We know, there are so many it’s nearly impossible to keep up: but there’s a new cryptocurrency on the scene, and it’s looking to rival Bitcoin, Ethereum and co. in a big way. This coin has the backing of Microsoft, Fujitsu, Samsung and more, and works in a faster, sleeker, and far more intelligent way than its crypto predecessors.
It’s called the Internet of Things Application (Iota), and it’s the one you should be watching.
If you haven’t been introduced to the Internet of Things, Iota and Tangle yet, read on: and let us pique your intrigue in digital currency all over again.
What is the Internet of Things?
IoT is the internet network between devices, appliances, vehicles and other machines that are embedded with network connectivity of some form. These objects connect with each other and share data between themselves, usually without the need for human intervention – like the technology used in self-driving cars, smart homes, and biochips, to name a few.
This isn’t a new concept; it has only lately been thrust into mainstream media spotlight due to the appearance of Iota. Apparently, the first internet-connected toaster was introduced to a conference in 1989. While very few of us own a smart-toaster now, many more of our regular appliances are beginning to send and collect data. What if your fridge could tell you when you’re out of milk, or your bin could signal when it needs emptying?
IoT is increasingly being utilized to collect huge amounts of data and make human lives much easier.But it’s recently taken on another use – as the system in which Iota, the currency designed for the IoT, was born.
How Does Iota Work?
Iota is being hailed as the new big thing in cryptocurrency, with backing from some of the world’s biggest corporations (Microsoft, etc), who are becoming invested in the IoT data network. Iota’s value surged by a shocking 900% within two weeks due to this endorsement, causing it to be taken seriously by cryptocurrency experts and investors.
Iota works through a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) called Tangle, a ground-breaking technology which requires users to authenticate two other transactions to make their own. It solves all the problems of the current blockchain system, and is promoted as a fully decentralized network (no middle-man ‘mining’ is necessary, as it is with blockchains).
Why Iota Over Bitcoin?
People are standing to the attention of Iota at the moment because of the Tangle technology’s remarkable successes in areas that blockchain cryptocurrencies are facing big issues.
Basically, as Bitcoin users and transactions increase, the blockchain is becoming congested, consuming much more time and energy to complete one transaction. Tangle cuts out mining and blockchains altogether – users validate each other’s transactions. Contrary to the blockchain system, this means that the more people using Iota, the faster each transaction will be.
As well as being a faster system more supportive of increased traffic as there is no need for mining, there is also no transaction fee. (Bitcoin miners receive a small percentage of each transaction they ‘mine’, without actually being a sender or receiver of a transaction.)
The current drawbacks to Iota include:
- It can’t be purchased outright with traditional currency – it can currently only be bought using other cryptocurrencies.
- It’s worth a lot less than Bitcoin (at the time of writing, $4.09 to Bitcoin’s $18,000).
- Because Iota doesn’t currently have very many users, it often takes some time for transactions to be confirmed (usually around 12 hours); though this will improve once there are more Iota users. As it continues to sharply grow in value, more users are attracted every day.
Compared to the cons of Bitcoin (and a quick Google search will show up huge essays on this subject), and the extreme likelihood of an oncoming Bitcoin crash, these points seem fairly trivial.
Why Invest in Iota?
Despite the perceived drawbacks, these don’t strike me as much of a reason not to invest. Given the trajectory of Iota’s value at the moment, and endorsement by such huge conglomerates investing in the IoT and Tangle, it seems clear that technology will only expand. Would Samsung and Microsoft invest in something they didn’t believe was viable?
I’m siding with the tech experts on this one, and placing my bet on Iota.