In an effort to continue research and development of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, distributed ledger organization IOTA has entered into a historic partnership with student organizations at both Berkeley and University College London. By collaborating with Blockchain at Berkeley and the newly formed IOTA @ UCL, the IOTA Foundation is activating the young minds of blockchain-hopefuls in the pursuit of academic research around distributed ledger technology.
Tangled Up in Research
The Tangle, IOTA’s scalable distributed ledger network, lends itself to a wide variety of use cases, with many more yet to be discovered. Thanks to the flexibility of the Tangle, the IOTA Foundation’s work has inspired many developers to pioneer distributed network based applications on a network purported to be infinitely scalable, and one that requires zero transaction fees.
Due to the nature of the direct acyclic graph, or DAG, IOTA’s alternative to blockchain, transactions entering into the network verify previous transactions as part of the enacting process, effectively combining the verification and transacting processes, aspects which are completely isolated from each other in traditional blockchain networks. In the words of IOTA founder David Sonstebo, this allows for the possibility of micro and even nano transactions, allowing users and nodes on the Tangle network to process hyper-exact value exchanges. Micro and nano transactions open up new business venture possibilities and create opportunities traditional blockchain ecosystems are incapable of supporting.
These students groups, at preeminent universities already known for their blockchain and cryptocurrency endeavors, aim to actively participate in the propagation of distributed ledger tech, using IOTA’s Tangle as a focal point for their research. The teams are comprised of students across a wide range of programs, from financial systems to computer science and biology. With such a diverse array of backgrounds, these teams aim to explore the possibilities IOTA and the Tangle present in many sectors beyond the current applications of blockchain technology.
As the global Internet of Things infrastructure continues to develop and dovetail with the growing sharing economy, distributed ledger technology seems a natural fit to marry these two domains. Traditional blockchains, however, run into issues of scalability and transaction fees, two factors which directly prevent the technology from being an ideal Internet of Things solution. As more research and experimentation is conducted using the Tangle, we come closer to a seamless blend of digital and physical technologies.
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