IOTA is an open source distributed ledger technology, which aims to securely enable the exchange of information and value on the Internet of Things. One of the main innovations of IOTA is that, instead of the traditional Blockchain, it uses its own architecture (Tangle) based on a mathematical concept called Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Such an architecture means there are no fees, low network latency, and better scalability prospects. IOTA is currently in the development phase and it is expected that throughout 2019 the technology will be ready to be adopted on a large scale. IOTA was founded in 2015 by David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener, and Serguei Popov.
The project is overseen by the IOTA Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Germany, which is responsible for developing the technology and promoting its adoption. One of the main objectives of the Foundation is to increase the adoption of the protocol with a view to making it a standard. To do this, they are working on its implementation in supply chains, in the mobility sector (electric and autonomous cars), in the health sector, as well as in other areas such as fintech, industry 4.0 or identity of things. One of the most important projects that is already underway is the data market, which has brought together large companies such as Bosch, Volkswagen, Orange, Accenture or Schneider Electric, with the aim of creating a decentralized market where flows can be bought and sold of data.
IOTA is the currency used to transmit value through the IOTA protocol. The total supply of Iotas is 2,779,530,283,000,000, this supply is fixed and no more Iotas will ever be created. This amount was created at the time the network began operating through the genesis transaction. 100% of the coins were distributed through an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) among the first investors in the project. No amount was set aside for the developers or the Foundation. For the creation of the Foundation, the community donated around 5% of the total coins.
The smallest unit of account in IOTA is an Iota. The names of the larger units are created using as reference the prefixes used in the metric system. One million Iotas form a MegaIota or Miota (Mi), this unit is used for buying and selling in exchange houses.
The data structure in IOTA is made up of a chart whose vertices are transactions and whose edges represent commits. Each transaction has its own weight and an accumulated weight. The accumulated weight is the sum of the weights of all the transactions that confirm that transaction either directly or indirectly. New transactions that have not yet been confirmed are called tips. When a new transaction is attached to the network, it must confirm two tips that do not contain conflicting transactions using the tip selection algorithm.