According to Juniper Research, the number of Internet of Things devices is expected to exceed the 50 billion mark by 2022 and all of these devices will require fast and secure methods of communication. The project we are about to discuss focuses on solving this very problem — the creators of IoTeX are planning to handle this with a privacy focused blockchain. The ecosystem should provide flexibility and scalability by using a fast Proof-of-Stake based consensus mechanism, combined with the sidechains.
What is IoTex?
IoTeX (IOTX) is a scalable “blockchain-in-blockchain” acting as a base for the Internet of Things (IoT) operation. In this case, the root blockchain (rootchain) manages separate independent blockchains (subchains). The subchains are connected directly to the IoT devices, which communicate with each other through the execution of smart contracts within the ecosystem.
In terms of architecture, IoTeX is the backbone of the IoT, possessing a range of unique features. First of all, IoTeX separates functions of each component of the network. IoT devices have a number of different requirements because different platforms have different tasks. This makes it impractical to combine everything into a single blockchain, which will eventually make it slow and heavy. This is where the idea of separation of responsibilities comes into play. This means that the physical elements of the ecosystem connect specifically to subchains created for specific needs, and the subchains themselves are connected by the rootchain.
IoTeX also utilizes several mechanisms to ensure user privacy and transaction confidentiality. Among them are ring signatures that hide the transaction recipient’s address. Everything is built on a lightweight address system that doesn’t require a recipient to scan the entire network and monitor incoming transactions.
Occam’s Razor is the principle that essentially states that the simplest solution is usually the right one. When you apply this philosophy to the IoT, it means that different devices have different needs, and IoTeX solves this issue in the simplest possible way by giving each device exactly what it needs through separate sidechains. One of the examples is the requirement to retransmit transactions. These blockchains do not require Turing-complete contracts and can be much simpler.
IoT industry solutions also need to be lightweight and minimize energy consumption while maintaining storage and computation capacities. Using rootchain paired with subchains also solves this problem. Even in case of a potential attack on any subchain, the rootchain remains untouched. In the IoTeX blockchain, this architecture is also referred to as the “blockchain inside the blockchain”.
IoTeX protocol ensures fast, efficient and inexpensive inter blockchain data exchange. The developers have also implemented block finality, which ensures that any new created block cannot be modified.
Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism
Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) is based on the principle of token holders voting for the network block producers. The number of block producers is determined, and once they are elected, they become responsible for adding new blocks to the blockchain.
Network members, in their turn, receive a reward that is distributed among the token holders who initially voted for them. This process encourages block producers to continue producing blocks and token holders to vote for block producers.
The DPoS consensus mechanism has its disadvantages as well. First of all, a determined static number of blockchain producers means that the network will never achieve decentralization. Besides, in the case of IoTeX, using DPoS alone cannot guarantee processing of complex blockchain architectures or multiple large-scale applications running simultaneously.
IoTeX solves all of the above-mentioned problems with its Randomized Delegated Proof of Stake (Roll-DPoS) algorithm. It combines DPoS with verifiable random functions (VRF) and practical Byzantine fault tolerance (PBFT). By incorporating all three elements the Roll-DPoS consensus can provide improved scalability and decentralization.
The IoTeX ecosystem
Ucam is a privacy-oriented camera for private home surveillance, developed by IoTeX and Tenvis, a global surveillance camera manufacturer. Ucam won the 2020 CES Innovation Award for cybersecurity and privacy. Ucam combines IoTeX software and Tenvis hardware so that users can be assured of the privacy of data, video and other materials transmitted via hardware and blockchain communications. Ucam cameras are available at major retailers, including Amazon and TikTech.
In addition to their regular functionality, these cameras also guarantee enhanced security. Built-in privacy features such as end-to-end encryption, secure blockchain login and encrypted storage ensure that the user fully owns and controls their data.
The Unifi Protocol is a group of interworking smart contracts that provide the building blocks for the next generation of DeFi products. uTrade, an Automated Market Maker (AMM) trading platform, currently runs on 6 different blockchains, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, ICON, Ontology, Harmony and Tron.
Unifi connects the existing DeFi token economies with the growing IoTeX token market. The launch of uTrade on IoTeX demonstrates all the possibilities of the network and contributes to further ecosystem development.
Cyclone is a privacy-oriented protocol that hides IoTeX token/transaction history using zero-disclosure evidence (zkSNARKs). Based on Ethereum’s tornado.cash concept, Cyclone uses a smart contract to accept IOTX and XRC20 token deposits, which can then be withdrawn to a different address. When an asset is withdrawn from the deposit pool, the link in the chain between the source and destination address is broken, meaning there is no way to associate withdrawal with deposit, ensuring complete privacy of the transaction.
Nordic Semiconductor is a semiconductor manufacturing company that currently operates without owning any factories. It specializes in wireless technology for the Internet of Things. Nordic’s reputation is based on advanced technology and development tools. The company was the first to invent ultra-low energy consumption wireless connection and helped develop Bluetooth LE.
The company’s award-winning Bluetooth LE solutions have turned it into a market leader and are complemented by ANT+, Thread and Zigbee products. Nordic’s compact, low-power LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular Internet of Things solutions leverage cellular infrastructure to extend the Internet of Things.
CertiK is a blockchain and smart contracts verification platform founded by leading formal verification experts from Yale and Columbia universities and former senior software engineers from Google, Facebook and FreeWheel. In contrast to traditional testing approaches, CertiK attempts to prove mathematically that the blockchain ecosystem and smart contracts are hacker-resistant and bug-free. Key features of CertiK include multi-layered decomposition, a verification mechanism, machine-verifiable verification objects, certified DApp libraries, and intelligent tagging.
Note that one of the key challenges in the blockchain ecosystem is providing privacy-preserving computing in the form of smart contracts that can also be formally verified independently. The partnership between IoTeX and CertiK, a leader in the formal verification and security of smart contracts, brings the project one step closer on the long road to highly secure smart contracts on public blockchains, including IoTeX’s own blockchain.
NKN is an ecosystem and a new kind of blockchain-based network connectivity protocol for an open and decentralized Internet. With the purpose of decentralizing network connectivity and data transmission, NKN also provides network bandwidth sharing to connect consumers and connectivity producers. NKN provides proof of retransmission/transfer, with any nodes being able to connect to NKN’s fully open network, providing true peer-to-peer connectivity and scalability.
The combination of the NKN decentralized peer-to-peer network and the IoTeX smart contract platform is quite promising in many ways. NKN is more reliable and efficient with more connected nodes/devices. IoTeX capabilities are enhanced by the ability to connect to more devices outside of the immediate IoTeX network. Combining these ecosystems can increase the reach and provide a positive impact of decentralized applications that use both technologies.
Scaleout is a company specialized in machine learning that has joined the IoTeX ecosystem to decentralize the machine learning process — from data collection to model use/access. As a first step, Scaleout will develop a protocol for participant-owned machine learning models that will be trained with verifiable data from Pebble Tracker, allowing anyone to mine tokens by sharing their data with different models. The ultimate objective of the project is to develop a thorough solution for decentralized machine learning, including trusted collaboration, smart contract-based model management, and in-chain machine learning predictive maintenance.
IoTeX is an ambitious project that could have a huge impact on the industry, as it could be used with tens of billions of IoT devices in the future. The project’s development team possesses a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise, with several PhDs and other important specialists working on its implementation. Above all, IoTeX is an attractive investment opportunity precisely because of its fundamental growth potential. The successful development of the Internet of Things will surely have a positive impact on the value of the IOTX project’s native token.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are not intended to be financial advice and should not be treated as such. 3commas and its authors do not take any responsibility for your profits or losses after you read this article. The article has been presented to provide readers with general information. There is only personal experience described herein. The user must do their own independent research to make informed decisions regarding their crypto investments.