What is Iota?
Iota is a worldwide network of computers that allow electronic transactions to be reliably recorded. It is decentralised - meaning that no one person or organisation controls the network. Registering a transaction on the network is free. It is permissionless - anyone can use the network. Before you do anything else we recommend that you follow the VISUALISER link immediately below and view transactions taking place on the Tangle, which is what this network is called - probably because every new transaction has to link to two previous ones.
Or if you want to see something really cool, look at the visualizer for the next generation Iota network, Iota v2.0.
The Tangle works because every time that you record a transaction on the network, you 'verify' two other transactions that other people have made. Your computer does this by performing some quick calculations in the network, particularly seeing what other people think of the third party transactions. It sounds terribly complicated (and it is) but all of that is taken care of by some standard software - you don't need to know too much about that yourself.
- Unlike a blockchain (such as Bitcoin) there are no 'miners'
- It uses an alternate system called a DAG (directed acyclic graph)
- That means it is fast, free and easy to use
If you'd like to understand some of the maths behind the addresses used by Iota, here is a useful introductionLink: An overview of how Iota addresses are created from BIP39 Seeds and Ed25519 public keys
If you want to understand Tanglemath - the math of how the Iota nodes handle transactions then you need to join the Iota Discord and head for the 'tanglemath' thread - warning, it might be quite hard!
The Tangle provides a basic layer of trust, and that is enough for many applications. Others though need more complicated solutions which is why you can build Smart Contracts on top of the basic trust layer. That lets organisations transact based on rules that they agreed and turned into electronic contracts that run automatically using Iota.
The best way to understand Iota is to run a node, and the easiest way to run a node is by using a virtual server. If you think that sounds expensive and difficult then you will be pleasantly surprised by the information in the following guides. Hornet is probably your best starting point.Link A: Notes on installing an Iota Hornet Node with SWARM on a Virtual Server from Netcup using Ubuntu 20.04
Link B: Notes on installing an Iota Bee Node with SWARM on a Virtual Server from Netcup using Ubuntu 20.04
Link C: Notes on installing an Iota Goshimmer Node with SWARM on a Virtual Server from Netcup using Ubuntu 20.04
Link D: Notes on installing an Iota Wasp Node with SWARM on a Virtual Server from Netcup using Ubuntu 20.04
Cities are full of hustle and bustle and a myriad of different organisations and individuals and a lot of politics. That means that a decentralised and permissionless environment is perfect for allowing the development of a thriving exchange of data and value, for which Iota is prefectly suited. Projects listed here have had some connection with Iota (and maybe still do) though things change over time and non-disclosure agreements complicate matters enormously. See also the official Iota website page for Smart Cities.
"iECO ... is the name of the draft idea submitted by the consortium for the construction industry. The consortium partners create a digital twin for the entire real estate lifecycle. ... This idea is intended to break up the data silos typical of the construction industry and thus make the entire construction process smarter."
GAIA-X - A DIGITAL TWIN FOR SMART CONSTRUCTION PROCESSES. "RIB IMS and the nine consortium partners, that is A1 Digital Deutschland GmbH, the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research eV, the district of Hof, Implenia Hochbau GmbH, the IOTA Foundation, IPROconsult GmbH, N + P Informationssysteme GmbH, the software AG and TU Dresden are among the 16 winners who will receive funding of around 175 million euros ..." (July 12th 2021)
Our Lighthouse Cities, Trondheim Kommune and Limerick City and County Council are developing feasible and realistic demonstration projects in climate-friendly and sustainable urban environments.
"The team consists out of the municipalities of the two Lighthouse Cities and five Follower Cities, two universities, and a variety of our partners from the fields of research, technology, community engagement, energy production/distribution and much more." Iota is an ecosystem partner.
IOTA Foundation has signed a strategic agreement with the South Korean Observer foundation and IOTA solution partner Tanglehub to jointly apply for smart city projects together in South Korea, South East Asia and Europe starting in 2021.(blog post Jan 22, 2021)
"With IOTA being developed open source, by the non-for profit IOTA Foundation, Observer's previous experience with Smart City project applications and Tanglehub's extensive experience with IOTA, we are looking forward to enabling Smart Cities in ways that weren’t possible before. They can be designed and built from the ground up: interconnected, sustainable and adaptable to everyone’s needs."
UK Smart Cities Projects List (none yet using Iota)
Identity & Trust
As individuals we grow tired of forever having to prove our identity to new websites, new organisations and to the authorities. Iota provides real solutions in this area and also in the related area of 'trusting data'. That concerns the issue of how one can be sure that the data that arrives at one end of the internet has been reliably transferred.
"Forming within the Linux Foundation and seeded by code from Dell Technologies, Project Alvarium will be aimed at building Data Confidence Fabrics that deliver data from devices to applications with measurable confidence."(home page Oct 2021)
“The trustworthiness of data decisions on the edge was the fulcrum of the coding collaboration between the IOTA Foundation and Dell Technologies. IOTA’s Tangle technology was used as a “sidecar” for the data ...”(Cio.com article 2021)
"TMEA works closely with East African Community institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations to increase trade by unlocking economic potential through reducing barriers to trade and increased business competitiveness."
Project brief: Trade Logistics Information Pipeline. Implementor: Revenue Authorities, Partner Government Agencies & IOTA.
There are several pilot projects. The Oldenburg project - Generating Health Certificates is of particular interest.
"In our pilot, every party in the system (sex worker, Health Office, or Registration Office) would create their own restricted channel in our IOTA network - this is similar to a publisher/ subscriber model. "
"The European Commission is looking for novel blockchain solutions for the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure. The procurement contracts have been awarded to 7 contractors and the first phase of solution design is ongoing."
"It should anticipate the implementation of a wide range of new cross border use cases or services that could be public or private ones. The aim of the PCP is to go significantly further than what is offered by existing solutions."
"ENSURESEC has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883242."
"As part of the H2020 ENSURESEC Project, a EU-funded innovation activity to strengthen the security of the e-commerce ecosystem, the IOTA Foundation and its partners have just reached the project’s second milestone." June 9th 2021
"Among other use cases, the IOTA Foundation is considering verifying identities and credentials of organisations (i.e., an authorised seller of medical devices) and products when sold on an e-commerce website. This will help to remove the friction for Small and Medium Enterprises to access e-commerce marketplaces, maintain their security and be trusted by customers, which is one of the main objectives of the ENSURESEC project."
"EPCIS ... is a standard event serialization format that, in combination with IOTA, enables a new generation of supply chains, where the different actors (such as enterprises, brands, retailers, governments, consumers) can share trusted and verifiable information in a plug-and-play, interoperable and decentralized fashion."
"But what is EPCIS 2.0 about? From a programmer’s perspective, it is a vocabulary and data model (plus a JSON-based serialization format and accompanying REST APIs) that enables stakeholders to share transactional information regarding the movement and status of objects (physical or digital), identified by keys." Oct 18th 2021
Climate and eHealth
Even when we are well our bodies provide an endless source of data that can be monitored and exchanged with professionals. For example, our heartbeat and blood pressure provide vital clues to our expected state of health. As monitors reduce in size and increase in capacity, expect more and more measurements to flow across the network.
Projects listed here have had some connection with Iota (and maybe still do) though things change over time and non-disclosure agreements complicate matters enormously. See also the Dell Iota link titled "Tackling Climate Change with Blockchain"
“We will address medical simulation, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and the use of virtual intelligent counselling agents (VICA) in use cases including teaching, surgeries and remote patient care. To carry these out, 5G networks offering low latency and high performance are crucial. ” “Collaborating with medical and technical universities in Milan and Tokyo and leading medical solution providers, the project will also expand the inter-carrier fulfillment and assurance aspects that were explored in a 2020 Catalyst, Ghost in the Shell. We will rely on Nokia, IOTA, Sybica and Maruka for the proof of concept.”
"Combining IOTA’s nextgen distributed ledger technology and ecosystem with ClimateCHECK’s 20 years of MRV expertise empowers DigitalMRV to provide unequalled data confidence and utility to support an array of stakeholder needs and opportunities."
"IOTA’s data structure Tangle will power the smart energy sensor ecosystem SUSEE.
The SUSEE project aims to transform the energy industry along with getting positive results for others."
"The IOTA blockchain network gets a major breakthrough! Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy (BMWI) has selected IOTA’s Tangle as the key technology for its SUSEE Project."
Transport and Mobility
In the future not only will cars and other forms of transport be self driving, the supporting infrastructure will also be intelligent. Car parking barriers will talk to cars and service stations will arrange to recharge vehicles without human intervention. Indeed personal cars may become a relative rarity as cars that are not in use arrange to earn their own living while the owner gets on with their work or leisure elsewhere.
"IOTA claims that Tangle is faster and more efficient than typical blockchains used in cryptocurrencies. The IOTA Foundation, the non-profit foundation responsible for the ledger, has inked agreements with prominent companies, such as Bosch and Volkswagen, to extend the platform’s utility among connected devices."
"In this presentation, Mat Yarger, Jens Munch Lund-Nielsen, and Dan Simerman give an introduction to the DLT technology being developed by the IOTA Foundation and show real-world use-cases of how DLTs are being applied to solve current issues and drive innovation, with a focus on the automotive, supply chain, and digital asset utilization."
"The ALFRIED project is with 11M€ one of Germany’s largest publicly funded infrastructure project. ALFRIED is set up to provide the above-mentioned data over the coming years in a testbed in the city of Friedrichshafen, demonstrating the highest possible levels of autonomy and security in changing traffic and environmental conditions."
To enable the system to operate on the highest possible resilience and security level, ETO GRUPPE will be utilizing the distributed IT-infrastructure IOTA, an open-source distributed ledger technology. IOTA is a secure, feeless, lightweight and highly scalable decentralized infrastructure for data and microscopic value transactions while not relying on any intermediaries.
"The IOTA Foundation is working with international partners on the EU-funded ORCHESTRA project, which aims to innovate the future of multimodal transport. The IOTA Foundation will receive a share of 250,000 EUR of the 4.9 million Euro budget to provide expertise for integrating its distributed ledger technology."
"... includes partners from six different countries: Norway (Norwegian Public Roads Administration; SINTEF; Applied Autonomy; Herøya Industripark), the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology), Switzerland (The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland; CertX), Germany (IKEM - Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility) France (CEREMA - Climate & Regions, The Future) and Italy (SEA Group; FSTechnolgy; The Deep Blue Project)."
Useful links awaiting organisationLink 1: Medium article on setting up Goshimmer and Wasp nodes to create Smart Contracts with Iota
Link 2a: Smart Contracts Tutorial You Tube - Setting up an Iota WASP Node (tutorial by Kumar Anirudha 28th Oct 2021)
Link 2b: Smart Contracts Tutorial You Tube - Setting up an Iota WASP Chain (tutorial by Kumar Anirudha 28th Oct 2021)
Link 3: OpenZeppelin Contracts Wizard (ERC20 and ERC721) - Ethereum Smart Contracts
Link 4: Tutorial in German of using SWARM to install Iota Nodes on a Virtual Server
Link 5: Useful list of Iota Wasp related links by TheMindlessProject
Link 6: Discussion of using Web of Trust and Proof of Humanity to run a DAO in Iota
Link 7: Iota DAO course notes 2021
Link 8: Response to the Bitcoin Delusion, Sam Leith, Spectator, 8 Nov 2021
Link 9: Legal_Structures_for_DAOs_Roadmap_November_2021(pdf)
Link 10: Whitepaper - Wrapped DAOs Structure for Iota Community Funding using an Iota Web of Trust
Link 11: Who Watches the Watchmen? A Review of Subjective Approaches for Sybil-resistance in Proof of Personhood Protocols (pdf)
Link 12: W3C Standard - Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0
Link 13: tbDEX: A Liquidity Protocol v0.1 (Social trust with DIDs)