Data is the new oil of the industry

  • IOTA founder, David Sønstebø, discusses the importance and progress of distributed ledger technology and the future of the cryptocurrency. 
  • Sønstebø said that IOTA is committed to building a “machine economy” where people and companies can use their information to make a profit.

IOTA is one of the crypto space projects that attracts the most attention because of its premise. In the last few months, the cryptocurrency of machines, as it is known, has gone through some difficult times. Between the cyber attack on the Trinity wallet, the resignation of IOTA co-founder Sergey Ivancheglo and the negative performance of the crypto market in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, IOTA has managed to stay online.

In an interview for the podcast Crypto 101, IOTA co-founder David Sønstebø was optimistic about the progress, the future of the project and the technology of distributed ledger. The beginnings of IOTA, said Sønstebø, are an indication of how the project differs from the competition:

(From the beginning) we chose to take the most difficult route from the start.

IOTA and the construction of safe machines

Sønstebø spoke about the dangers and vulnerabilities facing the Internet of Things (IoT). He said that users of these technologies may tend to “take things for granted”. Sønstebø explained that technological advances should move humans to develop machines they can trust all the time:

We are talking about autonomous vehicles, autonomous everything in some way. Imagine you have a fleet of autonomous vehicles that is on the road and it is compromised and suddenly some terrorists decide to say ‘Hey, let me crash these 5,000 vehicles into each other. Imagine the chaos it would bring’ (…). We’ve gotten used to fiction. That’s why I don’t think we take it so seriously.

Sønstebø said that the current crisis situation, caused by Covid-19, shows that dangerous scenarios can occur. In that sense, IOTA has been built as a project that is preparing to counteract these vulnerabilities and to build a future with safe machines. Sønstebø said that although humanity should not predict what will happen, it should consider the risks and evidence that lead to a situation like the present one:

When it comes to digital infrastructure and especially in the age of the internet of things we must genuinely accept these hypothetical attacks. Yes, sure they’re hypothetical but they’re feasible. It’s inevitable (…) That’s what the IOTA protocol is all about from the beginning. That’s why we took an unusual step, sacrificing performance in our distributed ledger by implementing Quantum cryptography from the beginning (…) That’s why we built IOTA to try to stay ahead of the curve while entering a realm where the data decides.

Sønstebø also said that the current situation has allowed Bitcoin, IOTA and cryptocurrencies to prove their worth for the first time. The IOTA co-founder also believes that the Covid-19 crisis has caused a paradigm shift in favour of Distributed Ledger technology and projects built on it.

Sønstebø: data will be the new oil

When asked about the partnerships IOTA has formed with industry giants such as Land Rover and Jaguar, Sønstebø outlined a picture of what the future of machines will look like with IOTA. The co-founder of IOTA emphasized the crucial role that data will have for the functioning of everyday life in the future. In addition, he said that the IOTA protocol will allow that data to be used and applied in safe use cases. Sønstebø believes that the crucial question for the future is: who will own the data?:

Our definitive answer and that is what Land Rover and Jaguar have communicated to us in our partnership is that it is you, of course. You own the car, that is your asset and if your car has collected valuable information that can be sold, you should make a profit (…). Data is the new oil, you literally have huge amounts of data that can be very valuable if used correctly, it can be monetized (…) This is what we are trying to do, the goal is to establish a data economy (…) But not just a data economy where big players have control of their data (…) If your car is collecting information that can be valuable to a city planner, to insurance companies, you can sell that data to them and get a piece of the economy that is being established.

Finally Sønstebø said that the Internet of Things (IoT) is being adopted especially in the automotive sector. Sønstebø further described that their partnerships are based on building a “machine economy” with reliable information in which humans can benefit.

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