses the ‘Tangle’ which is a Directed Acyclic Graph, known as a DAG. In summary, the Tangle solves both the scalability and transaction fee issues faced by Bitcoin (And most cryptocurrencies) by requiring the Sender in a transaction to perform a kind of proof of work which approves two transactions.
The impressive result is that in IOTA, the network transaction speed actually increases as the number of users increases (as opposed to blockchain cryptocurrencies which get slower with increased numbers of users. This alone makes IOTA incredibly promising as a technology for a huge number of applications such as medical security and defence information, but it doesn’t stop there. IOTA has been under development since 2015 and in that time industrial partnerships have been forged which will ensure that IOTA has practical, real-world use. Importantly, IOTA has a collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft, and all signed up for using IOTA technology.
The smallest unit of account on IOTA is an IOTA, after the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet. Larger unit names are created by adding metric system-like prefixes to the word IOTA. Hence one million IOTA is called a MegaIOTA or MIOTA (Mi), which is the base unit of IOTA used for trading on cryptocurrency exchanges.
A fixed total of 2,779,530,283,277,761 and were initially distributed through an ICO. The ICO raised around $584,000 for the IOTA Foundation, the German entity responsible for IOTA’s management and development. Because there are so many IOTA in existence, this high number of IOTA in existence should serve to further promote IOTA as an effective vehicle for very small transactions.
The numbers and IOTA’s price prediction:
At the time of writing, IOTA’s price is $2.40 down from a previous high of over $5 during the post-Christmas pump. At a market cap ranking of 11, there is a rumour, like the type of altcoins like Ripple that its acquisition of clients and application that IOTA’s price prediction can steadily rise to $10 at the very least in 2018. The last 2 months have been choppy, to say the least from a technical analysis point of view but no doubt positive, good news stories about clients and integration into the world could clam the price action down and pull it on to a gentle uptrend. It still remains one of our picks of 2018.
How do I buy IOTA?
Naturally due the cryptocurrencies rise over the last few months many have been asking, how do I buy IOTA? You can buy IOTA by using a crypto exchange – the same as if you were buying other cryptocurrencies.
The main difference with IOTA is that it is not available to buy directly with traditional cash – you can only trade it for another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Some of the most popular options for buying these are Coinbase, Blockchain.info and Xapo.
There are currently only two exchanges with a significant trade volume of IOTA – Bitfinex and Binance. Bitfinex is based in Hong Kong and is better for non-US customers.
The IOTA project offers a lot to be excited about. If the team is able to deliver on even a portion of what they are shooting for, the effects could be amazing. But it’s still very early in the game and IOTA is in mostly uncharted waters. There are projects that have the concepts, the capital, the people to drive a convincing argument that they can pull off what they’ve dreamt up. But there are no guarantees. IOTA is a particularly wild dream, and that’s exactly what makes it interesting. The team promises a lot. Only time will tell if they can deliver.