IOTA Foundation to launch staging network and reward token

The IOTA Foundation has announced the upcoming launch of a staging network, Shimmer, in a bid to advance the IOTA roadmap towards fully functional decentralization.

The layer-1 network will act as an innovation testbed for developers and builders in the community seeking to evaluate decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) applications. This sandbox model will allow them to establish the efficiency and compatibility of applications prior to launching on the IOTA mainnet, ensuring smooth deployment.

The first major network upgrades hosted on the Shimmer network are programmable multi-asset ledger, smart contracts, full decentralization, and sharding.

The IOTA Foundation is an open-source, not-for-profit entity — known as a Stiftung in Germany — which was incepted in 2018 to support multi-faceted initiatives within the IOTA ecosystem such as research, development and education in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) space.

IOTA token holders will be granted the ability to earn staking rewards in $SMR via the platform’s Firefly wallet. Following token distribution over the coming months, the Shimmer network is slated to launch in early-2022.

Co-founder and Chairman of the IOTA Foundation, Dominik Schiener, cited the recent success of Polkadot’s canary network, Kusama, to explain the company’s assurance of market receptiveness towards this announcement.

“As we’ve seen with the success of Kusama and Polkadot, the Shimmer network will become an incentivized staging network offering crucial testing and public validation to our ambitious development roadmap.”

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In mid-October, the IOTA Foundation released its smart contract beta platform with the ambition of fostering the growth of DeFi and NFT applications due to proposed incentives of lower fees and higher scalability.

Schiener also outlined potential risks of the network, and how the team have worked to mitigate their probability.

“Introducing tokenization, complex output types, smart contracts and new consensus offers exciting new opportunities. These opportunities aren’t without significant risks, however, and Shimmer will ensure the safety of each upgrade. With Shimmer, we are supercharging the innovation playground around IOTA.”