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The IOTA Report Card

The IOTA Report Card

The going rate for IOTA tokens, which originally started as a hardware project, is subject to market forces along with every other commodity on the planet. The public’s awareness of the project seemed to coincide with the climax of the crypto markets in January 2018, and since then it seems as though rationality has finally begun to be restored. There are many factors that influence the confidence of a DLT’s user base, a large one being the perceived trustworthiness of a project and its developers. Check out this report about the situation at Gamecredits, for example. If promises aren’t kept, trust can and should quickly erodes, as is the case in every other domain of business and technology.

It’s important to remember that the IOTA Foundation is only one part of the burgeoning IOTA ecosystem, and that the project as a whole isn’t completely reliant on the IF to drive production and adoption. A grassroots community effort to develop the code and spread the idea is integral to the long term success of IOTA, as is the case with all open source software projects. Nonetheless, it’s true that the IF has been a dominant player in IOTA’s development thus far, so let’s examine the Foundation’s productivity over the first half of 2018 – a “report card” for the project, if you will.

Foundation

At the end of 2017, David Sonstebo said the following:

We’ll be delivering the final papers to the Behörde tomorrow, so all of that is ready. Expect an official announcement within days/week. After that we’ll be hiring 30-50 new devs and researchers until the end of the year. IOTA is going into hyperdrive There will be a big announcement soon of the projects thus far accepted into the EcoSystem.

Here’s a recap of the events that followed this comment:

  • The IOTA Foundation was registered as the first crypto not-for-profit entity under German law.
  • Since New Year’s Day, 34 new members have been added to the IOTA Foundation. This validates Sonstebo’s comment about hiring “30-50 new devs and researchers”.
  • Various key figures have joined the Foundation such as Johann Jungwirth (VW, he will be working for VW in Silicon Valley), Dr. Rolf Werner (formerly Fujitsu and at the moment joining a new company), Anes Hodzic (Airbus), Michael Nilles (Schindler) or Dr. Richard Soley (Industrial Internet Consortium) to just name a few.

Wallet

One of the main obstacles standing in the way of IOTA exploration for many people was the old GUI-wallet.

Due to the focus on a perfect user experience, the release of the new wallet called Trinity was delayed – but after a successful security audit, the open beta for the mobile wallet was released in late May and can be used by everyone for free!

As far as the desktop wallet is concerned, Charlie Varley has posted some news on August 3 in IOTA’s Discord channel #trinity-announcements:

Desktop beta preparations are in their final stages […] With the release of desktop beta, we also plan to open source the Trinity repo on Github. Accordingly, a fair amount of time has been spent on preparing the repo for public use. Preparations have involved the less glamorous tasks of code documentation, major refactoring of old code, removing dead code, outlining PR guidelines and planning release schedules. […] you can look forward to desktop beta very soon.

Here’s a recap of wallet development:

  • Mobile wallet has successfully undergone a security audit + is still being updated (beta status)
  • Desktop wallet will enter beta very soon
    • Edit 08/25/18: only few hours after publishing this article, the Trinity public beta was announced
  • Time has been invested to make everything as smooth as possible and ensure the best user experience possible

Exchanges

Many people asked for more exchange listings back in late 2o17. In 2018, there were quite a few listings (additionally to the big ones which had already been done in 2017 like Bitfinex, Binance, Coinone and OKEx):

  • Cobinhood (May; feeless exchange)
  • HitBTC (March; Chinese exchange)
  • Huobi (May; one of the biggest Chinese exchanges)
  • Bitpanda (June; great Euro-gateway)

Yet there was one element which kept other exchanges from listing IOTA which has long lived under the name of Hub IXI: This extension module was supposed to help the exchanges in integrating the complex structure of IOTA’s nature into traditional Bitcoin-related exchanges. This turned out to be a difficult task (despite having hired a professional team for this endeavor).

That’s the reason given for why IOTA hub was only just published this month:

This makes integrating IOTA simple for any kind of service provider. Using Hub, an exchange can be ready to support IOTA in weeks rather than months, just by connecting Hub to their existing trading platform.

The first company to make use of this new software is South Korea’s leading exchange, UpBit, which by the way has just successfully passed government audit with flying colors.

Here’s a recap of exchange listings:

  • “Only” four exchange listings in the first half of 2018 due to the delayed release of IOTA Hub
  • Now that IOTA Hub has been released (Github repo) it shouldn’t take long until other exchanges integrate it
  • Exchange adoption is primarily a function of customer demand. If exchanges see that their users demand certain coins be carried, they will respond appropriately.

Ecosystem

Another ambitious endeavor had been the establishment of the IOTA Ecosystem. IOTA must avoid being software used for a closed-community of in a walled garden. This is why the Foundation has pushed so hard to promote IOTA as an open system for anyone who wants to join in building the future of distributed, decentralized and permissionless technologies. In order to provide a platform for anyone willing to contribute to this lofty goal, ecosystem.iota.org was published in February.

This not only serves as a platform to provide an overview of  projects being developed at the moment, but also as a tool to introduce projects to the multi-million IOTA Ecosystem Development Fund. The Ecosystem platform is the perfect place to introduce projects to the masses, obtain funding, and find collaborators. The EDF will operate in a high trust environment since it is registered as an independent entity, separate from the IOTA Foundation, and its management and disbursements will be transparent as per German law.

Here’s a recap of the ecosystem’s progress:

  • The IOTA ecosystem has launched very successfully:

    Stats as of Aug 6.
  • It is free to join for everyone
  • Its goal is to help community developers and supports to do their part in building a future with IOTA

Partnerships

The best product is worthless without actual adoption. During 2018 lots of companies, organizations and universities have started to build actual products based on IOTA:

Marketplace

The news of IOTA’s marketplace release was a blast – many renowned companies joined this test marketplace to see if it is a viable way of selling data to, or buying data from customers. Since then, not much has been heard except for the fact that quite a few companies have later joined the marketplace. On Discord, Dominik Schiener announced on June 3 (#general):

we are right now in the process of hiring a dedicated developer for the marketplace btw.

More recently, on August 2nd he hinted at news about the marketplace on Reddit:

We will have an update on the data marketplace very soon 🙂

So there is not much to be said about the Data Marketplace except for the fact that there will be news rather soon.

Q(ubic)

The elusive Q has finally been demystified. Details about what it actually is were published on June 3:

Qubic will not only enable real-world data to be fed into the tangle and to interact via smart contracts in order to automate countless processes, but it will also allow for complex outsourced computations by computers attached to the network. These are tasks which you could never run on your own PC or server. What this means is that processes can be linked to each other resulting in a cascade of automated reactions. For example, a fridge lacks ingredients for one dish so it orders food based on list made the user, then the fridge pays;  meanwhile a kitchen machine starts cooking on a hotplate powered by electricity from the neighbor’s roof paid in IOTA automatically. Meanwhile, a drone delivers that food that was ordered by the fridge, and the user “delivers” the food to the fridge. The kitchen machine finishes the hot plate dish, and the user ends up happy. All of this occurred without any fees.

However, due to the complexity of the technology involved (trinary computations, new programming language, interaction with Tangle…), the team will need a good amount of time to get this production ready:

We have been working on finalizing the Abra compiler to be able to handle a first, simple version of Abra. The next step will be some internal playing with the language to see if everything works as planned. We hope to have it in a state that other people can try their first hand at it within the next few months.

As always, IOTA Foundation will take the time which is necessary to deliver the best product possible.

Qubic recap:

  • Qubic was introduced to the public on June 3
  • There is no working code yet
  • The possibilities seem endless and have yet to be grasped, but the project is still in its infancy

 

State of the Project

The IOTA Foundation has been objectively performing wonderfully in terms of keeping pace with their stated goals. Delays are inevitable when dealing with cutting edge technology, so it’s honestly surprising that so few roadblocks have been encountered so far. In hindsight, the few delays have not been due to the developers’ inability but were due to unforeseen circumstances. Great people are developing great projects for all sorts of companies and organizations.

IOTA is well on track – we will most likely see a very interesting second half of the year.

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Written by: Chris Mueller

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