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IOTA - Next Generation Blockchain Technology

15/November/2017
IoT (Internet of Things) has made immense progress from conceptual to deliverable aspect in the last couple of years. We started our digital era with sharing of files only, now it has turned into a stage where we can share anything as a digital product. From wearable gadgets to vehicles to home appliances, the objects that are connected to the internet are increasing exponentially. In the beginning, we were unable to share these physical entities through the internet now we are in the 4th industrial revolution where we can transfer anything in the world through internet.

We know IoT is the network of physical devices like gadgets and home appliances, vehicles etc., But what is IOTA?
In simple words, IOTA is blockchain technology which enables the digital transaction of IoT products across the network. The Blockchain technology is known as the future internet where IOTA (Internet of Things tAngle) is known as future Blockchain. Yes!!! These things are making the real technological revolution in the industry.

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IOTA- a ‘Block’ less Blockchain
IOTA provides a Blockchain for the Internet of Things. But the interesting thing is that there are no blocks in IOTA. Then how Blockchain is created? Then answer lays in another concept known as DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) which is a directed graph without cycles. In IOTA there is no ledger as in normal blockchains instead they use a DAG called Tangle for the transaction management. In Tangle, the vertices of the graph represent the nodes/physical devices and the directed edges represent the transaction from one device to another. In short, IOTA network is a lightweight tangle which is scalable to any extent for adding any number of transactions and DAG is the backbone of it.

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DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) which is a directed graph without cycles. In IOTA there is no ledger as in normal blockchains instead they use a DAG called Tangle.

No Transaction Fees
In most Blockchain networks the transaction cost is often a matter. But IOTA is not charging any fee for the transaction. The IOTA is mainly designed to perform Nano transactions and these Nano transactions will be executed without any fee. The IOTA can create both private and permissioned networks of IoT and can manage the transactions with Tangle without any transaction fees.

No miners
In case of a Blockchain mining is a vital element, but IOTA is an exception to it. There is no miners or mining process in IOTA network. So how the transactions are verified in IOTA? The tangle just needs a verification only. And the verification is done by the node who generated the transaction, with the help of a validation algorithm. But the node will be able to proceed this transaction only after verifying two other random transactions in the network using the same validation algorithm.
Instead of the Bitcoin protocol, IOTA uses the GHOST(Greedy Heaviest Observed Sub Tree) protocol, which is a modified version of bitcoin protocol itself. GHOST just modify the bitcoin protocol by creating a tree instead of a blockchain.

Weighted graphs
In IOTA, the priority of the transaction is measured with the help of ‘weight’ associated with each transaction. DAG is a weighted graph and the weight of each transaction is proportional to the amount of work that the issuing node invested into it. And obviously, the transactions with higher weight will get higher priority than the transactions with lower weight

Developing IOTA
The supporting languages for IOTA are Python and JavaScript. The library packages for the languages are available on the IOTA website itself. The developer may use an IOTA sandbox environment or install IOTA core client for developing the IOTA network. In IOTA network, every object is considered as a service. Or in other words, the physical existence of a ‘thing’ will be converted as a 'service' in the tangle. This conversion is done with the help of IoT sensors. An IoT sensor is nothing but a simple hardware device attached to the physical entity, which will detect and digitize all the movements of that particular entity. The digitized data will be used in our IOTA network for the management of these entities. All machine to machine communication is controlled using this IoT sensor in IOTA network.

Security
IOTA offers a high level of security for both transactions and assets. The data transfer through the tangle will be in encrypted form and fully protected from external attacks. IOTA uses the masked massaging technique to ensure the security of data transfer. In Masked messaging service, the data is encrypted with quantum proof security which makes the data broadcasting also easy.
Starting from the weight calculation to restricting an external attack, IOTA employs several mathematical equations which are capable of detecting any small changes in the graph. This highly mathematical approach ensures the protection of data from any kind of external attacks.

The combined advantage of blockchain and IoT has already brought many application areas to IOTA. As the IoT and blockchain are expanding rapidly, more existing services may come under this technology in near future.