IOTA Will Get Smart Contract Capabilities via ToqenAug 26, 2018, 7:08AM
Toqen is competing with Qubic, IOTA's official smart contract layer. Who will win the race to make IOTA a truly practical blockchain?
The experimental blockchain IOTA is getting smart contract capabilities thanks to a new third-party layer called Toqen. The project has announced a prototype release, which currently supports peer-to-peer value transfers. Smart contracts, along with various other features, are on the way.
IOTA lacks these features in its native state because of its complexity; rather than using a sequential blockchain, IOTA uses a "tangle" of blocks. This high degree of connectedness enhances scalability and could potentially be used to run an autonomous machine economy.
But because IOTA is a radical departure from the norm, it lacks various features that are critically important to a modern blockchain. Smart contracts are particularly important because they allow developers to create automated transactions that function on a large scale. They are defining features of many platforms, including Ethereum and EOS.
But IOTA doesn't have native smart contracts, so the community has compensated with third-party extensions like Toqen. Although Toqen is an unofficial addon, it is indirectly based on an unofficial, community-developed smart contract layer called Qubic Lite. QubicLite, which describes itself as a "temporary solution", is in turn based on the official Qubic layer that is still in early development.
It is hard to say whether Toqen or another third-party project will win over the community as IOTA is strongly pushing its official Qubic layer. But since IOTA is fairly difficult to use, the first project to produce a simple and workable product may prove to be more popular than an official smart contract solution.
Check out Bitrates' 3-part series for an in-depth look at IOTA.
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