Dominik Schiener, the co-founder of IOTA and chair of the IOTA Foundation, recently took part in a Fireside Chat at Factory Berlin in Germany.
The discussion covered topics from the current status of Tangle and Qubic development to how IOTA differs from other cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. The talk finished with a Q&A session involving the audience.
Much of the discussion centred around the collaboration between IOTA and the corporate world, and the potential for adoption of IOTA into business and society. As it currently stands, there is no IOTA ‘product’ as such that can be picked up and integrated by businesses. Therefore, collaborations with companies tend to start life in digital innovation labs and led by the chief digital officer. These labs are more commonly found in larger companies as they have the resources for such development.
The on-boarding process can be very lengthy, beginning with an approach made either by IOTA or the business. A discussion about the technology and its potential uses follows, including its integration into existing or new business models, with Proofs of Concepts emerging. These are then developed into working products, which can take many months. This lifecycle can be seen in progress in the collaboration with Volkswagen, which is targeting a release for its product in 2019.
Importantly throughout the collaboration process, and actually underpinning IOTA as a whole, is that there are no fees for using the technology. The IOTA Foundation is proud that what sets them apart from other technologies is that they are focused on adoption rather than profits or turnover.
Whilst many high profile projects are already in progress, Dominik outlined the challenges faced when driving adoption of IOTA with corporates.
Permissioned vs Permissionless Ledgers
IOTA is a firm believer in permission-less ledgers, which enable ecosystems that anyone can access. The corporate world often thinks differently though, with a preference for private networks and access control. The challenge is convincing big companies that an open, permission-less network is a better option whilst still meeting security concerns.
Cryptocurrencies and tokens have become infamous for their volatility, especially against fiat currencies. This produces nervousness in companies when faced with using tokens in new products or business models
Another challenge is the availability and restriction of getting funds in and out of new ecosystems, particularly fiat funds. This is where the involvement of banks becomes increasingly important. Dominik believes that this type of integration actually represents a new business model for banks.
It was clear throughout the whole discussion that IOTA is not designed to be a money making machine. Instead it is an innovation that is open for everyone to participate in and benefit from.
You can watch the full discussion below.