IOTA (MIOTA)–After weeks of hinting at a big project announcement on the horizon, the IOTA Foundation has finally clued investors into the intrigue behind Qubic, a new development using IoT that seeks to implement smart contracts and more through IOTA’s existing framework.

Taken from the official Qubic website,

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“Qubic is a protocol that specifies IOTA’s solution for oracle machines, smart contracts, outsourced computations, and more.”

The website goes on to label Qubic as one of the “most eagerly awaited developments within the IOTA community,” in addition to tempering expectations for the project as a work in progress. Originally created as a Quorm-based coin in 2012, the project evolved over time into the iteration that IOTA has presented today, as a feature to be layered on top of the working-product currency. As with past developments, the IOTA foundation is targeting implementation with IoT devices, and increased functionality through Qubic to drive industry-changing innovation.

While it’s interesting that IOTA would seek to temper expectations so heavily in the press release for Qubic, it fits in line with the company’s existing model for handling new developments. The website makes it overtly clear that Qubic is not a new cryptocurrency, and that there will be no airdrop or ICO promoting the coin. Instead, Qubic is an application to improve the usability of existing IOTA function, by relying upon the fee-less transaction protocol of Tangle. The press release has outlined four ways in which Qubic will enable greater IOTA utility:

A way to safely communicate with the outside world in a trusted environment

A powerful, distributed fog computing platform for building complex IoT applications

A new type of smart contract, which collects micro-payments in real time as it runs

A reward system for incentivizing honest participation in the Tangle

The final two points present the most compelling argument for Qubic’s significance to IOTA. Smart contracts have long been the mainstay of Ethereum in terms of cryptocurrency functionality. By implementing a smart contract feature, IOTA opens the door for greater network function for the technology and, as the press release mentions, increased utility through zero fee transactions. The possibility of micro-transactions is an innovation that cryptocurrency has been purporting for years, without ever successfully implementing. Bitcoin was originally touting the option of a micro, seamless payment perfect for content streaming and browsing due to the fractional nature of the currency and the lack of gatekeeper inefficiencies like typical ACH payments. However, the sharp rise of miner fees in conjunction with crippling transaction speeds as Bitcoin’s network failed to scale has all but put an end to the idea of micropayments through BTC. IOTA, with the innovation of Tangle, has a much more realistic chance of implementing the feature.

Incentivizing network user participation through Tangle is also to the benefit of the entire IOTA community. IOTA is one of the few currencies built to scale as network loads increase, meaning that as more users participate in IOTA transactions, the technology’s ability to handle increased volume also rises. The idea behind Tangle is that each user participates in the overall function of the network. More users equates to more room for the currency to grow. By further incentivizing users to be on the IOTA network, thereby speeding up transactions, the efficiency and utility of the entire system rises. IOTA has recognized that the failing of first and second generation currencies has largely been tied to scale. Few could have anticipated how devastating the rise in Bitcoin congestion would damage the usability of the coin. While BTC still holds brand recognition and household name status to insure market dominance, currencies like IOTA continue to drive innovation in the field of cryptocurrency.

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