What is IOTA?

IOTA logo

OVERVIEW

IOTA is a completely new and innovative distributed ledger technology designed to improve on the limitations of current blockchain design. The highlight of IOTA is the Tangle, IOTA's answer to the blockchain, in which tokens can be transferred without any fees! This enables micro payments which is ideal for the Internet of Things economy, which is one of the primary industries IOTA targets.





Brief History

IOTA was founded by 4 individuals: David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo (@come-from-beyond), Dr. Serguei Popov (@mthcl), and Dominik Schiener in 2015.


This team has been involved in the crypto space for years and was also behind NXT and the Proof-of-Stake algorithm, which many coins currently use. Working on a stealth microprocessor, Jinn, IOTA was born out of necessity for a compensation layer in the Economy of Things. IOTA held a crowdsale in November/December of 2015, which it raised a total of 1337 Bitcoin. The devs and founders as well had to participate in the crowdsale as nothing was held back for a premine or for the Foundation. 100% of the tokens were distributed.


When first launched total supply of the IOTA was 999,999,999.999.999. This was later changed to 2,779,530,283,277,761 IOTA instead to optimize for IoT devices, clarified in this tech update. You can confirm the total supply in the below graphic. Exchanges are currently trading in Mi. Ex. there are ~2,779 Ti in circulation.

IOTA Total supply

July 11, 2016 - IOTA main-network goes live.

June 13, 2017 - IOTA launched on exchanges (Bitfinex currently).

July 11, 2017 - Last day to claim IOTA tokens from the crowdsale.





IOTA Foundation

In March of 2016, a call was made by David to the community to raise funds for the IOTA Foundation. Over 5% of the total supply was voluntarily donated by the community to setup the foundation. The Foundation's purpose is

"a continuation and expansion of the work that the founders of IOTA has already done including networking, branding, marketing, land deals, getting companies to pilot / adopt IOTA, go to conferences to present IOTA and in general keep the momentum of IOTA going and ensure long term success of the project. "

Current Foundation Members





The Tangle

IOTA Tangle

At the heart of IOTA is the Tangle, a blockchain with no blocks and no chain! This distributed ledger technology is based on a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), that still functions similar to a blockchain with a P2P network and validation mechanism.



IOTA merges both the user and the validator into the same entity. For every single transaction issued, a small PoW is performed to validate 2 prior transactions. This takes miners completely out of the equation which can cause all sorts of centralization issues. With IOTA, the entire network of participants are responsible for approving and validating transactions. The more people use IOTA, the more transactions will be confirmed. Here is a visualization of the tangle.



Selection of transactions to approve is done by MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) randomization.



For consensus, how the network reaches agreement is essential to the integrity of the network. One of the lead developers, Sergey Ivancheglo, gave a Consensus Masterclass, that goes into depth on how this is achieved.



Without miners in the equation, IOTA is able to scale with no fees! This allows micropayment and even nanopayment settlement use cases. Furthermore, as the network grows so does its scalability, solving both the main problems of blockchain (scaling and fees) with 1 stone ...

IOTA Scalability & Fees


For a more in-depth look at the Tangle, you can browse the Tangle Whitepaper.



Roadmap

Iota Roadmap

With every token and platform, a roadmap gives investors and developers a picture of where the founders envision they are going. In March 2017, the IOTA Development Roadmap was released.



CLIENT DEVELOPMENT



ALTERNATE CLIENTS



NEW FEATURES



IXI MODULES





ECOSYSTEM PROJECTS



Security

Quantum Proof Security

IOTA looks ahead. IOTA uses a hash-based signatures instead of elliptic curve cryptography. They use Winternitz signature which makes IOTA quantum proof. The hash function is called Curl.



Quantum computing is rapidly approaching and will continue to enter the crypto discussion more and more. IOTA's quantum resistant algorithm will ensure the protection of its network, data, and transactions.

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