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Blockchain network teams up with big global corporates

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that underpinned the first crypto-currency Bitcoin.

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that underpinned the first crypto-currency Bitcoin.

IOTA, an open source blockchain network, has teamed up with some of the biggest global corporate names led by Cisco Systems, Volkswagen and Samsung Group to launch what is aimed to be a secure marketplace for data, IOTA co-founder David Sønstebø said yesterday.

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that underpinned the first crypto-currency Bitcoin. It has gained worldwide prominence due to its perceived usefulness in recording and keeping track of assets across all industries.

"The data marketplace is a completely separate project that simply utilises the underlying IOTA protocol," said Sønstebø in e-mailed responses to Reuters.

IOTA is headquartered in Berlin.

China's Huawei group, a multinational networking and telecommunications company, is also part of the data marketplace project, IOTA said.

The project aims to create a market for data that companies can buy and sell.

IOTA said more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily and are increasing exponentially on a monthly basis. However, more than 99% of this data is wasted and lost to the void because there is currently no ability for owners to sell or share this data in a secure fashion.

"Any kind of data can be monetised," Sønstebø said. "If you have a weather station collecting wind, temperature, humidity and barometric data, for instance, you can sell that to an entity that is doing climatic research."

As soon as data is put onto IOTA's decentralised ledger, it is distributed to countless nodes or the computers that connect to the blockchain network, ensuring it is impossible to tamper with the data, Sønstebø said.

Each of IOTA's partners on the marketplace project will provide data within their sector.

"The goal is to enable a very diverse and open data marketplace...which incentivises a free flow of data between entities," Sønstebø said.

The IOTA network has been live since 2016, the IOTA co-founder said, in an earlier interview with Reuters.

It did a crowdfunding event in 2015, so that people could support the project, raising more than 1 300 Bitcoins, he said.

"IOTA is kind of the first distributed ledger that goes beyond the blockchain," Sønstebø said.

"We got rid of the blocks and we got rid of the chains, which has resulted in getting rid of the major pain points or limitations of the blockchain such as fees, scalability and centralisation."

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