Sebastian Müller is joining the IOTA Research team as an independent researcher. In this role, he will study the impact of randomness in various parts of the IOTA protocol. At the moment he is a professor at the department of mathematics, Aix-Marseille Université, France. The main focus of his research lies in the field of stochastic processes and their applications.
Sebastian Müller obtained his PhD in mathematics with “summa cum laude” from the University of Münster in 2007 and obtained his Habilitation in Mathematics from the University Aix-Marseille in 2018. In his career, he worked and lived in five different countries, won over 10 prizes and grants, and published over 20 research articles.
On joining IOTA
Randomness is ubiquitous in most aspects of life. The right amount of randomness enables systems to adapt to environmental changes and stressors. IOTA technologies already use the power of randomness at various parts, notably in the construction of the Tangle. At the present moment, validations of transactions in the IOTA Tangle still depend on a centralized and non-random coordinator. The current Coordicide project aims to eventually remove the Coordinator and replace it with a decentralized validation protocol. I’m really excited to join the IOTA Research Team and to contribute to finding the optimal amount of randomness in a coordinator-free IOTA leading to a secure, scalable, and decentralized DLT.
We are very happy officially announcing Sebastian Müller joining the project, his experience in various aspects of probability theory and statistics are a great asset to the IOTA foundation. The intersection between theoretical research and applied science is one key to bring IOTA towards a production-ready standardized protocol. Give him a warm welcome!
Welcome Sebastian Müller to the IOTA Foundation was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Today we are releasing the updated version of our Coordicide Whitepaper. We are pleased to share this update with everyone, not only so you can remain abreast of our latest developments, but also so you can offer your thoughts and feedback.
Work on this Whitepaper began nearly one year ago, around the time of our Barcelona Research Summit. The first compiled version of the Whitepaper was released in May 2019, at the launch of the Coordicide website.
In this updated version, while the core components remain unchanged, we are pleased to demonstrate substantial progress in terms of validation of our initial work. Much of the revised and updated content has indeed already been published throughout the past year, in numerous blog posts as well as IOTA.cafe forum discussions. Nevertheless, it is necessary to compile all of these components into a single “state-of-the-art” document, so that our solution may receive the scrutiny it deserves from our academic, corporate, and community collaborators. The paper is also very useful for our own internal process of moving from theory to specification to code.
Please also note that we have made some minor updates to the Coordicide website to ensure consistency with the updated Whitepaper. Additionally, we are making public our Github repository for the Whitepaper, which ensures transparent, public access in the future, as any further developments are made.
We hope you enjoy the update, and we look forward to your feedback, as well as answering any questions you may have about it in our public channels. Please do join us in #tanglemath in our Discord for a chat, or on IOTA.cafe if you wish to offer more comprehensive feedback!
IOTA Releases Updated Coordicide Whitepaper was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
The start of a new year is a moment to reflect on the past and look to the future ahead of us. It is the moment when we assess our challenges and opportunities and continue to chart a path forward. In this second installment of our monthly Research Status Update, we provide further information about the progress made on components listed in our last update. We’re very excited for 2020!
In December we had another research summit, this time in Berlin, where the teams could connect, share their results and discuss next steps on the Coordicide project. Although some specifications remain to be written, the current overall status of the project is that we have obtained satisfactory answers to all questions necessary in order to complete a “Version 1” Coordicide. From this base of progress, we would like to answer a few questions that surely many people are asking:
How far are we from the prototype? Not very far! We have been gradually implementing the elements of Coordicide into the prototype. There are two components that still need to be coded before GoShimmer can be considered a “complete” prototype. These are the Random Number Generator (RNG) and mana (see below for status updates on these).
What has been left for later? It should come as no surprise to anyone that the IOTA protocol is not an “end-product,” rather, it is an ever-evolving project. The first version of Coordicide will be aimed at IoP (Internet of People), and from there we will improve the necessary parts in order to answer the needs of IoT. The essential questions for Coordicide have been answered, and Coordicide “v.1” is coming! Remaining research questions include: Cellular Automata voting, the sharding mechanism (which we refer to as “slicing”), Arrow autopeering and VDFs. Although our past research has already yielded great progress on those topics, they are not essential to the initial Coordicide. As such, our immediate focus is to deliver a working version of Coordicide in order to fully decentralize the IOTA network. After this has been achieved, we will then turn our full attention to the next steps in the direction of IoT.
What is next? In the post-holiday season, our research groups are coming back at full power to finish up our prototype work, and finalize both the “research” and engineering specifications. Our existing research provides a suitable basis for writing proper specifications for many of the outstanding components. Some of the post-Coordicide topics do still need further research. Looking at the current status quo, we can see how the project works and we just need to fill in some details and send our work to development. We are all very excited about the speed of progress!
The revised Coordicide Whitepaper was finished just before the holidays and sent out to Research Council members and other academics for some “internal” review, in preparation for a public release early in the new year. Of course, many of the updated concepts and approaches have already been discussed on IOTA.cafe, so the contents of the paper will already be familiar to those following IOTA Research closely. But we look forward to public feedback on the compiled Whitepaper.
Our general comment on the progress of our fundamental solution is that there have not been any major surprises. Many of our original hypotheses have been confirmed, and we will continue with Coordicide as envisioned. Please stay tuned for a blog update when we make the public release of the updated whitepaper.
Research Group Updates
The research (sub)groups were reformulated a bit during our Berlin conference. The current formulation of the groups are as follows: “Networking,” “Decentralized RNG (dRNG),” “GoShimmer Implementation,” “Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC),” “Mana and Autopeering” and “Protocol.” Below, we provide some updates from these groups.
Networking. The former rate control team has been “rebranded” as networking as it is currently working on multiple tasks, all related to the networking aspects of IOTA. In the last month, we mainly focused on finalizing a few articles about anti-spam mechanisms for the Tangle. In particular:
“On the Fairness of Distributed Ledger Technologies for the Internet of Things”, where we propose a solution to facilitate IoT devices in the computation of the Proof of Work. Submitted to IEEE ICBC 2020.
“No More Proof of Work: Rethinking Distributed Ledgers through Verifiable Delay Functions”, where we propose an anti-spam mechanism based on verifiable delay functions to replace Proof of Work. Submitted to ACM MobiHoc 2020.
“On the Decentralized Generation of the RSA Moduli in Multi-Party Settings”, where we propose how to generate an RSA modulus in a distributed way, which is fundamental to the correct functioning of a VDF-based anti-spam. Uploaded on ArXiv.
“Smooth Operator — The Use of Smooth Integers in Fast Generation of RSA Keys”, where we propose an optimization to the RSA modulus generation through smooth numbers. Uploaded on ArXiv.
Furthermore, we are designing the congestion control algorithm for Coordicide: when the demand (i.e. the number of transactions) increases, the nodes have to sort and filter out certain transactions based on objective criteria. We are also implementing a Python simulator to test the proposed algorithm and tune the related parameters.
dRNG. We decided to create a new research (sub)group in the Research department. The new group is called the ‘’dRNG group’’ and its main goal is to provide a suitable decentralized random number generator (dRNG) for the IOTA network. A dRNG is a necessary part of Coordicide as the FPC consensus mechanism requires it. The group will analyze existing dRNG solutions such as drand, which is used by, among others, League of Entropy, which is an already functioning distributed randomness beacon. We have already started describing how drand could fit into IOTA in this blog post. We will adapt and develop a decentralized random number generator which is optimal for the IOTA network. Currently, the most promising candidate seems to be a combination of already existing solutions which are based on drand with decentralized committee selection in reputation (mana) systems.
GoShimmer Implementation. The Research Team has finalized the integration of the new core modules for the next GoShimmer release supporting 0 value transactions:
Autopeering: automatic peer discovery and distance-based neighbor selection
Gossip: network layer for sending and receiving new transactions
Rate control: a temporary non-mana based rate control to limit transaction issuance
API: interface to send 0 value transactions and query the Tangle
We have focused our efforts particularly on the reliability of these components so that integrating the ledger state and voting layer to support value transactions can be our main target for future releases.
We will release an update to GoShimmer this month, as planned in the roadmap.
FPC. We have performed simulation studies on the effects of mana on the performance of FPC. The results obtained have provided valuable insights into how to improve the finalization of opinions and make the protocol more stable. We also released a blog post on berserk detection which demonstrates that honest nodes can actively engage with each other to identify and blacklist malicious nodes that follow a berserk strategy. In FPC, so far, the responses of nodes to queries have been unchecked and this allows for a larger amount of freedom for the attacker to affect the security of the protocol. In its most severe form, we call this a berserk attack. Initial research indicates that the communication overhead for the detection method is manageable and that it can be implemented as an optional addition to make the protocol more secure.
Mana and Autopeering. This group passed through a restructuring this month with the decision to focus our manpower on the first version of Coordicide. Our first decision was about which of the many researched versions of the mana system would be used, and this decision with some details was already specified in the new version of the Whitepaper. Although the mana system is well defined and many discussions led us to a good general understanding of it, how mana will be used by the other parts of the protocol still needs to be specified and simulated. During the next month, the group will be focused on fast calculation of mana by nodes, writing proper specifications and defining how mana will be used together with the Salt Autopeering. We have been discussing our ideas with the GoShimmer group, and we expect to conduct simulations soon which will allow us to come to a final decision about all remaining questions.
Protocol. During the last month, the Protocol Team focus was on three topics:
IRI Implementation: It is already known that there are many ideas from Coordicide (or born from Coordicide discussions) that are going to be implemented in IRI in order to improve the network performance and security. The Protocol Team is the one responsible for such communication with the Development and Engineering Team and during the month we have often been supplying them with all the information needed, including the new URTS tip selection, the milestone selection and the conflict white flag. Those changes will remove many bottlenecks of the current network and the group is quite excited to see them implemented.
Time and Order in the Tangle: During this month we had many discussions about the different time systems that will coexist in Coordicide. The most important one being the timestamp system (a signed value where you declare your issuance time) that will be widely used in other parts of the network. The use of checkpoints was also discussed and it looks quite useful for simplifying a variety of situations as snapshots. We are currently continuing discussions about when we trust a timestamp. For this the best perspective will be the use of the “Levels of knowledge” system that is being currently discussed.
When a node receives a transaction: The protocol includes several steps that a gossiped transaction received by a node needs to go through, such as signature validation, rate control, congestion buffer, ledger state calculation, voting, propagation and BelowMaxDepth criteria. We now have enough information about all those steps so we are able to determine how these “phases” can be organized within the protocol in a way that minimizes the computational overhead. This task lead us to another interesting question: When should a node, after receiving a transaction, include that transaction as a tip in its tip selection? The answer is somewhat simple: when it cannot be disliked by voting anymore. To give an objective criteria for this, we will again make use of the Levels of Knowledge.
In the coming month the group will continue its work with the IRI Team and further develop the “Levels of Knowledge” approach.
CA. Finally, we want to note that we decided that Cellular Automata will not be part of v.1 Coordicide. Simulations have shown that FPC alone will be robust enough to meet the needs of the network in this initial version of Coordicide. We remain highly interested in developing CA, and will do so at the appropriate time.
We hope this update was informative and helpful. As always, you can stay up to date with the IOTA Research team in the #tanglemath channel on our Discord. And you are welcome to follow and participate in our technical discussions on our public forum: IOTA.cafe.
IOTA Research Status Update was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Cristian is joining IOTA as Senior System Operations Engineer. In this role, he will collaborate with IOTA core developers and management to ensure the reliable operation of software and systems.
Cristian is Romanian and has been in love with technology since the early years, dissecting computers of all types, looking to understand how they work. For over ten years, he has been working for large organizations and small startups, managing software infrastructure, and helping applications get faster & more reliably to their users, through modern DevOps tools and practices.
On joining IOTA
I have been an IoT enthusiast, always looking for ways to simplify and automate day to day aspects. I am highly aware of our impact on the planet. I believe IOTA is one of the technologies that is going to play a key role in supporting and developing the IoT economy and help with environmental & socio-economic issues. I felt it would be a perfect fit for me to come and be a part of this innovative project!
We are very happy officially announcing Cristian joining the project. His experience with systems reliability and automation is an ideal combination for the IOTA foundation. In that regard, Cristian has the perfect skill set. Give him a warm welcome!
Welcome Cristian Dascalu to the IOTA Foundation was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
2019 has been a very exciting year for our engineering department. We were able to make significant progress with our software offering, for example with IRI, Trinity, individual client libraries and Qubic. We also started new projects along the way. about it all here and see the 2020 roadmap.
The First Step Towards a Unified Identity Protocol
We are excited to commit to our development of Digital Identity on IOTA. The Unified Identity Protocol is a Digital Identity implementation built on the Tangle. It establishes the foundation for trusted interactions and truly enables the Economy of Things.
Integrate Hyperledger Fabric With the IOTA Tangle
Previously, when we joined the Linux Foundation to work on LF Edge and move Towards Open Collaboration we announced that we have been working on an internal bridge to Hyperledger Fabric for quite some time. Find out how it works here.
Teaser IOTA End of Year Event | Berlin — 2019 celebration & 2020 outlook VIDEO — find the full presentations from the meetup further down this newsletter
Get the latest news on Coordicide in the monthly research update. Read more…
Announcing Spark: A Web-Based Low-Security Burner Wallet
The team behind Trinity is today announcing a new wallet, Spark. Spark is a low-security, temporary web wallet, or “burner wallet”. Read more…
Purchase IOTA Directly From Trinity With Moonpay
We are excited to announce another component of our financial infrastructure, by allowing Trinity users to purchase IOTA directly from our wallet through MoonPay. Read more…
EDAG CityBot and IOTA — The Future of Mobility
EDAG and the IOTA Foundation have been working together on mobility topics such as smart parking for some time. This year another chapter of collaboration began. In the CityBot concept presented at the IAA in September, IOTA is used for secure communications and payments which enables new digital business models for CityBot owners. Read more…
Introducing Hornet — a lightweight IOTA node
To evolve and diversify our node software offering, the IOTA Foundation has been supporting the development of a node implementation written in Go. This implementation — called Hornet — is now available as a beta version. This is a more lightweight take on our Java node implementation (IRI). The functionality is on par with the latest version of IRI, with the exception of local snapshots, which will be added soon. Read more…
IOTA End of Year Event | Berlin — 2019 celebration & 2020 outlook
Using the Tangle for smart agriculture: The IOTA Foundation teams up with Future Farm consortium in Norway
Preparing each round bale as an asset that can be managed digitally opens up collaboration and a number of new business models. It enables a national marketplace for round bales, and it provides data points for the industry and individual actors, such as dairy companies that can use the full traceability in their planning and productivity measures. The demo can be accessed here. Read more…
Simulation study of FPC
The IOTA Research Department recently published the Fast Probabilistic Consensus Simulator. Now, we are excited to share with you the corresponding research paper on arxiv that studies various properties of the FPC. We invite you to take a look at this research paper and also want to give you a short overview of what kind of results we have obtained. Check it all out here. Read more…
Dev status update — November, 2019
The latest updates on Bee, IRI, Qubic, Trinity, MAM & Permanodes. Read more…
Introducing IOTA.cafe: A Public Research Forum
We are excited to announce the launch of IOTA.cafe, our open Research Forum. We hope that this forum will foster collaboration among team members and external researchers. Read more…
Identities and Sybil protection in IOTA
Due to the presence of IoT devices, we believe that fighting Sybils purely based on nodes’ computational capabilities would prevent low power nodes from accessing the network. For this reason, we have introduced mana as the main component of the IOTA’s Sybil protection mechanism. Read more…
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IOTA Newsletter #17–2020 Roadmap, Unified Identity Protocol, Hyperledger Integration & much more was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
What is the IOTA?
If the Aether is turned towards smart contracts, the IOTA (or MIOTA) is linked to connected objects, to the Internet of Things, which some people call “fourth”. industrial Revolution”.
Created in 2015 by David Sonstebo, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener and Dr. Serguei Popov. IOTA is based on a technology that allows free and instant transactions between machines in the Internet of Things environment.
Unlike Bitcoin and most cryptocurrency, IOTA units already exist (2.779.530.283 in total), and the motto is not based on the mining system (creation of units via computers, note).
IOTA also differs from other cryptocurrencies in that it does not rely on the blockchain technology mentioned above. It is based on Tangle technology, fully decentralized, which allows transactions at no cost, secure, and instant.
The applications are numerous. The IOTA allowing micro-transactions since there are no fees, many companies, including small businesses, merchants could be interested. The Tangle technology on which the IOTA is based can also be used to transfer data, can be applied to set up electronic votes, or even serve as a basis for encrypted e-mail.
IOTA could also be set up in the area of the shared economy. We can imagine Paris Vélib ‘working with this technology, but all kinds of connected objects could be shared.
The IOTA has experienced a recent craze its course passing in less than a week of a few cents to more than 3 dollars per unit. This interest is explained by the announcement of a partnership with major companies such as Microsoft, Samsung, Cisco or Volkswagen.