BiiLab’s Identity System based on IOTA supports Taipei City digital citizen cards and Deloitte’s blockchain applications. publicIOTA researches this very exciting topic and conducts an interview with Yichen Chu, aka Lman, co-founder and CEO of BiiLabs
On January 30th the IOTA Foundation announced its partnership with Taipei City in order to help reach its smart city goals. In accordance with its smart city milestones, the capital of Taiwan partners up with the IOTA Foundation and BiiLabs to incorporate distributed ledger technology into smart city applications, starting with TangleID citizen cards.
Now, on October 15, this partnership is bearing fruit, and BiiLabs is lauching the open source GDPR-Compliant Identity System. In the era of the Internet of Everything, BiiLabs (Blockchain Industry and Innovation Laboratories), a blockchain technology startup team dedicated to the use of decentralized ledger technology to drive business innovations, announced the official launch of the decentralized digital asset solution, TangleID, for corporate users. The TangleID system allows users to have “self-sovereign” verifiable digital identity based on the blockchain technology. It is the software implementation scheme designed for Digital ID and GDPR regulations. It has already adopted by Taipei City Digital Citizen Cards project. To access the system, you can go to the portal site at https://tangleid.github.io.
Yichen Chu, aka Lman, co-founder and CEO of BiiLabs, said: “Based on IOTA, we have delivered the infrastructure to establish digital identity and credentials, and provide users with reference to mobile applications and website integration. “ The benefits of TangleID’s open source implementation for the company, Chu believes that it can be divided into two aspects. Chu said, “First, the company will not be lost in the ocean of blockchain technology, as long as the API and website services delivered by the BiiLabs team. You can create a new service with GDPR compliance. Secondly, because TangleID packages the processing mechanism of identity and digital asset management in the API, companies can focus on how to import and integrate blockchain technology, without special tracking of the underlying implementation mechanism because the entire software stack is open. The source code of the operation is transparent, and it is feasible when some software components need to be removed in the future, giving the enterprise system more scalability.”
In the meantime, the prospect of “Digital Identity (Digital ID)” urges Taipei City to develop digital Citizen Cards in order to integrate online to offline (O2O) services for identity verification. The Digital ID opens up new possibilities in the access to industry services and provides the flexibility in whether a service or the payment on the service chain of identity authentication. This initiative will speed up the establishment of platform for verification, service, payment as well as the well-established permission of API. In the future, the one-handed government will be transformed into co-developer mode in the combination of industry and authorities. What’s more, Digital ID is a critical step for Taipei City to connect with the edge-cutting urban services worldwide.
Complying with the Taiwan Personal Information Protection Act and the GDPR related regulations, BiiLabs team will cooperate with Deloitte & Touche Risk Management Advisory Co. (Deloitte), to conduct a series of security and privacy assessments of blockchain applications. Deloitte believes that “Privacy By Design” can control privacy risks effectively. In addition, enterprises should consider the feasibility, applicability, compliance and security risks of their business models, as well as ensure necessary control measures are applied within systems and operation processes to achieve better risk management, while adopting blockchain technology.
In the near future, the two parties will continue their collaboration in more business model validation and risk assessment of new use cases.
In the interview between Markus of publicIOTA and Yichen Chu, aka Lman, co-founder and CEO of BiiLabs further important points were highlighted.
publicIOTA: How did BiiLabs come about and who are the partners?
Lman: BiiLabs is dedicated in developing distributed ledger technologies to overcome the challenges in the Internet of Everything era, including smart city, energy management, and data economy. Our core technologies assist the digital transformation of various industries, and to solve critical issues such as trust, security, growth and efficiency for our clients. BiiLabs aims to be a leading technology provider in the Internet of Everything era.
BiiLabs was founded in November 2017. We are partnering with IOTA Foundation, Distributed Ledger Technology Lab of National Cheng Kung University of R.O.C., South Star Xecelerator (SSX), Aaeon, NextDrive, TransIoT, and Deloitte.
publicIOTA: What are other projects of BiiLabs besides the Digital Identity?
Lman: BiiLabs provides the APIs to support clients for POE across various industries, including the environment monitoring such as water monitoring application by BiiLabs Sentinel Appliance (the world-first appliance adopted by Aaeon) which works with BiiLabs Alfred (API) in the container.
publicIOTA: What’s next with the Digital Identity Project?
Lman: BiiLabs is collaborating with Taipei City government, Peace Innovation Foundation and IOTA Foundation, and we are developing the open-source codes based on TangleID. We will move to the next step after the project meeting in late November this year.
publicIOTA: How do you work with IOTA?
Lman: BiiLabs team is part of the major contributor to the IOTA ecosystem. We believes we can really make the world better by the global collaboration, contribution through opensource model. BiiLabs will continue to support IOTA for the projects in Asia.
publicIOTA: If you think about IOTA Qubic Smart Contracts. What are the future advantages in the real use cases?
Lman: The Qubic aims to the bigger target. I believe in the future it will help the IoET world more convenient. We are also looking forward to it. And for now BiiLabs also developed our own solutions to enable EVM on Tangle. We are aiming from now to the future. By helping various industries to adopt the DLT into the process or flow, in the devices, and keep records for their data and upgrade to a smart contract, will enable their business through an evolving process. It will more practical for the real future of IOTA + Qubic.
publicIOTA: Thank you for the friendly and interesting interview.
publicIOTA will continue to support this interesting project and closer communication between BiiLabs and publicIOTA is planned.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that the world is currently heading for a 3 to 4 degree global warming, which would have catastrophic consequences. Politics will have to act and in particular transform the energy system. IOTA with the Tangle can become an important building block for the required processing of data and cash flows in a transforming energy system. For the systems to run optimally, the presence of data is far from sufficient. Plausibility calculations with meaningful links of these data must take place, which then leads to optimization models. That’s why the data has to be intelligently analyzed and processed — big data has to become smart data. The intelligent analysis of the data opens up completely new possibilities and business areas. By 2025, global sales of intelligent analysis methods for big data applications will increase to more than 85 billion euros, experts estimate. IOTA is the key technology for transport and financial settlement not only in the IOT. Anyone who can generate optimized, system-generated data and make it available through IOTA and Tangle will be able to create a good new business area in the future. These data are again required for e.g. Energy systems in terms of global benefits and climate, can be properly used.
IPCC proposes alarm
After the Climate Change Conference in Paris has set 2015 global Carbon emissions targets and around 200 countries around the world have come out in favor of it, it’s time to draw a small conclusion. This was published by the IPCC on 8 November with a special report. This article describes the consequences of 1.5 degrees of warming and what needs to be done to keep the temperature from increasing even further.
Over 6,000 studies were evaluated. The result is sobering: currently the world is headed for a global warming of three to four degrees to 2100 — that would have dramatic consequences.
When global warming rises by 4 degrees, plants, animals, and humans can no longer adapt: the entire biological system is overwhelmed. A worldwide extinction of species is the result — especially in wetlands, forests and in the sea. Colossal weather disasters are on the agenda.
Around 3.2 billion people are at risk of increasing water scarcity, about one-fifth of the world’s population at risk of flooding. The sea level rises by about a meter, flat island states will disappear with it.
So that it does not come so far, rapid action of the policy is required, so the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One of the outstanding topics of politics is the transformation of the energy system. In order to avoid emissions, wind and solar energy are an important element here. In order to make sensible use of this renewable energy in a decentralized energy system, the exchange of innumerable data and payment flows is necessary. At this point, IOTA comes into play. IOTA with the Tangle can become an important building block for handling these data and cash flows in a transforming energy system. IOTA has the properties needed for it, but is also ideal for many other applications. More on that later. In addition to the positive characteristics of Tangles for data communication, the data themselves play a decisive role.
From Big Data to Smart Data
Big Data is the keyword and means that more and more digital data is being created and stored in an increasingly technological society. This starts with the smartphone, that knows pretty much everything about its owner: It knows the sleeping and eating habits, knows about the fitness level, about blood pressure and pulse, knows interests, shopping and reading habits and of course friends and family. PC and tablet complete the digital profile — also because the devices are usually connected to each other in the network. But Big Data does not stop at the front door. Insurance companies want to know more about their customers through connected cars; and the health card will in future always know better about our physical condition. Even in companies, more and more information is generated, as well as the companies and factories are increasingly networked. In the smart factory, robotic products are already manufactured to customer specifications. The necessary workpieces search for their own way through the production line.
Business Analytics is decisive for the competition
Among all this information there are real treasures, the experts agree. Almost two-thirds of respondents across the industry believe that using data as is a competitive advantage, according to a global survey of Oxford University.
However, for most companies, it is not how much data they collect, but how they use the information gathered. Alone, the sheer amount of data nobody can oversee. Making use of it for your own company is impossible. That’s why the data has to be intelligently analyzed and processed — big data has to become smart data.
However, in order to correctly analyze the flood of data and draw the correct conclusions from it, one must understand how devices and equipment work, but also social and psychological processes. For example, if you have a detailed knowledge of the equipment in the smart factory, and you know how to correctly analyze the values that you have issued, you can develop a strategy that makes the system run more efficiently with better capacity utilization. The machines themselves can also analyze when they need maintenance, for example, and thus avoid expensive production downtimes.
The same applies to the energy sector or trade. If smart meters in households and businesses merely collect information on power consumption and times, they will not support the transformation of the energy sector. What is more important is that the smart meters are connected to and control the devices. So the washing machine could turn itself on when solar panels and wind turbines report that the sun is shining or the wind is blowing — so if green electricity is abundant and needs to be consumed. And even online and offline retailers could use modern business analytics to anticipate the wishes of their customers and offer corresponding products — and to manufacture individual pieces even at the prices of mass production in the smart factory.
New business fields arise
The intelligent analysis of the data opens up completely new possibilities and business areas. By 2025, global sales of intelligent analysis methods for big data applications will increase to more than 85 billion euros, experts estimate.
As I have already stated in other publications, the linking of different data, the plausibility check and the timely delivery of this refined data will play an important role in the future and IOTA is the key to the delivery and payment process. This generates an added value that is required by many applications. In order to understand that, I would like to bring an example from the area of autonomous driving regarding the handling of data.
Data transmission using the example of autonomous vehicles
Data transfer needs strong systems. While today’s mobile systems, which are mainly geared to voice transmission, work with delays of up to 80 milliseconds, the transmission from car to car or from the data server to the car will in future take only a millisecond. “Real time” is the new magic word of the car industry. Real-time data communication between cars and infrastructure makes traffic predictable and avoids congestion and accidents. So 4G / LTE for the mobile and car developers already uninteresting technology of yesterday. Their focus is on the next generation of wireless technology, the 5G standard. This will one day achieve transmission speeds of up to 10 GBit / s. That’s important, because in the future, large amounts of data will be flipped back and forth, so you quickly lose track. For this reason, a simple example serves to illustrate this. The boundary conditions are very much simplified:
An electric car should be powered autonomously. Sounds easy, but to make that meaningful requires the exchange of a large amount of data. The data and financial transfer can optimally take place via IOTA and the Tangle. In this example, the first thing is to exchange data. Namely, forecasts or trend data that have to be updated and clarified in the course of time:
• In order to relieve the power grid, it makes sense to charge the car when there is a high amount of electricity in the form of wind energy or solar energy. In dark periods, charging should be avoided because electricity is generated by fossil-fired power plants in these times. This saves CO2 emissions and, in addition, money, since in times of wind and overcast skies, the market price for electricity is even more expensive. That is also the reason why weather data and weather forecasts are very important.
• Now another data variable comes into play, namely the usage times of the car. The car can of course only be charged when it is not in use and is at a charging station. This means that appointment data and scheduling forecasts over the times of use play an important role in meaningful charging of the electric car. Here, a rethink will begin in which part of the diary will provide data to a system.
• It is also important to know the dates for the planned route. In addition to geographic datasets, the presence of charging stations also plays an important role, because only then can the car know where a corresponding charging station is located. These data must be available for specific parking.
• Another record that needs constant updating is the availability of the charging station. If the selected charging station is currently being used by another car, then of course at this charging station the vehicle can not be charged at that time. This means the appointment calendar data of the charging station must be retrieved.
The autonomous vehicle is independently charged with electricity and paid for with its own IOTA wallet. This will generate multiple records again.
This simplified example shows just how many data sets are necessary to make it possible to charge the car sensibly. But the existence of the data is far from sufficient. There must be a plausibility calculation with a meaningful combination of these data that then flows into an optimization model. These data and calculations must be available in a timely manner so that this model can be used in practice. Only then can the electric vehicle be supplied with the optimal amount of electricity at the right time and at the right place and pay for everything autonomously with IOTA.
But this example also shows impressively what that can do:
In fact, the emissions balance of electric vehicles depends on the electricity mix with which they are charged. Compared to electricity from fossil-fueled power plants, electric cars powered by renewable electricity generate around 50 g less emissions per kilometer. That could be almost 1 t Carbon Emissions for a year. It therefore plays a crucial role when and where the electric vehicle is charged.
Provision of data is rewarded
Many data sets (in our case: weather, deadline, GIS and free capacity) must be processed and optimized. In practice, it will be much more, but it will turn out, however many variables I use, there is always the possibility that the variable that I did not include is the deciding factor. In our example of charging the electric car, this would be e.g. a sudden traffic jam on the highway, which increases the travel time by one hour and destroys the tank chain at the previously selected charging station. A fast new retrieval of the data sets with new calculations is thus inevitable to obtain a new optimal refueling model. Similar to the navigation system that calculates a new route because a traffic jam has been registered in the system. That sounds easy, but it’s not trivial. For the optimization calculations, optimizations with multivariable functions such as the Lagrange optimization method, game-theoretic models and probability calculations are to be included. You have to be prepared for that.
So a lot of data is needed, which also has to be produced, provided and transferred to the Tangle elsewhere. This very simplified example shows very clearly that not only data retrievers but also data providers are existential for the functioning of such a system. Everything in the future? No, there is already a lot of data transfer going on today and very soon there will be many applications that both require the retrieval of data and reward the provision of data.
On our chosen example I would like to show how something like this could look like. Which data is needed and which one can be provided:
Provision of planned trips — important for congestion models
Weather data of my home location / destination — important for high load and low load periods
Battery level, important for energy production
Current location of the car — important for congestion models / charging station utilization
In the real world, of course, there will be far more. However, it should also be mentioned that in the future there will be sensors everywhere that retrieve data. If we stay with our example of the car, then today already with countless sensors, many data are generated. But in the future, as already mentioned, the data alone will not do it. The point is to find out from the multitude of generated data those that are important and with which one can raise the true treasures by linking with other data and techniques. These will then be easy to monetize because they are needed by other systems.
Now think about how many data chains and data transfers are required to operate a Smart City. There will be a countless number of important datasets that certain systems need to be optimized in terms of climate protection and human function. Being an early adopter of Tangle’s data enhancement, optimization, and transportation and payment capabilities can be a support to this system and generate revenue. public IOTA will show you special possibilities in the near future.
And here we come back to the beginning. Optimized data and their transport and payment through IOTA Tangle can ensure that smart systems contribute to reduce Carbon Emissions and and help prevent the climate catastrophe. IOTA’s cooperation with UNOPS will also play a major role here.
IOTA is still a very young cryptocurrency but stands out against other cryptocurrencies. There are many reasons for this, which in sum can pave the way for a global standard. What does a global standard mean? Those who have not worked so intensively with IOTA will find many answers in this article.
We have read it many times that in the next few years many billions of devices will communicate with each other and exchange cash flows.
The networking of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly. The market research companies expect that around the world with 8.4 billion networked devices is expected. That would be almost a third more than last year. The analysts expect that in 2020 there will be as many as 20–50 billion networked devices. Examples are quickly found:
· Automotive: In addition to the predicted 250 million networked cars on the roads in 2020, 75 percent of all new cars produced will have Internet connectivity. The number of sensors on a car will double from currently 60 to 100 to 200.
· Smart City: Whether as Smart City, Smart Lighting, Smart Disposal or similar, in the field of infrastructure is basically about the integration of sensor data with information from the networked infrastructure and other, often external, data sources, such as weather or traffic data.
· Energy: Many of the large power plants will probably have more or less only a backup function in the future. Countless small wind and photovoltaic systems will provide the required power more and more, but they need to work together optimally and share their data with each other. This will make the energy transition the largest IT project of all time and will only be successful in combination with digitization. Therefore payment flows must be able to be pushed back and forth quickly and reliably in such a system, with a huge data transfer. In the future, millions of producers and consumers will need to communicate in real time, sharing not only information but also digital values.
· Health: For example one of the key measures for successful treatment of chronic diseases is the frequent monitoring of the most important health values of a patient. The problem is that increased visits to hospitals or test centers will affect the patient’s everyday life and increase the cost of treatment. This is where IoT solutions come in. A chronically ill patient could be equipped with multiple networked IoT devices.
· Customer Service: IoT-enabled applications and products have integrated analytics capabilities that help businesses and organizations understand how their customers can use their products and quickly integrate paid services. This allows companies to quickly respond to current issues, integrate new or additional features into their products, and ultimately positively impact the customer experience.
What does iota offer?
IOTA can provide a positive standard for data and cash flows for all these applications. Here are some key reasons for this:
1.) Advantages of IOTA
There are a number of factors that make IOTA interesting. In summary, there are 5 areas where IOTA clearly hits other cryptocurrencies:
The IOTA Foundation is made up of dedicated and talented individuals who have a proven track record and are diligently completing tasks. The Foundation is the de facto public organization behind IOTA. In recent months, the Foundation has received a lot of high-profile growth. IOTA is focusing on long-term innovation, stability and improvement instead of being a pure speculative object.
With a global community of developers, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, government officials, philanthropists, hobbyists, general contributors to the IOTA project, the IOTA Ecosystem is a platform to meet, collaborate, learn, inspire, develop and build.
4.) Data Market Place
The IOTA Foundation is testing a digital marketplace for the sensor data of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The participants of the project include more than 50 well-known companies. The marketplace should allow users to sell sensor data and buy.
According to a McKinsey study referred to in the announcement by the IOTA Foundation, only 1 percent of data generated by IoT devices is currently being used, with 99 percent unused. The marketplace should therefore make it possible to make this unused data easily accessible to others.
5.) IOTA community and supporters
IOTA has a very strong community that has made the Foundation and Ecosystem possible. This community is experienced as the real support and help of the IOTA Foundation and the entire IOTA system. There is a very great willingness to help IOTA interested people.
The IOTA Evangelist Network is a unique global network of IOTA enthusiasts. IOTA evangelists are people who who want to build a critical mass of support for IOTA technology, and subsequently establish IOTA as a technical standard within the global market. It’s a really unique strong global network.
In addition to the IOTA community, a number of independent supporters have emerged who spend a lot of time on the ideas and visions behind IOTA. Noteworthy in this context are, among others, The Tangler, public IOTA, Everything tangle and of course a multitude of others. These backers are the backbone of IOTA outside the Foundation and community.
6.) Strong partners
Compared to other cryptocurrencies and platforms, IOTA is already working with and partnering with a variety of companies. Among the IOTA partners include: Fujitsu, VW, Bosch, The UN (UNOPS), DNB, MOBI, ICT, Taipei, DXC, Schindler Group, Kontakt_io, InnoEnergy, Grandcentrix, Biilabs, Lattice80 and Sopra Steria. Secured with these partnerships IOTA has a wide distribution and practicality.
A long-awaited project in the IOTA community is Qubic. With Qubic, the IOTA network is to become a kind of supercomputer, with which applications within the IOTA Tangle network can be executed. This would make Qubic a decentralized platform for any application. This should then allow completely new business models to develop. With Qubic, a lot of new features will be added to IOTA:
Smart Contracts Similar to Ethereum, IOTA will have smart contracts with the Qubic release. However, the functionalities should be superior to those of Ethereum. OraclesAlso Oracles will become part of the IOTA network as part of Qubic.
Oracles allow access to external data within the IOTA network. For example, temperature data from sensors in the IOTA network can be made available. It is conceivable that everyone can access the data via micropayments. But other data sources, such as stock prices or election results, could be made available in the IOTA network.
Outsourcing of computing power With Qubic, it will be possible to outsource very computationally intensive computations to different computers. This has the particular advantage that IoT devices can be built very cheap. Because for complex calculations, the calculations can easily be outsourced over the Qubic network. So the devices can handle a minimum of computational power.
8.) Quantum proof
IOTA is quantum proof because it uses cryptography that even quaternary computers can not break. This is called Post-Quantum Crypto. IOTA uses the Winternitz one-time signature procedure. Thus, IOTA is well prepared for the future.
IOTA is on a very good path
These are a few points that make IOTA a superstar. Equipped with this kit, IOTA can steadily become more important in the coming months and years and can make its way to the global standard protocol for many billions of applications. I am confident that IOTA is on a very good path here.
On May 22, the start of cooperation between UNOPS and the IOTA Foundation was signed. In many cases, I only read in the press that IOTA cooperates with the UN. I would like to use this article to examine the facts a little more closely and bring more clarity.
I have already written in several articles that IOTA has the potential to contribute to solving the important challenges of our time. The global approach, combined with cross-border real world IOTA applications, Big Data and Industry 4.0, paves the way for users to connect in a global context. The ability of IOTA to function both as a cryptocurrency and data carrier could have an great impact on humans and bring about a true revolution. This revolution can bring people and users together globally and contribute to peaceful coexistence. This global approach establishes the link to UNOPS,
What is UNOPS?
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, dedicated to implementing projects for the United Nations System, international financial institutions, governments and other partners around the world. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), headquartered in Copenhagen, was spun off in 1995 from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Within the UN system, UNOPS is now an independent service organization for development cooperation, combining UN principles with private-sector efficiency.
UNOPS itself does not finance projects, but is mandated by UN agencies and other donors to implement development programs that implement them cost-effectively. By taking over other UN sub-bodies, since 2008 UNOPS has also played a central role in the procurement of the UN system. The office is completely self-financing through its revenues.
What services does UNOPS offer?
UNOPS implements more than $1 billion worth of peace and security, humanitarian and development projects for its partners every year, operating in more than 80 countries. Its activities have ranged from managing the construction of schools in Afghanistan, to building shelters in Haiti, to procuring ambulances to support the Ebola response in Liberia.
UNOPS offers implementation, advisory and transactional services in its five core areas of expertise:
· Project Management
· Financial Management
· Human Resources
UNOPS provides specialized services to a range of partners, including: the United Nations, its agencies, funds and programmes; international financial institutions; governments; intergovernmental organizations; non-governmental organizations; foundations; and the private sector.
In 2016, UNOPS created more than three million days of paid work for beneficiaries. The organization supported its partners with the construction, design and/or rehabilitation of more than 3,000 kilometers of roads, 50 schools, and 74 hospitals and 278 health clinics, among others.
„UNOPS is focused on implementation and committed to UN values. We support our partners’ efforts to bring peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions to some of the world’s most challenging environments.
While UNOPS can expand capacity towards achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals, focus is always defined by the needs of people, partners and countries.“
UNOPS and IOTA Foundation collaborate
A Memorandum of Understanding between the IOTA Foundation and UNOPS was signed on 22.May 2018. The UNOPS press release states:
„The two organizations have partnered to explore how IOTA’s innovative technology — which provides an open-source distributed ledger for data management — can increase the efficiency of UNOPS operations.
“We share a vision where machines, devices, sensors and people connect and communicate to each other — it’s the world of ‘Industry 4.0.’ Harnessing technology that allows for these processes to work simultaneously, without the need for intermediaries, will help expedite our mission as an organization,” said Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UNOPS Special Advisor on Blockchain Technology.
In welcoming the cooperation, IOTA Co-Founder Dominik Schiener noted: “We are thrilled to begin working together with UNOPS and to tackle current and future challenges together. The IOTA Foundation is fully committed to putting the IOTA Tangle to work on behalf of important humanitarian and development causes.”
IOTA’s distributed ledger can provide a greater level of efficiency in the management and tracking of UN documents, supply chains and transactional payments in real-time, with access available to both UNOPS and its partners.“
Source: Julie Maupin: UNOPS and IOTA collaborate to bring transparency and efficiency to UN work
This partnership is an important building block to the global approach. People in developing countries won’t be able to use IOTA as is, the UNOPS needs to guide them and establish the first structures, which is a crucial role. I wish this partnership a great future.
Cities are the states of tomorrow. More and more people worldwide live in urban spaces, making cities powerful economic players and political stakeholders and the most important problem solvers in our globalised world. But cities are more than places: They are the most important living spaces of humans all over the world, which makes the problems of cities the most urgent problems of humankind.
The Challenges of the cities are the challenges of the future
The challenges we face in our cities decide over the future of our planet, our economy and our future quality of life. Already 70% of the world’s population live in urban spaces – by 2050 according to United Nations the total amount of the world population living in cities will be more than 6 billion. One could say, cities are the future labs of the world, the condensed spaces act like a catalyst for change.
Unlike rural life, urban spaces are so densely populated that we need the help of smart technologies and environments to ensure a high quality of life. The faster a city grows the more urgent become problems like pollution, traffic jams, noise and shortage of space. And especially in the developing world, cities grow bigger and bigger too fast, because people from rural areas strive to come to the city to try their luck. The tale of the man leaving for the big city to find success and happiness is as old as the existence of cities itself. However, it has also never been more accurate. Many rural areas lose their attractivity in an economical, but also in a social or cultural sense.
This immense influx of rural populations is creating cities with over a million inhabitants. Megacities are cities or metropolitan regions with more than 10 million inhabitants. According to the UN, the largest ones are the Tokyo metropolitan region with around 37 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 29 million, Shanghai with 26 million and Mexico City and Sao Paulo with 22 million inhabitants each. The UN predicts that by 2030 there will be 43 megacities, most of them in developing countries (UN 2018).
From Megacity to Gigacities
A development towards future gigacities with more than 100 million inhabitants is being driven primarily in China. While in other regions of the world cities are growing more and more due to the individual migration of the rural population, in China the government is pushing the rural population to move to the cities. For this purpose, not only the controlled growth of existing metropolitan areas is promoted, but cities are designed from scratch. However, these cities have little or nothing to do with historically grown cities as we know it. The planned Giga region of Jing-Jin-Ji, consisting of the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and the surrounding province of Hebei, is to accommodate over 130 million people on an area of more than 200.000 square kilometers. This is not just a demonstration of power, but above all an attempt to relieve the city centres. Beijing is in a traffic collapse: a permanent traffic jam on the streets, the subways hopelessly overcrowded, air pollution omnipresent – nevertheless, rents have skyrocketed to such an extent that they have become unaffordable for huge parts of the population.
The interrelation of sustainability and quality of life become more and more obvious in cities. Clean air, little noise, unobstructed mobility and enough space for everyone – these are in fact the big challenges of the future that to some extent every city faces and that decide on the quality of life a city can offer.
Will technology save us?
Some of the technologies we need to build a better future in the cities of today are already here. Possibilities digitalisation gave us are waiting for us to use them and make some steps towards a smarter way of living. Digital tools for sharing cars and rides to dramatically reduce the noise and air pollution in cities for example are already existent. If people would use these services to share rides the traffic in inner cities could be halved, which means less noise, less pollution and less need for multi-laned streets. It would also mean less need for parking space, which would open room for more attractive uses of space like broad walking lanes, street cafés or art. And less cars with more people in them would also speed up the traffic, that is so often stuck in the roush hours. Add e-mobility to the scenario and you get a more clean, quiet and sustainable place to live in.
But a technological innovation alone is not enough to make a change. Especially in Europe a social innovation is needed: Making use of sharing providers, changing everyday mobility habits and – maybe most difficult: losing the idea that you need to own and drive your own car as a status symbol or as a matter of comfort. Cities have to get smarter, technologically and socially. All the connected smart devices are futile, if we don’t use them intelligently.
Other technologies, which could immensely contribute to solve the big challenges of the cities are just in the making. Blockchain-based technologies make the distribution of electricity smarter and include local prosumers and renewable sources for example. Other projects, like Iota try to enhance the machine to machine communication, which is crucial when so many gadgets and machines have to get entangled for example to ensure the seamless mobility of so many vehicles and people that all together form a network of cars, parking lots, E-Bikes, public transport, traffic lights, gas stations and so forth. Could they interact more efficiently with all the needed data being present when needed, the whole city could change into better.
Imagine, somewhere in the near future, your e-car drives you autonomously while you can do your daily meditation routine, chat with your friends or share the ride with people who make the same routes through the city regularly. Imagine the self-driving car will pay the smart electro stations itself, the electro stations being integrated in a smart energy grid which in turn operates with renewable energies, that include local producers. Smart data could control the traffic lights so all sorts of traffic (cars, bikes, pedestrians) would intertwine seamlessly. Cities would get safer and more enjoyable.
One smart device alone doesn’t make a smart city nor a smart future. Only the coworking and interlocking of many different smart devices within the internet of things makes the next step. Cities are basically dense networks of people, things and technology. Making these networks smarter, in the sense of the different agents working together more effortlessly and with less space, time and natural resources being wasted is the key to provide a high quality of life.
by Nina Pfuderer and Lena Papasabbas (Zukunftsinsitut)
About IOTA Hispano, IOTA Evangelist Network and future visions
All over the world there are regional groups of IOTA supporters. So of course also in South America. Here is a group called IOTA Hispano http://www.iotahispano.com . One member of this group is Gabriela Jara. publicIOTA had the opportunity to interview her.
publicIOTA: Gabriela, first of all many thanks for your willingness to have an interview with us. We hope you are fine. Gabriela, can you tell us something about you and your education?
Gabriela Jara: Well, I was born at a southern province of Argentina, Santa Cruz. I´m the oldest of three sisters. I have been studying English since I was in elementary school and also took some piano classes. I graduated from High School and took a sabbatic year, then I begun to study a technical degree on Safety and Hygiene at workplace. Later on, I moved to Bariloche, where I started a family and had two boys. Once settled, I studied pharmacy and Sign Language.
I like the social work, I like to think that we can all do things for the sake of others, even if they are small actions. I can say my hobbies are reading and also I’m constantly searching for ways to give the next generation a better future.
Currently I’m working as a Sign Language Teacher, I write for IOTA Hispano and make interviews. Recently started a project called Tangle Patagonia, as a contact platform that allows me to give talks and organize events regarding IOTA. I want to be part of this change of mind that is being generated worldwide, where technology is getting more and more into our lives to improve it. I think IOTA is going to improve every aspect of our daily lives and it is necessary for people to know what IOTA, Tangle and the Internet of things is all about.
publicIOTA: How did you hear about IOTA?
Gabriela Jara: The first crypto I found out about was Bitcoin in 2013, I was curious about it but dismissed the idea because I was told BTC was related to drug dealers and guns. At the beginning of last year, a friend from Mexico told me she was buying BTC so my interest resurfaced. I joined a Facebook group and opened an Exchange account at the same time I was learning about it. At August of last year I read a post talking about IOTA, the first thing that caught my attention was that it had no fees. I remember thinking I had to investigate more about this coin because I wasn’t a fan of paying so much fees with BTC. The more I read about IOTA the more I liked it.
I think in order to make a revolution happen, we first have to change our mind and look beyond our noses. The first thing that caught my attention when I first read about Cryptos was that they will allow us to make transactions without the dependence of Banks or a centralized organism, and that if we want to send money to another country, even if this country is at the other side of the world, we would’t have to wait long times or pay high rates for the transaction to reach its destination.
IOTA has shown me and continues to do so, improved aspects that other currencies could not solve. Open source, faster confirmations, zero fees, and Quantum Computing Proof, was developed for the Internet of Things because of its characteristics, and can be applied by Smart mobility, Health, Industries, Agro and much more. The benefits of implementing IOTA are wide. One of the things I like the most is that has no miners, the transactions can be confirmed by two other neighbours and it has no cost for our environment or an additional cost in the transaction
publicIOTA: You are writing for IOTA Hispano and a member of IOTA Evangelist Network. How did it come about and what are your goals?
Gabriela Jara: One day I read a post in Facebook of Daniel De Michele (Carpincho Dem) that went something like „I think I want to create a web page with the news about IOTA in Spanish, who wants to help translating the articles?“. I started to think about it and a couple of days later joined the team.
IOTA Hispano started as a project for the people in Latam that wanted to find IOTA news in Spanish, we were the first page doing this. Early this year, Carpincho came up with the idea of making interviews to people around the IOTA Ecosystem (besides of being the founder of IOTA Hispano, he is also the ideas guy behind all the work). That was a huge change for us, Carpincho decided to publish the interviews in English and Spanish simultaneously. After that, IOTA Hispano began to be read not only in Latin America, but also by the iota community from all around the world. Now we are a staff of 7 members writing and working on interviews with people of the IOTA Foundation, IEN members, developers, partners of IOTA, and more. The goal is to help people learn about this great project that is IOTA .
Again, in the middle of the story of becoming an IEN member appears my friend and colleague Daniel De Michele, He is a great enabler who is always encouraging us to go for more. I assume he saw my enthusiasm and my love for IOTA and the Economy of Things, and told me I needed to go for it. So I postulated. IEN made me two interviews (I was very nervous!) and after a few hours Jay Morton told me I was in. This was on the same day Daniel made Kevin Chen (Founder and Head of the IOTA Evangelistic Network) an interview. I was so delighted, I’ll never forget that date.
publicIOTA:What are you and IOTA Hispano doing to achieve your goals?
Gabriela Jara: We are working on spreading the word about IOTA, that’s our primary goal. This is the reason why we are reaching out to those involved in the IOTA ecosystem. To make their work known by more people. Also we are using meetups as a tool to meet people interested in this protocol. On the 25th of July we will have another one in Buenos Aires and and we will have the pleasure of having Sergei Popov as one of the main speakers. Soon we will give more details of it.
Here in Bariloche I’m working with my project Tangle Patagonia, advising a couple of people how to implement IOTA in their projects and showing them the benefits of working with the IOTA/Tangle.
publicIOTA:Where do you see the great strengths of IOTA, what will bring IOTA for the future?
Gabriela Jara: I think IOTA has managed to work on every aspect that other cryptos lack off. Other cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum were the pioneers, they were the ones that opened the road for IOTA but if they can’t manage to do the improvements they need to, they will only be remember as that, the pioneers. Every day I have the privilege and the opportunity to see so many real use cases. Look up for Daniel Trauth, working with IOTA applied to machinery and fineblanking. The goal of this PoC is to extract production data of fineblanked components from the machine control in real time, store them encrypted in the tangle and retrieve them via a web-based frontend. Green Protocol (Darren Olsen) making crazy things to his own house like someone watering his plants remotely while he is on vacations and will pay whoever do the job with IOTA , BiiLabs working with Taipei to build a smart city and there are so much. IOTA will bring great improvements there is so much areas where IOTA can be used to generate value and benefits for humans that will help us tackle big problems from education to medical care, from reducing hunger to creating Smart Cities and many more that we cannot imagine yet. In a few years we all can be enjoying the benefits of this technology, so why don’t start from now .
publicIOTA: At the end a private question, do you like soccer and the World Cup? Who will be world champion in your view?
Gabriela Jara: I like soccer but now that Argentina is no longer playing, watching the games is not as fun as it used to when we were still there. Since we lost against France, I think I will cheer up for Belgium!
"Ten years is an eternity in terms of innovation. I'm by no means an expert in development, in IOTA's case the backend-development, but I think I can illuminate things from a geographers perspective.
History has shown, that solutions mostly follow problems - so we don't see exotic sci-fi use-cases. The global problems we have in the next ten years are clearly due to the climate, climate refugees, health and a rapidly changing infrastructure because we can't rely on fossil fuels anymore, meaning that we need a sustainable and strong electrical grid in human agglomerations -all over the world.
These problems are a result of industrialization and the mindless use of combustion engines in the western world, but today also exceedingly used in India, China and other big economies, which rely on the second sector ie production, not to mention meat-consumption, concrete production etc, but the latter are not necessarily solvable by IOTA.
So, given the fact that humanity as a whole created this problem, I guess it's time to think about solutions that are offered by everyone, globally spoken.
My personal vision is, that the UN gains strength in terms of development, technocratic structures and funds
so that we can establish a global transaction layer for information, value and permissionless communication.
Since IOTA partnered with UNOPS, I see no reason that IOTA can't become this protocol.
Then we can think about smart green venture capital companies creating assets and opportunities for investments in sustainable assets like solar collectors, plants for desalination of seawater, and infrastructure. Foreign direct investments are a problem these days. Rarely, the sums go where they are needed, and rarely, they create what they are promised for -positive impact in the long run.
With IOTA, the transactions go exactly where they are needed, as third parties have no access. You can't crack a hash with an AK47.
Also, the good investments can be bound to certain indicators via smart contracts and oracles, so that the venture capital companies only earn money, if they also deliver funds for maintenance and infrastructure. This way, they create jobs, the necessary conditions and the reliability in order to support the region, not only their bank accounts. THEN, the smart contract triggers ROI back to the VC firm.
These are the solutions we can establish in ten years, which will make a vast difference everywhere on the planet. Think about having electricity and water everywhere available. That's one of the biggest tasks for the next ten years -and would mean the biggest revolution we can think of. Also, in my opinion, these concepts are only feasible with IOTA, because zero transaction fees in a mesh net like the Internet of Things, does only exist with the Tangle. Also, for many use-cases, you don't even need tokens at all. That's important in countries of low income. People in developing countries won't be able to use IOTA as is, the UN needs to guide them and establish the first structures, which is a crucial role.
Other solutions like electrical charging, payment in our daily lives and data integrity etc are things we will see in the next 24 months, but maybe a backend developer can tell you more about that. In any case, I'm looking forward to the time in ten years. "
My car is way too often around. Probably 23 hours a day and at night. My insurance is running around the clock. Whether I am on vacation or the vehicle slumbers in the parking lot. And of course when I am driving. Would be great if there would be an insurance that recognizes exactly when I participate in road traffic with the increased insurance risk. And then the increased traffic risk billed to the second and in the park „mode“ switches to a cheaper fare. This is exactly one of the use cases that the new technology has in mind. But what is innovation about? IOTA is a kind of cryptocurrency, which handles the direct payment process between machines. In my case, between the car and the calculator of the insurance, which calculates the time-bound premium and withdraws immediately from the car „account“.
Cryptocurrencies for machines and things
For cryptocurrencies, we all think of Bitcoin and Co. and the crazy price swings that can turn investors into millionaires in short time or ruin them. The promise behind most cryptocurrencies is the totally secure blockchain technology, which mostly eludes the regulation of state organs and exists in a digital sub-universe. It is about the transfer of digital money exchanged between people or organizations. But now the machines come into play. In the future, every machine, every vehicle, every refrigerator and every sensor will be equipped with an IP address, which assigns a unique identity to every thing. Connected to the Internet, we are talking about the Internet of Things (IoT).
Partnerships for IOTA
Would it not be great, resourceful developers have said, if the ever-growing number of IoT devices would allow them to exchange payments directly with each other. Without banks, without annoying transfers – very simple, comfortable and secure. That was the birth of IOTA. This fascinating technology is organized by a foundation based in Berlin, which can now look to a respectable circle of supporters. Rolf Werner, the Head of Central Europe of the technology group Fujitsu is one of them. But Bosch has also entered into a partnership with the Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH with the cryptocurrency. One possible application idea is that „autonomous, battery-electric vehicles charge directly via a secure, wireless IoT connection to the charging station via the new crypto-currency during a charging process.“
Public interest only for the obvious
In the coalition agreement of the “ big coalition“ in Berlin the term blockchain appears five times. Mostly in the context of future technologies, such as Quantum computing or the transformation of industries, such as the financial industry. There is nothing in the coalition agreement about IOTA. Perhaps the underlying technology is too fresh, too limited to be widely recognized. Cryptocurrencies based on the Blockchain enjoy high public interest. Stories about Bitcoin millionaires and adventurous price fluctuations are always more interesting than applications that have yet to be developed and implemented.
Use only for corporations?
Why then do the digital corporate strategists cheer about the new technology? The scope of the technology is enormous. When machines can do transactions and negotiate prices directly with machines, the new evolutionary stage of the Internet of Things has been reached. In an interview, the Chief Evangelist Data Center of Fujitsu, Udo Würtz, put it in a nutshell. When it comes to the industrial scale of applications that must be carried out at high speed with the best possible transparency, the IOTA technology is often superior to blockchain technology.
I see another, rapid growth of promoters and partners of IOTA technology. Simply from the fact that the networking of devices and services creates an enormous need for secure transactions. Whether they are applications of autonomous driving, simple energy transaction or payment of machine services. Over the next two years, on the way to 5G society, we will see a rapidly increasing number of applications unobtrusively evolving our everyday lives. What I want is a much broader public discussion and participation in the development stages of new technologies. Because they will change the way of living and working together, and for that we need more understanding of social and economic contexts. The sooner the better.
Youtube video about the connection of IOTA to Big Data. If tens of billions of things are networked together over the next ten years – Statista speaks of 75 billion by 2025 – they will deliver massive amounts of data.