What is IOTA [Beginner-Friendly Guide]

IOTA is a data transfer platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), based on a new distributed ledger technology called the Tangle.

The team held an ICO in 2015, raising less than 1,500 bitcoins, which wasn’t very promising at the time. After all it wasn’t 2017 – the year of ICO hype. Despite this, in 2017 the project had beta testing, and in summer of the same year, IOTA coins were listed on Bitfinex.

The platform enables people and machines to make money/data transactions without any fees. Although IOTA also uses distributed ledger technology, the platform is different from the blockchain. Let’s find out how.

What is Tangle and how is it different from Blockchain?

The IOTA’s Tangle consists of individual and interlinked transactions. The transactions are distributed across the decentralized network. Despite that the concept sounds similar to blockchain, it’s not.

Instead of blockchain, the platform uses a Directed Acyclic Graph, or DAG. This type of structure makes transactions faster, since they occur simultaneously and continuously. Also, unlike blockchain, Tangle doesn’t require miners. With blockchain, miners are necessary to confirm transactions, while with Tangle, a new transaction will confirm two previous transactions.

IOTA Tangle
Source

Tangle has several more advantages to blockchain. For example, it has zero transaction costs, and it is more scalable compared to blockchain.

What problem does IOTA solve?

According to the IOTA, blockchain is a revolutionary technology that enabled peer-to-peer transactions without intermediaries or fees. It’s a technology that started a wonderful idea of a decentralized, permissionless ecosystem.

However, somewhere along the road, blockchain failed to provide this solution because of technical flaws in its structure. But the vision remained, and IOTA wants to make it a reality.

How? By using the same distributed ledger technology as blockchain, but without flaws and inefficiencies. The platfrom offers secure and scalable transactions of money and data, that comes with zero fees.

How is IOTA different compared to other coins?

IOTA is not what you would call a typical coin. First of all, it’s not built on blockchain, but on Tangle. Secondly, its coin has a fixed token supply which is fixed at 2,779,530,283,277,761.

The coin also has interesting trading units. For example, MIOTA is a unit of IOTA that is equivalent to 1,000,000 IOTA. But MIOTA isn’t the only one. Here are the others trading units:

  • Ki, KIOTA – one thousand IOTA
  • Mi, MIOTA – one million IOTA
  • Gi, GIOTA – one thousand MIOTA
  • Ti, TIOTA – one thousand GIOTA
  • Pi, PIOTA – one thousand TIOTA

Interesting, right?

Final thoughts

So far, IOTA is a unique project in the crypto world. Besides using innovative distributed ledger technology, IOTA is powered with notable partnerships such as those with Microsoft, Tesla, Porsche, and more.

However, the platform is still in the early stage of development, and we’ll have to wait to see whether IOTA will show its full potential.

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