Blockchain network IOTA teams up with Microsoft, others on data marketplace

NEW YORK (Reuters) - (In this version of the Nov. 28 story IOTA corrects partners in the project to remove reference to Cisco in headline and first paragraph and Huawei in fifth paragraph, include Microsoft in headline and text. IOTA clarified that the error was due to the fact that it co-founded the Trusted IoT Alliance with Cisco.)

Slideshow ( 3 images )

IOTA, an open-source blockchain network, has teamed up with some of the biggest global corporate names led by Microsoft, Volkswagen and Samsung Group to launch what is aimed to be a secure marketplace for data, IOTA co-founder David Sønstebø said on Tuesday.

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that underpinned the first crypto-currency bitcoin. It has gained worldwide prominence due to its perceived usefulness in recording and keeping track of assets across all industries.

“The data marketplace is a completely separate project that simply utilizes the underlying IOTA protocol,” said Sønstebø in emailed responses to Reuters.

IOTA is headquartered in Berlin.

The project aims to create a market for data that companies can buy and sell.

IOTA said more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily and are increasing exponentially on a monthly basis. However, more than 99 percent of this data is wasted and lost to the void because there is currently no ability for owners to sell or share this data in a secure fashion.

“Any kind of data can be monetized,” Sønstebø said. “If you have a weather station collecting wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric data, for instance, you can sell that to an entity that is doing climatic research.”

As soon as data is put onto IOTA’s decentralized ledger, it is distributed to countless nodes or the computers that connect to the blockchain network, ensuring that it is impossible to tamper with the data, Sønstebø said.

Each of IOTA’s partners on the marketplace project will provide data within their sector.

“The goal is to enable a very diverse and open data marketplace...which incentivizes a free flow of data between entities,” Sønstebø said.

The IOTA network has been live since 2016, the IOTA co-founder said, in an earlier interview with Reuters.

It did a crowdfunding event in 2015, so that people could support the project, raising more than 1,300 bitcoins, he said.

“IOTA is kind of the first distributed ledger that goes beyond the blockchain,” Sønstebø said.

“We got rid of the blocks and we got rid of the chains, which has resulted in getting rid of the major pain points or limitations of the blockchain such as fees, scalability, and centralization.”

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Frances Kerry