Frequently Asked Questions

What is IoTeX? What is the history of IoTeX?

IoTeX started in 2017 as an open-source project, built completely from scratch (no forks) and is tailor fit to support Internet of Things (IoT) use cases. Our mission is to create an open ecosystem where humans and machines can interact with guaranteed trust, free will, and privacy. Our platform uniquely combines blockchain, secure hardware confidential computing to enable trusted data from trusted devices for use in trusted Dapps.

The IoTeX team consists of 30+ top tier engineers and scientists from Uber, Google, Intel, Facebook, and other top tech companies. Currently, our platform is maintained by 60+ global Delegates including Blockfolio, CoinGecko, DraperDragon, and many others.

How is IoTeX different from other blockchain platforms?

IoTeX has one of the strongest and most technical teams in the entire industry. We are at the forefront of cutting-edge tech in the blockchain space, but we are also equally cutting-edge in the IoT space, including hardware, connectivity, and large-scale architecture. The IoT industry recognizes our potential too — IoTeX was selected as the Co-Chair of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) Blockchain Group along with Amazon and Huawei. We built our entire blockchain and IoT middleware from scratch and launched several blockchain-powered IoT products in only two years. The best part is we are just getting started — there is so much future potential!

We think about the entire picture of what is needed for full-stack IoT solutions, and we have proven this with Ucam. Specifically, the IoTeX platform enables trusted devices and trusted data, so people that build on IoTeX do not have to re-create this component. We also provide the necessary tools that developers/builders need to use these trusted devices and trusted data to make their own trusted applications. So by default, people that build on IoTeX can focus on the business logic/application layer, while the IoTeX platform takes care of the rest. This is our “plug-and-play” vision for the future of IoT!

What problems does IoTeX solve?

These days, all types of smart devices like cameras, thermostats, and virtual assistants are being installed in our homes and businesses at a blistering rate. Even traditionally “dumb” devices, such as beds, mirrors, and toilets, are now equipped with WiFi and powerful sensors to make them “smart” – this phenomenon is called the Internet of Things (IoT). Whether you know it or not, IoT is part of everyone’s lives and allows people to interact with machines to drive efficiency and create value!

However, today’s IoT is owned and controlled by institutions (e.g., tech giants, governments) and not users (aka you and me). All of our highly sensitive IoT data, such as the videos from our home cameras, are owned by institutions and manipulated without our consent. Do we really have to accept a future where we are surveilled by institutions that collect our data, make our homes targets for hackers, and manipulate even the way we behave? No – we can build a better future with IoTeX.

IoTeX’s goal is to enable a future that is connected, empowering, and safe – no intrusive ads and surveillance, just privacy and peace of mind without sacrificing usability. The IoTeX platform enables builders to easily launch privacy-preserving IoT devices, apps, and networks. Just like Bitcoin has created a decentralized financial ecosystem, IoTeX is empowering a decentralized ecosystem for our smart devices – the Internet of Trusted Things! 

What are the tokenomics?

  • →  Total Token Supply (gradually will reduce): 9.7 billion IOTX {as of August, 2020}
  • →  Private Sale (closed): 25,000 ETH
  • →  Token Price: 1 IOTX = 0.0000125 ETH (20% bonus for private sale investors, lock-up period: 12 months)
  • →  Token Contract Address: 0x6fb3e0a217407efff7ca062d46c26e5d60a14d69

There was no ICO/public sale, instead, we held a private sale in February 2018.

The exact dates will be subject to change based on unforeseen circumstances. As always, we will announce the exact release date and time before the event and give the community enough time to prepare and minimize the amount of surprise. Also, every batch token release will be processed gradually over the course of several days/weeks to manage fluctuations in price. For more information, please see our detailed token distribution schedule here.

  1. Private Sale – 24% of total supply

Unlocked gradually after token issuance date throughout 2018-2019:

  • →  6% distributed immediately (May 22, 2018)
  • →  6% distributed in February 2019
  • →  6% distributed in May 2019
  • →  6% distributed in November 2019
  1. Community Reward Programs – 6% of total supply

Unlocked gradually over the course of 3 years after token issuance date:

  • →  2% distributed immediately (May 22, 2018)
  • →  Remaining tokens unlocked and linearly distributed over the course of 3 years, with quarterly distributions (August 2018, November 2018, February 2019…)
  1. Team – 15% of total supply

The detailed unlock schedule start date varies based on each respective employee’s join date. We will make announcements in advance whenever a large amount of tokens are about to be released. The first distribution of team tokens will be in February 2019. Vested over the course of 4 years after join date (varies by employee):

  • →  6-month cliff
  • →  Monthly distributions
  1. Ecosystem – 30% of total supply

Unlocked gradually over the course of 3 years after token issuance date:

  • →  Used to bootstrap the IoTeX ecosystem, including strategic partners, sub-chain / DApp developers, and marketing / growth experts
  • →  1.5% distributed immediately (May 22, 2018)
  • →  Remaining tokens unlocked and linearly distributed over the course of 3 years, with quarterly distributions (August 2018, November 2018, February 2019…)

Note: 12% locked / reserved for Roll-DPoS mining, commencing in February 2019 after Mainnet Alpha launch

  1. Foundation – 25% of total supply

Unlocked gradually over the course of 3 years after token issuance date:

  • →  Used to build IoTeX blockchains and related technologies, sustain development of the IoTeX project, support cryptography and blockchain research, and onboard advisors
  • →  2.1% distributed immediately (May 22, 2018)
  • →  Remaining tokens unlocked starting Feb 2019 and linearly distributed over the course of 3 years, with quarterly distributions (February 2019, May 2019, August 2019…)

What is Burn-Drop?

It’s an innovative tokenomics design where 1 Billion IOTX (10% of total supply) will be Burn-Dropped as we onboard the first 1 million “Powered by IoTeX” devices. Out of the 1 Billion IOTX to be Burn-Dropped, 90% will be burned and 10% will be “dropped” (i.e., distributed to voters that auto-stake for ≥ 91 days).

Throughout the Burn-Drop program, a total of 900 million IOTX (9% of total supply) will be burned and taken out of circulation, while 100 million IOTX (1% total supply) will be “dropped”. This process will be facilitated by smart contract and a new Burn-Drop will be triggered immediately after every new “Powered by IoTeX” device is onboarded in a cumulative fashion.

What is the use of IOTX tokens in the network?

IOTX has multiple uses (or “utility”) with the goal of enabling trusted and transparent interactions between various entities in the IoTeX Network, including Delegates, stakeholders, product builders, service providers, and consumers. Ultimately, the IOTX coin and complementary tokenomics establish economic and reputational incentives that ensure the IoTeX Network is maintained in a decentralized fashion and “Powered by IoTeX” products are effectively serviced. Some of the main token uses are:

→  Gas fees (i.e., transactions/contracts on the IoTeX Network)

→  Stake-for-Governance (i.e., vote for Delegates to run consensus)

→  Stake-for-Service (i.e., providers stake to service users/devices)

→  Device Registrations (i.e., stake/burn to register trusted devices)

What is staking?

IoTeX has an open & fully decentralized Delegates Program, anyone who meets the minimum requirements is welcome to join. Delegates are elected by token holders to represent the entire IoTeX network by maintaining consensus, spreading project awareness, organizing community-wide initiatives, and more. In return for their services of maintaining the network, all Delegates are rewarded with IOTX and most of them send the rewards back to their voters. The average annual staking rewards are ~8%.

What is the future roadmap for IoTeX?

 

IoTeX is just getting started – as of Q2 2020, IoTeX is already powering smart devices that allow users to own and control their data, but we have much greater long-term goals. Our next steps are to enable privacy-preserving Dapps that leverage the trusted data and trusted devices enabled by IoTeX, and eventually form diverse human-machine economies that will power new decentralized ecosystems where humans and machines can interact with guaranteed trust, free will, and privacy.

Our main goal for the rest of 2020 is to welcome the world to build amazing things on the IoTeX platform. With Mainnet GA, the IoTeX platform is now ready to support a wide variety of use cases across blockchain, IoT, and privacy. Our goal is to build our ecosystem of builders and contributors that will bring great network effects to IoTeX.

We are starting this process right now by launching our new developer grants program called Halo. We have already received many interesting proposals for new projects that people want to build on IoTeX, including asset tracking use cases, healthcare devices/wearables that let you own your health data, and industry-wide tools like DEX and wallet integrations. 

What are the real life applications of IoTeX?

The IoTeX platform is already supporting REAL IoT products that are “Powered by IoTeX” and provide users full data ownership and privacy! 

Ucam is the world’s first private security camera built in partnership with Tenvis, a hardware giant that is currently Amazon’s Choice for cameras. Ucam is already in the hands of the IoTeX community and they LOVE it!

Pebble Tracker is a decentralized asset tracking device developed in partnership with Nordic Semiconductor, one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world. Paired with our Edge Oracle, Pebble Tracker writes verifiable, real-world IoT data (e.g., location, motion, climate) to the blockchain for use in smart contracts.

Who are IoTeX’s Partners?

IoTeX works closely with major IoT manufacturers, research/standards institutions, and other blockchain companies, some of them include:

Industrial Internet Consortium: IoTeX is the Co-Chair of IIC Blockchain Group along with Amazon & Huawei

Tenvis: security camera enterprise, currently Amazon’s Choice; IoTeX co-launched Ucam private home cameras as the first “Powered by IoTeX” product

Nordic Semiconductor: one of the largest IoT chip manufacturers in the world; IoTeX is collaborating on Pebble Tracker, a next-gen trusted asset tracker

IPFS: decentralized storage for “Powered by IoTeX” products, starting with Ucam

IEEE: core contributor to IEEE’s Blockchain+IoT standards, along with enterprises

ThingsBoard: advanced IoT data visualization for smart device builders

What is IoTeX DID?

IoTeX’s decentralized identity (DID) framework is very unique. While many projects in the DID space are focusing on identity for people, IoTeX is focusing on identity for devices/machines. This is something unique to the IoTeX Network — in the future, the “users” of IoTeX will be both people and machines, which will interoperate and form human-machine economies.

DID still has some time to reach adoption – the tech is getting there, but there is a need for real-world institutions to also buy into this concept. This is because, with DIDs, you need to source your own “credentials” and without institutions that issue these credentials (like your employer or school or bank), then it’s hard to have DID applied to the real world. BUT it is already happening in the decentralized world.

→  See our latest presentation on DID here

→  See our open-source DID spec here

What role do decentralized identities and confidential computing play in the IoTeX network?

These are the tech pillars of IoTeX — confidential computing basically means compute over encrypted data which has tremendous uses — make data useful without leaking them at all! DID is another pillar that ensures devices and people to enjoy self-sovereign identity/data — you totally own your data! So combine them all, we can realize cool stuff like Ucam! Where your home data is protected while still some AI/ML can be done without leaking your info at all!

Confidential Computing and Decentralized Identity are core middleware components of the IoTeX platform! Our platform utilizes a unique architecture to meet the unique demands of the Internet of Things (IoT) use cases and the multi-layer architecture combines smart devices, IoT Cloud + decentralized storage, and blockchain. Here’s a brief description of these layers:

Device Layer: IoTeX is all about generating trusted data from trusted devices to enable trusted applications. A critical piece of this is the device layer. To trust a device, it must have a verifiable identity and its actions must be verifiable by others, which is exactly what IoTeX enables by combining secure hardware and blockchain, two tamper-proof technologies.

Storage Layer: IoT devices generate a lot of data, and not all of that can be stored on the blockchain due to cost/scalability reasons. But today, more and more data validation and processing is performed “on the edge” or on the device itself, reducing the need to store large amounts of unfiltered data on servers. A scalable and flexible approach is to store/index pre-processed data on the IoT Cloud (e.g., AWS) or decentralized storage (e.g., IPFS, Sia) and “hash” them to the blockchain, which provides timestamped verifiability and data provenance. When needed, this data can be written to the blockchain for use in smart contracts

Blockchain Layer: the root of trust for the entire IoTeX Network. Our blockchain is open source and one of the fastest in the entire industry — not only does it enable standard P2P transactions and smart contracts, but it is also used to register device identities and “hash” data (stored on Cloud/decentralized storage) to the blockchain.

The combination of these three layers provides great flexibility for developers and builders. For more information, please see our Blockchain & IoT Reference Architecture.

What consensus mechanism does IoTeX use?

IoTeX has developed it’s own consensus mechanism called Roll-DPoS. This is an efficient–yet-decentralized variant of DPoS which makes IoTeX blockchain able to handle 2K+ Txs per second and at the same time can have many delegates to operate the chain. For now, we have over 70 delegates running the chain, and the top 36 are selected as delegates where 24 out of these 36 are randomly selected to produce blocks. We do have the plan to expand to 48 delegates and eventually hundreds of delegates! Please see our Yellow Paper for more details.

What is the SWOT analysis of the project?

Our biggest strength is that IoTeX has one of the strongest and most technical teams in the entire industry. We are at the forefront of cutting-edge tech in the blockchain space, but we are also equally cutting-edge in the IoT space, including hardware, connectivity, and large-scale architecture. The IoT industry recognizes our potential too — IoTeX was recently selected as the Co-Chair of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) Blockchain Group along with Amazon and Huawei. We built our entire blockchain and IoT middleware from scratch and launched several blockchain-powered IoT products in only two years. The best part is we are just getting started — there is so much future potential for IoTeX.

The biggest opportunity for IoTeX is the size of the IoT industry and the fact that nobody is doing what we are doing better than us. Many people are focused on DeFi projects right now because they see finance as a huge industry — finance is a multi-trillion dollar industry, but so is IoT! In fact, IoT is growing at a much faster rate than most industries. Today, there are 25 billion IoT devices around the world and there will be >100 billion IoT devices by 2025. We have big goals to power all types of devices in the future and be the decentralized infrastructure to enable the future of privacy and IoT.