Quick Guide to IOTA – Cryptocurrency Blockchain with a difference

IOTA is a top 5 cryptocurrency based on its marketcap.  If you have been following this project, then you know its popularity is steadily and continually growing. But exactly what is this IOTA coin? Unlike the numerous crypto coins that have been dominating the market, this coin has taken the market and in general the world by storm. If not, then this quick guide to IOTA should help you begin your journey.

The price of IOTA seems to be rising in August 2017. Look at the graph below from coinmarketcap.com taken on 18 August 2017.

Quick Guide to IOTA - Coinmarketcap


What is IOTA?

IOTA as per IOTA.org is a ‘revolutionary new transactional settlement and data transfer layer for the Internet of Things (IoT)’.

IOTA is a new distributed ledger-based technology developed for the management of smart devices. With the continued expansion of IoT, there is a continued need for resource sharing and interoperability. IOTA helps smart devices communicate and settle transactions without fees.

The underlying concept for this technology is the unique Tangle Ledger. Not only is it decentralized, it is also a scalable modular ledger which can subsequently be modified to manage virtually anything ranging from Wi-Fi bandwidths to automobiles.

IOTA is now supported by the the IOTA Foundation.

The total supply of ICO was 999,999,999.999.999. This was later changed to 2,779,530,283,277,761 IOTA to support IoT devices.

Some of ways to represent IOTA are Kilo (Ki), Mega (Mi), Giga (Gi), Tera (Ti) and Peta (Pi). These represent 10 raised to the power of 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 respectively.


Where can you buy IOTA?

An exchange is a distinct marketplace where one can buy and sell crypto currencies such as IOTA. Some of the best places you can purchase IOTA include:

Bitfinex (BFX) https://www.bitfinex.com :

This is a major crypto currency exchange based in Hong Kong. It facilitates a US dollar-based buying and selling of IOTA among other altcoins. It is the biggest and leading exchange with respect to Bitcoin trading allowing leveraged trading stretching up to 3.3 times together with advanced algorithmic types of orders. What’s more, in addition to being a high-security forum, Bitfinex is characterized by complex analytic charts to suit traders who prefer graphic trading types of experiences. On Bitfinex, you can buy IOTA with USD, BTC or Ether currencies.

Bit520 https://www.bit520.com/ :

This is a Chinese based exchange which holds the honor of being the first exchange to offer IOTA coins trading. It is designed to provide crypto coin traders particularly IOTA coins traders with a pure trading platform for digital assets. It offers a convenient and safe service for digital assets with its smooth and stable trading channels.

In case you do not have Bitcoin, you can either buy some from an exchange or using PayPal as a last option.


What are some IOTA Wallets?

You may have read my article on some of the best cryptocurrency wallets. In there, I explained the different types of wallets. Listed below are some options for you to store your IOTA securely in a wallet.

Quick Guide to IOTA - Wallet

  1. Full Node (GUI) https://github.com/iotaledger/iri : It is a standard IRI (IOTA Reference Implementation) that is both running and subsequently being locally accessed through a GUI. All full nodes require being linked to its neighbors through a simple static IP so as to function.
  2. Headless Node https://github.com/domschiener/nostalgia : It is a standard full node running within your console. You can subsequently access it through a standard UI known as Nostalgia in your web browser. It boasts similar requirements to those of a full GUI node, although it comes with the advantage in that it allows you to open several accounts (seeds) simultaneously.
  3. Light Wallet (GUI) https://github.com/iotaledger/wallet/releases : It is a unique local interface which accesses a typical full node in a diverse setting such as a node as based on a standard server.
  4. IOTA Wallet (Beta) http://iotawallet.info : As the name suggests, this Android wallet is still not officially released. It even comes with an warning on the Google Play store to use at your own risk. Some users have complained of them losing their IOTA.


What happened to the ICO?

The IOTA ICO took place between 25 November to 21 December 2015. It had an approximate 2,800,000 Gi in existence all which were sold and availed to investors then. At that period, the developers kept no tokens since all the BTC generated went directly into technological and IOTA ecosystem development.

The following year (2016) November saw 48% of the IOTA owners claim their tokens and by early 2017 (February) another 12% was claimed to lead to the overall percentage at 60. This resulted in an increased number of exclusive addresses boasting positive balance from the initial 472 up to 657 (+39%) with another number of exclusive addresses characterized by 1 Gi and over increasing from the initial 334 to a comprehensive total of 494 (+48%).

The overall time which was set for claiming IOTA quickly ran out resulting in a case where every token is issued-with every unclaimed one remaining in the developer’s sphere. Up to now, it is unclear of the total number of tokens that remained unclaimed although a reasonable guess would be adding the two top addresses, both which belong to the coin developers/foundation. The resulting figure would be around 406,834Gi (14.6% of the total supply).


How does IOTA work – What is Tangle?

The principal technology behind IOTA is the exclusive Tangle Ledger. It is a technology with the capacity to settle transactions at no fees.

IOTA operates without the need for a blockchain. Tangle is founded on a unique technology called directed acyclic graph (DAG). It is a blockchain that works without blocks and the chain. The Tangle is the first distributed ledger to achieve scalability, no fee transactions, data integrity and transmission as well as protection against quantum-computing.

In conventional blockchain operations, transactions all bundled in blocks, that need to to verified by miners.

With Tangle technology, all transactions develop new ‘blocks’ that verify themselves. In order to perform any transaction on the Tangle ledger, you have to validate two other transactions. This then makes your transaction valid. In this manner, you do away with having to rely on miners. This is a major drawback in other blockchain based coins such as  Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero or Zcash.


What are the future prospects for IOTA

The unique IOTA Tangle Ledger has the potential to turn the whole IoT world inside out. Not only does it guarantee to be centralized and scalable, it is also suited for numerous applications. Moreover, all these alleged promises come at absolutely no costs making provisions such as microtransactions somewhat more accessible compared to before.

IOTA is driven by a primary objective of assisting us to run, optimize and of course effectively make use of the IoT.

With it, you have the ability to lease smart devices’ computing power across the globe, or even retail your device’s computing power when not being utilized. You can basically lease absolutely anything using just a chip.

Nonetheless, the complete power of the Tangle Ledger as used by IOTA stretches far beyond IoT. Its potential application should go far as even finding application in masked messaging and e-governance.

In the end, IoT (internet of things) is here to stay. Whether it is from smart refridgerators to smart cars to anything else smart, the world (we) need an exclusive solution to effectively run all the smart technology as is now available in the world. IOTA seeks to essentially be that answer.

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