The IOTA price could more than quadruple by the end of the year, as this nascent cryptocurrency advances its ambitious technology. But that's just the start of this cryptocurrency's potential.
What sets the IOTA cryptocurrency apart is its focus on becoming the backbone of the Internet of Things (IoT) – a tech idea that envisions the networking of physical devices ranging from autos, to wearable tech, to refrigerators.
The IOTA system is intended to serve as a trusted conduit through which IoT data will flow, connecting devices through its encrypted network.
If IOTA succeeds in fulfilling this function – and at the moment, it's the clear front runner – the IOTA price will see tremendous gains.
At least one IOTA price prediction puts the cryptocurrency at $5 by the end of 2018 – more than a 300% gain from today's price. But as we'll see, that prediction could be too conservative. Becoming the foundation of the IoT would result in exponentially higher price increases over the next few years.
Here's what makes IOTA one of the most compelling cryptocurrencies on the market…
Why IOTA Is Not Just Another Cryptocurrency
With over 1,500 cryptocurrencies in existence, only those that truly stand out will survive, much less enjoy large price gains.
IOTA, a third-generation cryptocurrency, definitely fits the bill.
One of the hallmarks of a strong cryptocurrency is a strong team behind it. IOTA's group is knowledgeable, experienced, and diverse.
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Founded by David Sonstebo, Dominik Schiener, Sergey Ivancheglo, and Sergeui Popov in 2015, the IOTA Foundation is based in Germany. It employs about 50 people, including more than 20 developers and about a dozen researchers.
And they wrote IOTA's code from the ground up. That alone distinguishes IOTA from most crypto teams, who typically copy code from other coins and tweak it.
But the key here is that IOTA's architecture was designed from the outset to function as the heart of the IoT. To do that, the IOTA cryptocurrency needed to have zero transaction fees, impenetrable security, and unlimited scalability.
Most of this is accomplished through IOTA's unusual data structure. It's called the Tangle…
The Tangle Is What Sets IOTA Apart
The Tangle serves the same purpose as Bitcoin's blockchain. It confirms and verifies the transactions on the network.
But the Tangle isn't a blockchain at all, in that it doesn't build sequentially on previous blocks of transaction data.
Instead of miners confirming transactions as with Bitcoin, every IOTA user contributes to the maintenance of the network. Each time a user makes a transaction, their software must choose two other transactions at random to check and verify.
This results in an ever-expanding web of connections that continues to add confirmations to a transaction as time goes on. (The technical term for this is "directed acyclic graph.")
The Tangle structure brings several advantages. The Tangle is why IOTA has no transaction fees (no miners to pay). It also makes it harder to create the number of transactions required to launch a spam attack.
But the biggest advantage of the Tangle is its scalability. The structure means that, as the number of transactions increase, so does network capacity. There can be no backlog of unconfirmed transactions because of limited size data blocks – the issue that sparked the Bitcoin Cash hard fork last August.
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Apart from the Tangle-related features, IOTA also has something called "quantum immunity." That means even quantum computers – the next major advance in computing – won't be able to crack it. That's not so for Bitcoin or Ethereum (although both will likely be upgraded for quantum resistance in the future).
All of this makes IOTA a strong contender to emerge as one of the top cryptos. And a lot of companies, governments, and organizations know it. They're already coming up with ways to integrate the IOTA platform…
Who's Involved with the IOTA Cryptocurrency
One good way to gauge whether a platform is catching on is to look at who's using it. This an impressive list so far.
- Last year, IOTA unveiled its "digital marketplace," a proof-of-concept project that demonstrated IOTA's ability to distribute and monetize data. Companies that participated in the demo included Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCMKTS: DTEGY) Fujitsu Ltd. (OTCMKTS: FJTSY), Accenture Plc. (NYSE: ACN), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and PwC.
- Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmBH purchased an undisclosed number of MIOTA tokens in December.
- A partnership with the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC), a non-profit organization that develops autonomous vehicle technology, was announced in January.
- Volkswagen AG's (OTCMKTS: VLKAY) Chief Digital Officer, Johann Jungwirth, joined IOTA's supervisory board in January. The appointment suggests future collaboration. Said Jungwirth: "IOTA has the potential to set a standard for trusted machine-to-machine transactions."
- Taipai, the capital of Taiwan, announced in February a partnership with the IOTA Foundation to develop digital government ID cards.
In addition, the IOTA Foundation is quietly working with more than 40 other companies.
As you can see, the team's goal of having IOTA become a key part of the fabric of the IoT is in the process of being realized.
And bear in mind, IOTA is still a very young project. That makes the progress it has made in attracting interest even more remarkable.
With such promise ahead of it, IOTA could rise well beyond the 300%-plus predicted for 2018, ultimately skyrocketing nearly 30,000%…