Primarily, the Internet of Things describes a world of connected devices which serve various purposes, everything from building widgets in a factory to monitoring your refrigerator.
IoTeX focuses on the first part more than the latter – they’ve realized there is a need for an industrial IoT-friendly blockchain with privacy baked in. They launched their mainnet today.
Blockchain Firm Builds ‘Internet of Trusted Things’
Larry Pang, head of growth, said in an exclusive interview with CCN:
“Our vision is much more than just adding trust to today’s IoT devices. We’re creating a decentralized trust fabric for all of these different types of physical and virtual things to exchange value and exchange information. […] Some of the things we’re thinking about are humans transacting with machines directly, the sharing economy, machines interacting with other machines, which forms the basis for a lot of automation and decentralized autonomous organizations.”
“Businesses can collaborate with other businesses, humans can collaborate with businesses, and all of them can access dApps. And in those dApps we really focus on privacy. What we’re really trying to do is create this end-to-end trust throughout the entire information life cycle.”
One aspect of the IoTeX architecture that’s interesting is the introduction of “trust scores for everything.” People, machines, businesses, and data within the network will earn a trust score. Trust scores can be used to build algorithms for more efficient business models. A developer can say they will only accept data from devices that have a trust score of X, for example. Borrowing and lending can also be done integrating trust scores, for enterprises to expand dynamically.
A New Blockchain Design for a New World of Interconnectivity
IoTeX designed its blockchain from scratch because they felt there were limitations in existing architectures at the time of their founding about two years ago. Initially, they considered Ethereum and IOTA heavily but realized that their protocols just weren’t efficient enough for the ambitious project.
Co-founder Raullen Chai told us:
“It was quite disappointing, especially when looking at IOTA. It doesn’t work. […] We have top engineers from companies in Silicon Valley who helped us build this blockchain from scratch. […] We looked at Ethereum and EOS – those things worked pretty good, but they’re pretty slow, and also lack privacy. So we looked at privacy coins, but they’re not scalable for this kind of thing. What we needed was something that was IoT friendly but also privacy friendly.”
IoTeX uses a version of delegated proof-of-stake (used by projects like EOS) called Roll-DpoS, which Chai says helps retain the decentralized aspect of the blockchain architecture while still having the speed and efficiency of networks like EOS.
IoTeX privately funded from its founders’ pockets and later received funding from Tim Draper and a few other interested parties.
According to co-founder Jing Sun, they’re most excited by the fact that Draper and other investors have decided to come on board as network participants as well, running validation nodes.
“End of 2017, we released our whitepaper. And then we start to raise a fund. After considering all the regulations, we decided to only go through the private round. At the time, we raised 25,000 Ether, from over 50 private investors and VC funds. Draper Dragon and others are not only investing in us in the private round but now they’re participating as delegates – which is great because it shows a commitment going forward.”
Delegates from other networks such as EOS and Tezos have signed on to operate block producing nodes in the IoTeX network. A full list of validators can be seen on their block explorer. The project goes live today.