With bitcoin, ethereum and other big name digital currencies regularly making the news for their role in controversies and developments, it is often easy to overlook the rest of the cryptocurrency market, even those rising in prominence like as IOTA. With a market cap of around $5 billion, it is currently the eleventh most valuable cryptocurrency. Unlike others, however, IOTA has its own unique spin on the blockchain tech, called Tangle. It is also able to boast zero transaction fees.
In recent times, IOTA’s heritage in the German capital has clearly attracted several indigenous companies with deep pockets. For instance, the Chief Digital Officer of Volkswagen Group, Johann Jungwirth, is one of the board members of the IOTA Foundation. Bosch Group, through its venture capital arm, RBVC, has also invested an undisclosed amount and works closely with the foundation.
When interviewed by Bloomberg, IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener shared his belief that with these new partnerships, IOTA is heading for the “next growth cycle”. There are also rumors circulating in the crypto community surrounding a possible smart contracts-like feature in IOTA. Setting up multiple offices around the world, including ones in Canada, Japan, Norway and South Korea, is perhaps in anticipation of explosive growth following these changes.
Developers and mathematicians hired by the IOTA Foundation to work on the cryptocurrency are paid in IOTA tokens and not fiat currency. The foundation has accrued over 300,000 Euros in IOTA donations from users of the currency, according to Dominik.
Schiener’s first stint with cryptocurrencies was back in 2013 when he attempted to start his own digital trading exchange at the age of 17. The project, however, completely failed to take off, causing him to lose his investment of around 500,000 Euro. In the interview with Bloomberg, he stated that the reason for his venture’s failure was primarily because of the relative infancy of virtual currencies all those years ago.
He further added:
“Many associated it with drug deals and other dark businesses, and no bank wanted to give me an account for the company.”
By 2015, when Dominik founded IOTA alongside David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo and Serguei Popov in Berlin, bitcoin and by extension, cryptocurrencies, had gained much more credibility amongst the masses. And by now, after the slow rise of IOTA throughout 2016 and 2017, it is clear that the young entrepreneur is dead set on making IOTA one of the most valuable currencies of our time.