IOTA, the decentralised Internet of Things tokens, is now going into beta version. IOTA is a micro-transaction crypto-token that will facilitate the architecture involved with IoT. The IOTA protocol runs off of Tangle, which has similar functionality to a blockchain yet acts more like an emulated version, giving it more versatility.

IOTA tokens will be available for testing by a limited number of users outside the company starting early February, said its co-founder David Sønstebø.

David Sønstebø had earlier talked to Cointelegraph in October 2015 after the release of IOTA. We catch up with David again, to hear more about the beta version that is about to launch.

Cointelegraph: Since you last interviewed for us, what is new with IOTA?

David Sønstebø: We have raised almost half million dollars from the community and been accepted into the Wanxiang Blockchain Labs grant.

CT: What features will you be testing in the BETA version?

DS: Data and Transaction transfers. IOTA is all about data transport layer and transactions.

CT: Would you like to elaborate on the underlying technology of  the IOTA beta version?

DS: IOTA is the first blockless cryptographic token, that is instead of a regular blockchain we created something brand new called a Tangle which is based on a Directed Acyclic Graph structure. This enables further decentralization of the network and also greatly enhances the scalability. There are no fees in IOTA which makes it optimal for real-time compensation. This creates opportunities where for instance a sensor that is gathering data pays a processing station nearby to process said data in real time. Another example that is easy to grasp is the sharing economy of electric bikes, with IOTA you can pay for EXACTLY how much you use the bike, no more and no less, in real time. But the same technology is also perfectly suited outside of IoT for any kind of services that require real-time compensation. An example would be music streaming where you wouldn't pay a subscription, but rather real time for the exact amount you listen to, or e-Books where you'd pay per page etc.

IOTA logo

CT: In the earlier interview, you had said that you were speaking with people from Ethereum, Bitshares, Nxt, and Bitcoiner about overlap and how the different technologies can work together in synergy. How did it go?  Are you still going to be working together in synergy or give a head-on competition to existing altcoins?

DS: We are still very much open to collaboration and symbiotic relationships with anyone who sees the potential in IoT (Internet of Things). Sergio Demian Lerner of Rootstock has been a great community member from day 1 and we are actively pursuing potential collaboration with their smart contract platform to enable even more utility for IOTA. We are also still in touch with some of the Ethereum core; Bitshares has also shown their interest, as well as some other crypto projects. However this interoperability is really hard to test in the real world until the beta goes live, so these matters will be elucidated in the coming weeks.

CT: Would you also like to tell us about the investment scenario for IOTA?

DS: We don't have investors, we only sold all the IOTA tokens to anyone that wanted to purchase. There is a set amount of IOTA, the price of each initial IOTA token was determined by the total amount of purchase funds.

So all the iotas have been sold, we have kept no 'premine' for ourselves. We chose structure because we feel that it is imperative for a decentralized economy to emerge, to not have anyone in 'control' of  it. For anyone to buy iotas now they will have to go through the open market via exchanges or private sales from individuals who hold iotas. The team behind IOTA will of course keep maintaining it, but we have no plans of seeking funding for this at the moment, there may be some future scenario where we'll raise funding for future development through consultation etc. but this is nowhere in our roadmap at the moment.

CT: Is IOTA in partnership with anyone at the moment or are there any plans for future partnerships?

DS: Since we're at pre-beta stage there are no 'official partnerships', since of course they tend to form once these interested parties get to test the technology. But yes, we're in touch with several big companies, as well as start-ups about using IOTA. In 3-4 weeks after the beta and launch I will be in a better position to tell about these partnerships.

CT: Is there anything else that you would like to tell our audience?

DS: I want to welcome everyone who is going to participate in the beta and upcoming launch, and thank the hundreds of enthusiasts who participated in the official crowdsale. The journey has only just begun.