IOTA, the decentralized Internet of Things token, is now in the beta version. IOTA is a micro-transaction crypto token that facilitates the architecture of the IoT. The IOTA protocol runs from Tangle, which has a functionality similar to a blockchain, but acts more like an emulated version, which gives it more versatility.
IOTA tokens will be available for testing by a limited number of users outside the company from early February, said its co-founder David Sønstebø.
David Sønstebø had previously spoken to Cointelegraph in October 2015 after the release of IOTA. We meet David again to learn more about the beta version, which is about to be launched.
Cointelegraph: What’s new at IOTA since you last interviewed for us?
David Sønstebø: We raised nearly half a million dollars from the community and were accepted into the Wanxiang Blockchain Labs scholarship.
CT: Which functions will you test in the BETA version?
DS: Data and transactional transfers. IOTA is all about the data transport layer and transactions.
CT: Would you like to explain the underlying technology of the IOTA beta version in more detail?
DS: IOTA is the first blockless cryptographic token, which means that instead of a regular blockchain, we have developed something completely new called Tangle, which is based on a Directed Acyclic Graph structure. This enables a further decentralization of the network and also increases the scalability considerably. There are no fees in IOTA, which makes it great for real-time compensation. This creates opportunities where, for example, a sensor that collects data pays a processing station nearby to process that data in real time. Another easy-to-understand example is the sharing economy of electric bicycles. With IOTA you can pay EXACTLY in real time how much you use the bike, no more and no less. But outside of the IoT, the same technology is perfect for all types of services that require real-time compensation. An example would be streaming music where you wouldn’t pay a subscription but in real time for the exact amount you listen to, or e-books where you would pay per page, etc.
CT: In the previous interview you said that you talked to people from Ethereum, Bitshares, Nxt and Bitcoiner about overlap and how the different technologies can work together in synergy. How did it go? Will you continue to work together in synergy or will you give existing altcoins direct competition?
DS: We are still very open to collaboration and symbiotic relationships with anyone who sees the potential in the IoT (Internet of Things). Sergio Demian Lerner from Rootstock has been a great community member from day one and we are actively pursuing a potential collaboration with their smart contract platform to bring even more benefits to IOTA. We’re also still in touch with part of the Ethereum core; Bitshares has also shown its interest, as have some other crypto projects. However, this interoperability is really hard to test in the real world until the beta goes live, so these questions will be resolved in the coming weeks.
CT: Would you also like to tell us about the investment scenario for IOTA?
DS: We don’t have any investors, we just sold all of the IOTA tokens to anyone who wanted to buy. There is a set amount of IOTA, the price of each initial IOTA token was determined by the total amount of purchase funds.
So all Jotas have been sold, we have not kept any ‘premines’ for ourselves. We chose a structure because we believe that for a decentralized economy to emerge, it is imperative that no one has control over it. In order for everyone to be able to buy Jotas now, they must go on the open market via exchanges or private sales by people who own Jotas. The team behind IOTA will of course continue to maintain it, but we currently have no plans to look for money for it. There could be a future scenario in which we are by means of advice etc. timetable at the moment.
CT: Is IOTA with anyone at the moment or are there any plans for future partnerships?
DS: As we are in the pre-beta stage, there are no “official partnerships” as these naturally tend to form as soon as these interested parties test the technology. But yes, we are in contact with several large companies as well as start-ups about the use of IOTA. In 3-4 weeks after the beta and launch, I will be in a better position to report on these partnerships.
CT: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?
DS: I would like to say hello to everyone who will be attending the beta and its upcoming launch, and thank you to the hundreds of enthusiasts who attended the official crowdsale. The journey has only just begun.