The Berlin-based IOTA Foundation, which is behind a namesake virtual currency that's designed specifically for the rising IoT industry, is delving into data monetization and solutions with the Tuesday morning launch of a new micropayment-based data marketplace that's powered by distributed ledger technology. The new initiative has gathered participation from more than 20 global organizations, including corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture and Fujitsu, as well as research groups from universities around the world.
The public marketplace aims to give connected devices the ability to securely transfer, buy and sell fine-granular and diverse datasets while ultimately facilitating access to data that oftentimes sits unused.
It’s the idea that data from your Apple Watch, for example, is useful and valuable to someone, somewhere. And that making that data accessible to the parties who want it and need it can ultimately help power such things as machine learning, predictive analytics -- and of course, the Internet of things.
The marketplace is hinged on data's use applications in industries such as supply chain, smart cities, energy, manufacturing and healthcare. Within the next few days, participants in these industries and others are expected to open and enable access to streams of data generated by sensors they've deployed. According to the release, examples of available data include location-specific environmental data, African agricultural data and anonymized healthcare data from wearables.
IOTA is now one of the largest cryptocurrencies (#9 as of press time) with a current market capitalization of about $3 billion. When it launched on the Taiwan-based exchange Bitfinex in June, IOTA shattered trade volume records and reached a market capitalization of more than $1.5 billion within hours.
The token's defining feature is its “tangle”-based distributed ledger technology for storing transactions, used in lieu of the blockchain technology that underlies most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether. It's this decentralized permissionless ledger, where the data will be hosted, that will ensure the data being sold on IOTA's marketplace is tamper-proof.