The IOTA Foundation has signed a partnership agreement with Taipei city on Tuesday [pictured].
The deal will see IOTA and Taipei work together to explore ways how IOTA’s Tangle, a ‘blockless’ protocol which enables machines to securely transact data and money with each other, can be integrated into the smart city project.
“We are so excited about teaming up with Taipei City,” said David Sønstebø, Co-Founder of the IOTA Foundation. “It proves that our next-generation technology is ready for real-world use cases and is more than just a theory. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the effect IOTA can have on making the world of IoT ever-more connected and paving the way for not just smart cities, but a smart world.”
Alongside the agreement, IOTA and Biilabs, a startup investigating further uses for IOTA technology in the smart city project, announced the integration of IOTA’s TangleID into new digital National Identification cards.
Citizen cards are already used for almost all activities that require identification verification, such as voting or using government-related services, but adopting IOTA’s technology will help to improve data integrity and authenticity concerns in public services and domains.
“TangleID changes the role of the identifier more secure [sic] by turning it into an encrypted asset”, said Lman Chu, the co-founder of Biilabs. “Because it’s encrypted, no one can copy or spoof it. Only the owner can unlock it. TangleID also stores personal attributes separately from the identifier by means of storing these attributes with a small number of trusted third party institutions.”
Another project underway is Airbox, which will use data sharing technology for palm-sized sensors that can be fitted in homes or public buildings. These can detect changes in temperature, light and pollution and can create a comprehensive environmental network across the city.
Based in Germany, IOTA – which stands for the ‘Internet Of Things Application’ – claims Tangle is the first step in creating a shared data economy. Instead of miners verifying blocks, the more Tangle is used the more blocks are verified, meaning the network’s popularity improves its speed. This allows IOTA to offer feeless payments, making it ideal to use for micropayments, normally defined as payments under $0.75.
The Smart City project began last year when major municipalities in Taiwan introduced a wide range of experimental projects, which included “smart” roadside parking and citizen cards that could be used to pay for bus fares and even borrow books.
The IOTA Foundation is an open source, non-profit organisation. It claims it has already facilitated $10bn worth of transactions since it was founded in 2015. There are rumours it has been the subject of interest for tech-giants Amazon and Tesla. The company has already announced a partnership with Microsoft.