We have seen a technology called blockchain. It can be regarded as a revolution in the digital world. As we all know, blockchain is being used as a digital ledger for recording the financial transactions or data which has a value in nature. It is highly immutable and secured. Blockchain has proven its capability in terms of technological and financial viewpoint. But the thing is, it still needs to prove in terms of scalability.
The industry needs have been growing very rapidly, but the blockchain platform is not ready enough to process a large number of payments at once. And, it has a scaling issue on a number of payments per second. The need for micro and nano payments is growing constantly over the years due to the massive adoption of IOT.
So to tackle this scaling issue and to make it easier with valid security concerns, we need a platform, and that's where IOTA comes into the picture.
What is IOTA?
IOTA is a distributed digital ledger or crypto Token (IOT) especially designed and developed for the Internet-of-Things. The primary motive behind building this kind of technology is to meet the fourth industrial revolution and machine economy, where machines trade resources and services with each other and where human or third party intervention is eliminated. The working of IOTA is based on tangle technology.
What is Tangle?
Tangle is the other name to describe the IOTA’s directed acyclic graph (DAG). It is a data integration and transaction settlement layer developed to focus on the Internet of things (IOT). Tangle acts as a string of individual transactions which are interconnected to one another and stored in a decentralised network node of the participants.
This is how the tangle has replaced Blockchain with DAG to store its ledger. The primary motive behind the tangle technology is to develop scalable frameworks for executing transactions related to IOT. Tangle does not allow its users to mine. It has been designed to enable the network to make micropayments globally for interconnected devices
The IOTA network and the DAG
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The IOTA network is being maintained by the IOT foundation, and it is one of the popular cryptocurrencies available at present. The tangle is the main reason for making IOTA popular because it is built on the underlying data structure. The IOTA is built on the blockless blockchain.
That’s how Tangle contains DAG rather than Blockchain to store the ledger. Tangle is capable enough to scale the transactions, especially for the micropayments between IOT devices where the network is required to scale the number of transactions submitted to the network.
Scalability is the major problem associated with the present cryptocurrency platforms. When it comes to Tangle, it is designed to meet the growing transactions between interconnected devices.
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How does tangle work?
To have a clear understanding of how the Tangle works, let’s consider the directed graph used by computer scientists. A directed graph is a collection of square boxes connected edges with the help of arrows. The below-given figure is an example of a directed graph.
We know that IOTA cryptocurrency works on a Tangle system which is a similar kind of directed graph that holds transactions. Each transaction is shown as a vertex in a graph. Whenever a new transaction joins the tangle, it selects two previous transactions to approve and adds two edges to the network. In the above example transaction, number 7 approves the transactions, 6 and 4.
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To overcome the problem of malicious attacks on a network, the IOTA foundation has developed a process called Coordinator. The coordinator acts as a voluntary and temporary consensus mechanism for Tangle.
The Coordinator acts as an issuer of a milestone for every 2 minutes of the transaction on the tangle, and the transactions approved from the Coordinator are being considered for confirmation of 100% confidence. If the number of IOT transactions comes down, they will not stand vulnerable to attacks; hence the network continues to scale, and then the role of Coordinator will be wiped out. Thus, tangle becomes the fully decentralized network and secured with fully distributed consensus mechanism by using memory coin (MMC) across DAG.
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Tangle vs Blockchain
Even though Blockchain and Tangle are similar technologies, there are few technical variations between these two. The technical difference between blockchain and tangle or unique features of Tangle has made it suitable for IOT.
Let’s examine the significant differences between tangle and Blockchain:
Blockchain structure consists of a series of blocks or nodes of information, in which each block is connected to its backside one in an ever-growing long chain. When it comes to Tangle technology, it consists of a group of data nodes which flow in a single direction. Blockchain has got the capability to loop back the transactions in a circular way, whereas in a tangle, it never checks the preceding nodes, and it allows tangle to support the massive amounts of transactions.
Blockchain has gained popularity in terms of security due to its complexity of blocks’ formation. The formation of the block associated with the mathematical solution and verification process needs consensus. The Tangle only requires verification of two previous nodes before validating a new one, and that's how it creates a new node. This is how Tangle is falling behind in terms of security compared to the blockchain.
Blockchain and Tangle, both the technologies work on decentralised systems, which means free from all other things such as interface, fees, obstructions, etc. Tangle is still required to implement a safeguard which is a coordinator node that makes it fully decentralised.
Features of Tangle
- It is a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG).
- It is just like a web, with zero blocks.
- Each web consists of different nodes, which work in-depth
- Each node carries a weight.
- Limitless scalability and data growth.
- Less prone to attacks and forks.
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The Tangle technology is termed as “next generation” blockchain. Despite the misconceptions such as its implementation, long term sustainability, and its potentiality, Tangle remains one of the top technologies in the cryptocurrency world. The adoption of IOT devices has been increasing over the years and the Tangle can handle the increased number of transactions.
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