IOTA (MIOTA) Inching Closer to Complete Decentralization

Jakub Cech, the Director of Engineering at the IOTA Foundation, on Jan 14, released the development update detailing progress made in December 2020.

IOTA Smart Contracts and Chrysalis

In their report, the Chrysalis testnet and the pre-alpha version of IOTA smart contracts were made public in December. Hornet has since been running on this testnet as most integrations for Chrysalis phase 2 are now ready.

Chrysalis is the intermittent stage (IOTA 1.5) before Coordicide. The objective of releasing the testnet to the public, the foundation explains, was to test all of the Chrysalis components openly while concurrently adding remaining capabilities and components.

Auditing of Bee Node Software, Stronghold, and Firefly

From next week, users will be able to test the Bee node software on the testnet. The Bee Node software audit is ongoing and will conclude in early February—or after three weeks.

Developers also released version 0.3.5 of Pollen—the first phase designed as the testbed for engineers and developers testing and validating the concepts of IOTA 2.0. The update will be more robust, secure, and reliable, as that was the main goal.

The development team is also working on Stronghold and will release its Beta version in Spring. The primary determinant will be its feature-completeness and robustness.

Meanwhile, most of Firefly‘s user interface is complete. Its code will also be audited in January.

Leading IoT

IOTA is the leading distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform whose supporters say will underpin the future of machine and data economy. Unlike the common architectures deployed by existing platforms, IOTA is using a blockless system.

Their design is to inherently lower transaction fees and incrementally scale the base layer depending on the platform’s demand. Therefore, diverging from Ethereum or Bitcoin, a sharp increase in load won’t clog the network but exponentially increase its throughput.

The network throughput, as adjudged from their setting, is variable, fluctuating depending on user load.

The Coordinator Problem

Despite what IOTA seeks to achieve, the network is presently under the control of the foundation which runs the Coordinator. It is a super-node primarily tasked with protecting the network against third party attacks and confirming Proof-of-Work transactions.

However, their pressing concern is to remove the Coordinator and decentralize the network in a three-stage release strategy starting from Pollen, eventually culminating with Honey.

As BTCManager reported, IOTA will consider a partnership and bridge to Cardano, a peer-reviewed and research-led smart contracting platform.

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IOTA Looks into “Data Sharding” to Increase Storage on Tangle in Progress for Nectar

IOTA recently published a December update, announcing its progress for its remaining elements for the delivery of IOTA 2.0, Nectar.

IOTA introduces data sharding in progress for Nectar.jpg

IOTA’s next major milestone, IOTA 2.0, which is also known as the phase of Nectar, is expected sometime in the first quarter of 2021. 

In the past month, IOTA’s team has seen great progress on the Pollen testnet for the implementation of IOTA 2.0. IOTA recently published a new version of its Pollen testnet, which is the step before reaching Nectar. 

The IOTA team released the Pollen testnet v0.3.1 last month, where the update included the refactoring of the message structure according to the new Tangle RFC. Progress has also been made on the mana branch, where there was a tool added to determine how much mana would be generated when spending funds. 

IOTA’s team has been optimizing the consensus implementation by introducing FPC statements, where the FPC protocol requires nodes to directly query randomly selected nodes for conflict resolution.

The team also noted that another milestone reached by the team was the implementation of markers, which is a tool to infer knowledge about the structure of the Tangle, in the past and future cone membership. IOTA’s research and development team explained:

“Finally, many members of our community joined together to set up the first IOTA community-based dRNG committee. This is a great achievement and really shows how much our community is a fundamental and integral part of this prototyping process.”

In the networking team at IOTA, it was noted that they have been performing simulations to validate the congestion control mechanism. The algorithm has been put under extreme conditions, including powerful attacks. The algorithm has been found to be very robust against any malicious circumstances, and is ready to be implemented on the Pollen test network.

Researchers at IOTA are also working on lowering the adoption barrier in Coordicide, which is the most important step for IOTA. The team also aims to guarantee access to low mana nodes during uncongested periods.

IOTA’s team has been writing a proposal summarizing data sharding, as the team has been looking closely into some second layer solutions for data. The idea of “data sharding” is still preliminary, where the amount of data stored on the Tangle could greatly increase.

Image source: Shutterstock


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IOTA Introduces a New Database for the Release of an Updated Version of Pollen Testnet, V0.3.2

IOTA recently announced the release of a new version of its Pollen testnet, v0.3.2. The testnet of its fully decentralized network Pollen was initially released in June this year. 

IOTA introduces new database for new pollen testnet

Pollen enables developers and other parties to test the capabilities of a fully decentralized IOTA network. As part of IOTA 2.0, there are three phases, including Pollen, its first phase, then Nectar, its second testnet, and Honey, its mainnet.

IOTA’s team of researchers and developers have been researching a solution that would replace its current network early next year. 

With the release of the new version of the Pollen testnet, the network would be able to save up to half of its memory consumption by switching from BadgerDB to Pebble. BadgerDB is a fast key-value database written in pure Go, while Pebble is a LevelDB inspired key-value store that focuses on performance and internal usage by CockroachDB. 

IOTA would be adding FPC statements and clock-based time to message metadata as well. The new version of the testnet would improve dashboard message live feed, and improve spammer to distribute issued messages within a minute evenly.

Similar to its previous release, according to Angelo Capossele, a senior research scientist at IOTA, this version bump resets the network as well as the Tangle, and including all balances and tokenized assets. 

Tangle is IOTA’s key innovation, which is a system of nodes used for confirming transactions on the network. Tangle is faster and more efficient than most of the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies, according to IOTA. Tangle also enables the blockchain to be free of any transaction fees. 

As a decentralized acyclic graph (DAG), Tangle enables each node to be connected to multiple other nodes, but only in a particular direction, as the node cannot refer back to itself. Although other blockchains are also DAGs, IOTA’s Tangle differentiates itself as it is a parallel system, in which transactions can be processed simultaneously, instead of one after the other. Tangle could become more secure as more systems are attached to it.

Image source: Shutterstock


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