Recently, IOTA has introduced 2 new initiatives to further the development of its network: the IOTA Ecosystem and Qubic. In this article, we take an in-depth look at these two new IOTA projects and assess how they strengthen the billion dollar IoT-focused platform.
The IOTA Ecosystem
Recently, the IOTA foundation announced the newly created IOTA ecosystem. This initiative is a platform that brings together the IOTA community – developers, startups, and IOTA enthusiasts – to strengthen the IOTA network through community-based initiatives.
As IOTA’s Managing Director John Licciardello stated:
From proof-of-concepts, utilities and libraries, to educational resources, media, philanthropic endeavors, and more, the IOTA Ecosystem will be where everyone involved in the broader IOTA community can meet, collaborate, learn, inspire, develop and build.
The purpose of the IOTA Ecosystem is to foster progress and development of the IOTA network by giving the community a platform to communicate and collaborate. The platform includes:
- Educational resources
- Developer resources
- A landing page for the Ecosystem Development Fund (discussed below)
- Information sharing and updates through articles and blogs
- Sponsored events
- Matching developers with startups
The IOTA Ecosystem will be a hub of education, innovation, tools, collaboration and development for the IOTA distributed ledger protocol.
To attract valuable talent and initiatives, incentives need to be in place. Therefore, as a part of the IOTA ecosystem, and signaling great foresight by the IOTA community, the Ecosystem Development Fund has been created. This development fund is a community effort with the goal to financially reward community-based developments on the IOTA platform.
Being a community initiative, the capital of the fund also stems from community donations. The total amount of donations ended up surpassing a staggering 20 Tera IOTA, which is over $55 million at market value of IOTA at the time of writing. With that much capital, IOTA’s Ecosystem Development Fund surely has the funds to motivate and support a large number of valuable future initiatives.
A community-driven initiative with that much capital requires a solid governance and management model for handling the EDF funds. Luckily, we’re in an industry where decentralization and huge amounts of capital are the norm, and together the IOTA foundation and the IOTA community are creating a governance framework for the distribution of EDF capital.
As stated in the blog post announcement:
We would like to organize competitions where a group of prospective project proposals can be presented and then allow the IOTA community to vote for their preferred candidate demonstrating the power of the Tangle for democratic systems of governance.
In this governance model, the emphasis lies on democratic, community-driven decisions. These include decisions about nominating new initiatives and voting on proposals. These votes will direct the spending of the EDF investment funds. However, the IOTA Foundation will have the final say in this.
The governance model will leverage IOTA’s ledger and Tangle to implement a reputation system. This way, the IOTA community can collaboratively identify quality projects and developers in a transparent and trustworthy way.
The exact details of the EDF investment process and governance are still being worked out. The IOTA ecosystem platform is already growing, and community members have submitted 111 projects at the time of writing.
Suspense has been building ever since the IOTA team started dropping teasers for a “mystery” project Q. Investors have been eagerly waiting to find out what exactly project Q is, as the IOTA foundation hinted that the project is complex and has enormous potential.
IOTA founder David Sonstebo even went as far as calling project Q:
One of the biggest, if not the biggest things to occur to the IOTA project.
There has been plenty of speculation about what project Q might be, and the IOTA team hasn’t released much information. Speculation has varied from a decentralized marketplace for computational power to a framework for designing and deploying smart contracts on the IOTA network.
It’s actually both.
On May 3, 2018, the IOTA team released the official name of project Q, which is Qubic, as well as a breakdown of its core features. As stated on IOTA-news.com, Qubic makes oracles, smart contracts, and outsourced computing possible on the IOTA network.
This is big news for IOTA, to say the least, making it possible for the platform to compete with the biggest blockchain networks. With these upcoming features, the potential size and thus value of the IOTA network are vastly increasing.
With this statement also came the launch of Qubic’s website, which immediately sets the mood with a slick yet mysterious introduction video. The video highlights the to-be-introduced oracle, smart contract, and outsourced computations features, and with each of these 3 animated features we can see the icons of dollars and Euros.
This seems to indicate marketplaces for the 3 features, or that these features will be used for a value-transaction platform. Both of these ideas would be in line with the IoT-focused platform IOTA has set out to become. Maybe Qubic will be the layer of technology for IOTA that makes P2P micro-transactions in fiat currencies possible for using decentralized applications.
A recent real-life example of IOTA combined with IoT that demonstrates IOTA’s ambitions is the first IOTA-powered electric charging station. IOTA’s Tangle technology is used to conduct micro-transactions per kilowatt tanked by the car. The bill is displayed in fiat currencies, so the car owner doesn’t even realize that IOTA is being used on the back-end.
The team has also indicated that Qubic is one of their main priorities for 2018 and 2019. Thus far, the mentioned core features are the only information we have been given. All other information about Qubic will be revealed on June 3, 2018.
In recent weeks, the IOTA foundation has reminded the industry once more why IOTA is a very serious player with enormous potential. The introduction of both the IOTA ecosystem platform and Qubic signal the development of what IOTA has always envisioned: a strong and sustainable framework for growth.
The IOTA ecosystem fosters its network and lets the ecosystem develop through its members, while the Qubic initiative is designed to let this ecosystem grow in value through more features and grow in size through attracting more users. With over $50 million to support community projects and the details of the highly promising Qubic being released on June 3, the IOTA network is set to keep growing in value.
Related: What the Future Holds for IOTA