The eighth largest cryptocurrency, run by Germany based non-profit IOTA foundation, has been quite the hobnobber lately. Founded in 2015 by David Sønstebø and Dominik Schiener, IOTA employs a revolutionary distributed ledger which is fundamentally different from all other currencies.
IOTA does not use a blockchain at all, instead utilizing a novel invention called ‘Tangle', which is based on Directed Acyclic Graph(DAG). There are no blocks, no chain and no miners. All IOTAs which will ever exist were created with the genesis transaction, meaning the total supply will always remain constant and IOTAs cannot be mined. The total supply of IOTA is 2,779,530,283 MIOTA (Million IOTA).
What's The News?
IOTA has partnered with Microsoft, Fujitsu, and twenty more companies to launch the first publicly accessible data marketplace for the Internet of Things. The marketplace will allow stakeholders, such as Microsoft, to share and monetize their data on the network securely, ensuring a tamper-proof decentralized distributed data ledger.
“We are very excited to announce the launch of our data marketplace,” said Sønstebø. “This will act as a catalyst for a whole new paradigm of research, artificial intelligence, and democratization of data.”
Microsoft blockchain specialist, Omkar Naik, was equally elated with the partnership, “We are excited to partner with the IOTA Foundation and proud to be associated with its new data marketplace initiative. This next generation technology will accelerate the connected, intelligent world and go beyond blockchain that will foster innovation real world solutions, applications and pilots for our customers.”
In addition to Microsoft and Fujitsu, a number of other high-profile companies – including Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Accenture, and PwC – will also participate in the demo.
Ethereum Vs IOTA
White blockchain networks use the binary notational system, IOTA utilizes an alternative known as balanced ternary, which is based on a system of three digits (-1, 0 and 1) rather than two (0 and 1)
One Ethereum developer, Nick Johnson, makes no bones about his reservations on IOTA, stating that while innovative in theory, Tangle could turn out to be a bit of a… tangled web in practice.
Johnson contends, “Unfortunately, IOTA is not relevant in a practical system. It is by necessity built to run on existing hardware, which is exclusively binary, as are the communication networks it uses. As a result, all of its internal ternary notation has to be encapsulated in binary, resulting in significant storage and computational overhead.”
This is a very valid point which has been overlooked by many experts who have been quick to jump on the IOTA bandwagon. For IOTA to not require some sort of a network ‘adaptor', networks and devices must also convert to the ternary system.
Johnson further adds, “Math must either be performed on individual ‘trits’ or first converted from binary-wrapped-ternary encoding into the machine’s native number representation, and back again afterwards — in either case imposing a large computational overhead.”
The IOTA team remains confident of solving any such compatibility issues that may arise. IOTA’s co-founders remain bullish about the superiority of Tangle over other blockchain-based initiatives.
These are exciting times to be involved in cryptocurrency. These cross network tussles keep the altcoin market vibrant and brimful of ingenious ideas and new solutions.