For a long time, “Q” was one of the best kept secrets of IOTA. Much was speculated about what the project should be about. Little was known, but the hype within the IOTA community was still great. In June 2018, the project was officially launched for the first time. We explain what IOTA Q is.
What is IOTA Q?
Exact details about the project were hidden behind the abbreviation ” Q ” for a long time . This letter haunted the IOTA community, stimulating speculation and imagination. Some speculated that the term “Qubic” is behind it. And they were right. The project is called Qubic .
Qubic is a protocol that is placed over the IOTA tangle and uses the IOTA token. This protocol is intended to enable Smart Contracts and Oracle based on the Tangles. In addition, should be outsourced with the protocol quorum-based computing power. Q represents another important step towards the Internet of Things.
In the Internet of Things, devices and computers are constantly interconnected, communicating with each other, exchanging information and paying each other. For this the tangle of IOTA was created. For the IOTA founders, the blockchain of the other crypto currencies is not suitable for the Internet of Things (“Internet of Things”). This is partly due to the lack of scalability of the blockchain.
Blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum become slower, perform worse, the more transactions are to be performed and the more participants there are.
The Tangle is not a blockchain, but a network of different nodes.
Each node represents one participant in the network. To confirm a new transaction on that network, two other transactions must be verified. This eliminates the usual in other cryptocurrencies mining. The more participants, the more transactions will be confirmed.
Smart Contracts, Oracle and Outsourced Computing
This info is important to understand why “Q” is combined with Tangle. There will be thousands, even millions, of participants in the Internet of Things. Each device has its own wallet and uses the crypto currency IOTA to pay each other. If a transaction is not confirmed, it can be released again with IOTA Reattach for confirmation.
- Q can be used to automate processes. Imagine that you are finishing work and want a special meal for dinner. On the way home you will inform your kitchen about what you want to eat. Your fridge then begins to analyze its own content to see if it has all the ingredients it needs. If this is not the case, he will automatically buy the missing ingredients. For this he uses IOTA as a means of payment.
- Smart contracts serve to automate this trade. The ingredients are then sent by drone to your home. Tangle helps to register the goods sent, and smart contracts conclude trading. There are other smart contract platforms like Ethereum, but they use a blockchain, making it difficult to communicate with different devices.
This was a relatively simple example of how IOTA Q and the Internet of Things could work in the future . Even more complex processes should be realized with it.
Then come the Oracles used. Oracles or oracles are programs that make choices based on probabilities . They collect information and then decide how likely certain events are. Thus, the onset of certain conditions in the smart contract may depend on how the oracle decides. This makes a central supervisory authority obsolete, at least to a certain degree.
- For example, the Oracle could be used in Autonomous Driving traffic. Imagine, the development has progressed so far that we no longer need to drive ourselves. The cars go by themselves. While you are reading the newspaper in the car, you may get stuck in a traffic jam.
- The Oracle collects information about the density of traffic and comes to the conclusion that a congestion is very likely. The car automatically takes another route.
The Oracles use their own consensus process, the ” quorum consensus “. In this consensus, several participants provide the same kind of information. If at least two-thirds of the participants achieve the same result, then they will choose this result. At the same time, trust also plays a role.
A participant who has already made the right decisions will be given more confidence. As a result, it may not be necessary to conduct a consensus process. Such Oracles have a wide range of applications when combined with Smart Contracts. For example, in finance, when making decisions based on stock values and price movements.
After all, IOTA Q is to make it possible to outsource computing power. Because it can happen that the computing power of the participants alone is not sufficient to determine all data and to evaluate complex processes.
A “quorum” stands at Q for a computing unit of quorum-based computing .
If a computer within IOTA does not have the required power, then it should be able to request computing power from other computers. Each participant of IOTA should be given the opportunity to buy computing capacity from other participants.
The quorum consensus should ensure that the calculated results are also trustworthy. After all, these results are again based on the Oracles, that is, on estimates. The participants, whose results were correct, then share the reward of the client.
Through Q, IOTA becomes a huge, world-spanning and at the same time decentralized supercomputer. Smart Contracts and Oracle take the Internet of Things to a new level and help automate all types of processes. The other advantages of IOTA are also present here: transactions of the token cost no fees, the Tangle can infinitely scale. Without Tangle, Q would not be possible in this form.
Q Nodes are special nodes for IOTA Q and the Qubic protocol . These nodes offer proof-of-work or proof-of-stake and also provide their own unused computing power. To activate a Qubic Node, she has to prove herself in a test.
- For example, by providing the proof-of-work, a proof-of-stake exists at the proof-of-bandwidth or a proof-of-honesty. As a reward for having such a node, the owners can get paid MIOTA.
- In fact, every device and every computer can provide such a node. Also the autonomous car described above. The own IOTA of the car can be used as a stake, the unused computing power for proof-of-work. This also allows the owners of the device to earn their own IOTA.
When is IOTA Q coming?
The launch of IOTA Q will take a while to come. The project is still in a very early stage.
Similar to IOTA too. Q is not yet providing a final roadmap on the Q website and searching for exact dates is futile. Instead, the roadmap is intended to give approximate information and to help you understand which concepts should be developed and when they might be completed.
- This is not different in the development of the Tangle, because the developers also prefer to stick back with exact information. First, there is still the development of the first proof of concept. It could take years for the full deployment of IOTA Q to come.
- Even Tangle is still in its early stages and needs extensive testing. Other Oracle projects based on blockchain are also under development. In addition, the network of nodes must first be available before it can come to a proper use of Qubic.
So it will be a few more years before we can experience IOTA Q in action . And then many more years until it comes to a broad application. The first attempts were already made in September 2018, but with “Qubic Lite”. The smart contracts were tested.
Qubic – How it all started
The project did not come out of nowhere . The development of Qubic dates back to 2012, even before IOTA. The developers were inspired by Bitcoin and his hard forks, but at the same time their own cryptocurrency should not have the same disadvantages.
“Qubic” was the name of the coin, abbreviated QBC. That stands for “Quorum Based Coin”. The QBC has nothing to do with the current project and will not be used as a cryptocurrency in Tangle. The project from that time has now changed so much that it has almost only the name in common.
What does Q mean for the IOTA Foundation?
Qubic is not a small side project of the IOTA Foundation, but an important technology to the Internet of Things . Therefore, the latest developments are eagerly awaited. When Qubic was introduced for the first time, this was also reflected in the IOTA course. But not as strong as some would have expected.
Normally new updates and announcements are received with great joy and often lead to price jumps. Even as the first tests were conducted and the developers announced promising results, there was little hype.
However, that was also due to the IOTA Foundation, because they rarely beat the drum. They are more about developing new technologies than marketing. The IOTA partners are more important to them than huge price jumps for IOTA trading. At the same time, the developers also emphasize that not everything is running perfectly, including the programming language Abra , which should be used for Qubic .
The consequences are hardly foreseeable for the future. The IOTA Q project represents an important step in the direction of the Internet of Things. With Qubic, the Tangle is being extended by a whole range of new application possibilities.
He also rivals other Smart Contract platforms, such as Ethereum. In direct comparison, some advantages of Tangles are obvious. Above all, the toll-free transactions and the theoretically infinite scalability prove IOTA as the better alternative.
Ethereum and other blockchain-based smart contract platforms may have their own advantages, but are not created for the Internet of Things.