The results of the test IOTA in real life

The results of the test IOTA in real life

Inspired by the fact that open access is not enough quantitative results about the IOTA, a researcher of Internet of things (University of Bristol), doctor of computer science and software developer, Atis Elsts, decided to conduct a few experiments with IOTA using two different IoT devices and modern desktop and server computer.

During the study, it was discovered that, despite the theoretical scalability of the Tangle, the real Protocol IOTA has a relatively high power consumption and the operation Proof-of-Work and transaction signing computationally complex compared to the limited capacity of many IoT devices and may be impractical for devices with limited power consumption.


You probably know that IOTA is a cryptocurrency designed for use in IoT applications. However, “whether this works on IoT devices?” — this is a critical question.

IOTA is protected widespread form of Proof-of-Work. It is expected that IoT devices will function as a light node; it is expected that they will connect to full nodes, create and sign transactions. IOTA security is based on the idea that a huge number of IoT devices can outperform any computing resources that can really get the attacker.

The current status of the IOTA does not correspond to this vision transactions are also checked centrally by the coordinator node. If IOTA want to move to fully decentralized operation, it is necessary to remove the component Coordinator. The key question here is: “Can the network be protected only through Proof-of-Work?”. In particular, “can IoT devices to provide sufficient distributed Proof-of-Work to protect from centralized attacks?”

The nominal and available computing power

Many IoT devices run on battery power or have limited power sources. These devices can not use the nominal computational resources constantly. Simplifying the description of the problem it turns out that one server that has 1000 times more power than the average IoT device, can efficiently produce as much computing Proof-of-Work, how many million of these IoT devices. It’s not a million operations per second, and the energy required for these operations.

It is extremely unlikely that billions of connected devices will provide all your processing power IOTA to verify.


Given the results of the study the full version of which is published on Hackernoon, the use of IoT for POW and transaction signing is impractical without hardware accelerators. And more powerful devices that are able to perform both operations, are not able to carry out instant transactions because it is beyond their resources and start any kind of PoW for IoT devices is questionable in droves.

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