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Volkswagen, Audi Employees Being Coached on IOTA (MIOTA)

IOTA (MIOTA)–At this point in the bear cycle, stories of adoption are being being met by investors with muffled grunts and outright frustration. Two years ago, cryptocurrency was starved for news of established companies developing partnerships with the coins, or at the very least drawing interest. Despite the downward spiral of pricing for currencies across the market, 2018 has been a year filled with high-profile partnerships and acceptance by companies that will drive real world use.

Among the list of companies to initiate pilot programs with cryptocurrency, IOTA’s partnership with German-based automaker Volkswagen has been one of the largest. While the actual implications of a partnership with a company whose assets total in excess of 480 billion USD has flown under the radar, it comes in part due to the publicity image of VW in the aftermath of 2015’s emissions scandal. The public outside of crypto may see Volkswagen’s partnership with a cryptocurrency that has built ties with the United Nations as an attempt to grab at straws: the language surrounding the most recent VW-IOTA press release slanted in heavy favor of “accountability” and “security.”

However, many within crypto see the natural progression of IOTA, a currency being built to unite the world of IoT devices, and the looming conundrum of fully-automated vehicles. The integration of a cryptocurrency into automobiles not only eases the transition into a driver-less car economy, but plays to the strength of ride sharing and decentralized transportation already made popular by Uber and Lyft.

IOTA’s position with Volkswagen looks good on paper and carries enough influence to constitute a presence at press events, but many investors are still asking the question, “so what?”. Has IOTA managed to capture genuine attention within the automobile world, and are they being taken seriously by their partners at the Volkswagen group, whose holding includes Audi, Porsche and (the ever popular) Lamborghini?

Reddit users would say yes.

About IOTA and VW from Iota

One curious Redditor, u/4745454B, posed the above question on whether the average Volkswagen employee has been given any information about the 2019’s official roll out of IOTA functionality. It turns out, from the small anecdotal sample given, Volkswagen is apparently taking the integration of cryptocurrency very seriously, with the expectation of IOTA functionality to be a selling point in next year’s offering.

As outlined in the Reddit posts, VW is informing employees, particularly those on the sales side of business, about IOTA as an effort to boost branding for the car. While other car manufacturers have announced nascent partnerships with blockchain startups, clearly Volkswagen views its plunge into cryptocurrency via IOTA as an early mover advantage. Blockchain startups and other crypto-lite tech companies may bring some of the decentralized and security benefits popular within the industry, but they lack the established appeal of coins like IOTA. The IOTA Foundation brings mature development within the space, growing partnerships (UNOPS) and the potential for greater innovation, such as Qubic smart contracts announced at the beginning of June.

However, these currencies do come with reputation. The 70-90% plunge in valuation since last all-time high has given cryptocurrency, including IOTA, the appearance of extensive volatility and uncertain profit. But largely for investors. The VW Group loses nothing from the plunging price of IOTA; they gain all of the utility of cryptocurrency with none of the exposure to price. Remember that crypto may be made up of currencies, but they are technologies at their base which can be used like any other tool.

The volatile price of cryptocurrency can scare away the shareholders of an Amazon or Starbucks, but Volkswagen has everything to gain by partnering with the next stage of innovation to hit the automobile industry.


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IOTA’s Potential as a Non-Profit Currency

IOTA (MIOTA)–Lost in the endless price speculation and market talk surrounding cryptocurrency is the innovative uses for the technology in solving real world problems. Blockchain has long been targeted by tech enthusiasts and policy makers as the potential gem to come out of crypto, with the currencies providing ancillary benefits to investors–but no one else. These analysts are only half correct. Cryptocurrency, particularly when looking across the board of the industry, has largely failed in establishing a real world presence and legitimate use cases up until this point. While most have argued that the benefits of crypto have to be measured in long term vision and adoption, the stagnation of Bitcoin and other top currencies has largely been out of a market starved for legitimate purpose.

However, losing sight of the benefits of individual currencies is a warped version of seeing the forest for the trees. Blockchain may provide the next wave of invention in terms of reshaping the political, social and financial landscape, but cryptocurrencies remain the most effective vehicle for delivery.

IOTA, the currency built to integrate with the world’s Internet of Things (IoT), has a different take on blockchain in the form of Tangle. Rather than relying upon a consensus mechanism that artificially limits network transactions via blocksizes, or enacts heavy fees from users, Tangle was designed to scale with IOTA adoption. As the currency develops more use cases, such as the most recent partnership with Volkswagen, the currency improves in ability to function. The addition of the much anticipated Qubic protocol now gives IOTA users access to developing smart contracts via the currency, in addition to the aforementioned utility of Tangle.

In all, this combines to create a technology that could find substantial use for non-profit organizations and charities seeking greater efficiency for donations and fund distribution. The IOTA Foundation has already positioned its currency as a humanitarian figure through last month’s partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to improve the transparent efforts of the UN around the globe.

A natural extension of this partnership could be found in creating traction for non-profit organizations. Like voting via blockchain, the inefficiency of the charity/donation model has been pointed to as a prime example for crypto-based disruption–albeit with altruistic intentions. The currency IOTA offers near-instant, free transactions to be made from anywhere in the world, allowing a charity organization to collect secure payments without the added hassle of card and banking fees, or the barrier that accompanies cross-border transactions.

The release of Qubic also provides an interesting twist on the IOTA model as a source for applying better charitable practices. While Tangle allows for a friction-less payment system, Qubic’s smart contracts creates a model for accountability. Donors and charity organizers can arrange funds in contracts that ensure proper payouts. Rather than leaving a loophole for embezzlement or wasteful spending, Qubic contracts can be designed in such a way that payment can only be dispersed after following proper qualifications.

The end result is improved efficiency and less waste on behalf of the non-profit organization, while donors have greater peace of mind that their funding is going to the right places. While the aforementioned outlook of cryptocurrency still favors adoption in the scale of years as opposed to months, furthering the usability of currencies like IOTA is the first step for growing the industry.