A Lifting Tide Lifts All Boats: Other Digital Currencies Also Begin to Surge in the Wake of Bitcoin’s Success

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. British authorities have come out in support of digital currencies in the name of promoting financial innovation, while proposing that regulations should be drawn up to prevent their use in crime. But it is technophiles who are leading the drive to make London a real-world hub for trade in web-based "cryptocurrencies", of which bitcoin is the original and still most popular. Picture taken May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier - RTX1EWXB

Little-known cryptocurrency IOTA has in the last few days had its market value grow by $12 billion. The digital currency, whose positive fortunes have largely gone unnoticed due to the euphoria surrounding Bitcoin, is now the fourth-largest in the market. The currency’s recent vertical growth leap coincided with the announcement that it would be collaborating with some of the largest technology organizations in the world, such as Samsung, Fujitsu, and Microsoft to develop what it termed a new “data marketplace.”
IOTA’s explosive growth in what is increasingly becoming a saturated marketplace has caught many observers by surprise. The digital currency is owned by a German non-profit organization by the same name. On Wednesday, the currency hit the highest value mark in its two-year existence of $5.55. Barely a day before, a unit of the currency was worth only $2.75. That represents a gain of close to 100 percent in less than a day. This value will likely further increase as people begin to understand the implications of IOTA’s proposed data marketplace. Currently, data is increasingly being seen as a commodity and IOTA’s has positioned itself quite nicely to rip the most out of this emerging market.
IOTA’s chief executive officer, however, comments that the currency’s growth is justifiable as it has for a long time been a sleeping giant. The company has all along had a unique approach to blockchain technology that is now only been discovered by the large firms. Additionally, the company has largely been working quietly with barely any paid promotional campaigns. Now, however, with news items increasingly showcasing the currency’s technological advantages, IOTA is now exposed to a larger pool of potential investors. What is more, the digital currency was recently launched in some of the most profitable markets in South East Asia, including South Korea and China.
The blockchain platform IOTA uses is markedly different from that used by other cryptocurrencies. In layman terms, a blockchain can be described as a large database that keeps track of digital currency transactions. Since the blockchain platform used by IOTA is essentially “blockless” users can complete transactions for free and at a much faster speed than with other cryptocurrencies. In this regard, IOTA outperforms even the largest digital currency in the world, Bitcoin. Bitcoin users have in the past complained about the high cost and slow pace involved in completing transactions, which largely stems from the fact that the currency keeps track of these transactions using encrypted blocks.


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