On Sunday the Iota development team announced Qubit, a significant long-term planned upgrade to the network.
Fans of the Iota protocol had been eagerly anticipating the secretive update, which has been known only as ‘Q’ for many months.
Qubit brings Quorom computing to the Iota network, a method of establishing consensus in a decentralized manner. In overview, it aims to allow the iota network to become the backbone of an intelligent and decentralized global computer.
Specifically, according to the announcement, the upgrade will allow Iota transactions to contain metadata which can be read publicly and processed for rewards by other participants on the network. Where miners on the Bitcoin protocol today expend electrical energy on solving meaningless hashes, the Qubit system will use computational resources to process real-time data.
According to the announcement, Qubit will bring a range of approaches to the Iota network, including well-known proof of work and proof of stake, alongside newer systems such as proof of bandwidth.
The system claims to utilize trinary code, which is stated to increase the efficiency of the network by some 34%, a figure that would dramatically streamline global processes and energy efficiency if it can be attained.
Iota exploded in popularity in 2017 due to its unique features and approach. A registered charitable body in Germany, the Iota foundation developed an information network that does not use blockchain technology. Instead, cryptography is used to establish a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) – a network of transactions that expands as more users join. Alongside overcoming the scalability limitations that blockchain-based competitors face, the Iota protocol also allowed fee-less transactions, tipping the project to be the number one choice for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) economy.
Critics have pointed out that these lofty ambitions have not all been realized, and the network currently exists under the control of a central authority, the Coordinator. This week’s announcement of Qubit allegedly paves the way for the coordinator to be removed, which the team believes would establish the network as the solution for the IoT and the economy 4.0.