M2M standard protocol

This article is a translation of the German IOTA Beginner’s Guide by Schmucklos.

The road to a standard protocol

For future IoT, open interoperability standards must be defined for common architectures and interconnection of intelligent devices, machines, people and processes that help deliver more reliable access to big data and create business value.

Due to the different interests of all companies involved, no standard has been established to date, neither for hardware nor for software or processes. Currently, many interest groups (consortia) are trying to push through their own favored standard. It would not be the first time in history that it is not the technically superior product that prevails, but the technology of the interest group the most influential companies belong to. As long as all participating companies have not yet agreed on the standards to be used, there will be many rival technologies.

The IF, of course, wants its protocol to establish itself as the new RFC protocol. RFC (Request for Comments) is a collection of numbered documents issued by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). RFCs cover protocols, methods, programs and concepts that are essential for the cooperation of different systems on the Internet and are considered Internet standards.

Why should IOTA prevail over other providers?

In my opinion, the IF has a good chance to define the future M2M standard protocol. In the following I will list a few arguments that let me look confidently into the future.

IOTA has chosen the legal form of a non-profit organization in Germany. As a foundation by law no profits may be generated. This has given IOTA unprecedented legitimacy to work with forward-looking public and private sector organizations and research partners around the world. This very large difference compared to other competing providers creates more credibility and trust among companies. Imagine being the CEO of a large company interested in the cutting-edge technology offered by two projects, one registered in the Bahamas and the other in Germany as a strictly regulated foundation. Which would you choose?

One of the goals of the foundation is to establish the standardization of the core protocol for the M2M economy based on IOTA in order to give companies access to an open and free Distributed Ledger technology. Since the IOTA Foundation is not allowed to make any profits, the IF’s motivation is exclusively to address important challenges of our time, such as energy transition, eHealth, sharing economy and Industry 4.0.

The IOTA technology includes its own cryptocurrency because this is a precondition for value transfer in a data economy. All available tokens have already been issued and the founders had to buy their IOTA tokens themselves with their private assets, just like all other investors. Wild speculation about the founders’ source of income was thus eliminated, which also creates more transparency and trust compared to other projects.

The way to the M2M standard is done in close cooperation with the industry itself. Currently, various project groups with industry heavyweights such as VW, Audi, Bosch or Jaguar Land Rover are researching and developing possible applications. Both VW and JLR have already announced real-world applications based on IOTA. In addition, with ECLASS e.V. a partner has been gained who has already established itself as a standard in many industries worldwide with its offer of “standardized product data” and enjoys the highest level of trust.

Of course, this is not enough to proclaim a possible cross-industry industry standard. Therefore, proven and established organizations, which already enjoy the trust of a large part of the industry and which have dedicated their work to standardization, have to be brought on board.

A key figure for this project is without doubt IOTA Supervisory Board member Dr. Richard Mark Soley. He holds bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His career since obtaining this first-class education is no less impressive.

Since 1997, he has been Chairman and CEO of the * Object Management Group® (OMG®). The OMG has become a world leader in creating international standards for the software industry and has established numerous global communities. By providing software standards, the OMG has helped turn software development into the powerful industry we know today. To understand the importance of the Object Management Group for possible standardization, just look at the board of directors, which consists of top executives from IT giants such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, all thanks to Dr. Soley’s leadership, which has spanned nearly three decades.

In addition, Dr. Soley serves as Executive Director of Clouds Standards Customer Council™ ( interest group for end users) and as Executive Director of the * Industrial Internet Consortium.

As Chairman and CEO of OMG, Dr. Soley is responsible for the vision and direction of the world’s largest consortium of its kind, and his personal connections in the industry are incredibly helpful to IOTA.

Through Dr. Soley’s extensive networking, various companies could come into contact with the IOTA Foundation and possibly initiate a future partnership. A growing pool of partnerships is another important step towards the M2M standard protocol.

* Object Management Group (OMG) is an international, open, non-profit consortium for technology standards. OMG standards are ultimately determined by vendors, end users, academic institutions and government agencies. OMG develops enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and for many industries.

* Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is the world’s leading organization that transforms businesses by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT). The goal of the organizations is to bring together technologies needed to accelerate the growth of the Industrial Internet by identifying, compiling and promoting best practices. Membership includes small and large technology innovators, market leaders, researchers, universities and governmental organizations.

“Few people in the world can compare themselves to Dr. Soley’s list of merits and experiences in developing standards in CS (Computer Science) and IoT (Internet of Things) or in building organizations and alliances with multiple stakeholders involved.” David Sønstebø

Another very influential person is technical expert Mike Bennett. He is the semantics expert and ontologist for the EDM Council. He is the architect and editor of the Semantics Repository and represents the Council in the ISO technical standards committees. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry with investment management software, data management system design, messaging standards, product testing and project management. Mike provides technical and data mapping advice to EDM Council members and is considered both a valuable resource and a frequent speaker within the semantics community.  (Presentation on IOTA by Mike Bennet, PDF)

EDM is another large consortium that works very closely with OMG and is also very interested in standardizing the IOTA technology. The Council has more than 200 global corporate members, more than 10,000 participants and a growing list of industries to serve, including finance, services, automotive, manufacturing, real estate, data providers, technology, academia, government and regulators. The EDM Council is a non-profit global association founded to make the practice of data management a business and operational priority.  The Council is the leading voice for the development and implementation of data standards, best practices, and comprehensive training and certification programs.

In addition, the EDM Council is the creator and global administrator of the Financial Industry Business Ontology. (FIBO™), an open source semantic standard. FIBO provides a description of the structure and contractual obligations of financial instruments, legal entities and financial processes. It is used to harmonize data across different *repositories to validate quality, improve risk analysis and automate business processes. FIBO has a strong interest in standardizing data integration and in automatic processing from different sources.

*a managed directory for storing and describing digital objects.

Currently (May ’19) Mike Bennett is working with the IOTA Foundation to create the required RFC documents for standardization of various sub-areas of IOTA technology.

More Details

IOTA Standardization Update – IF






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Last Updated on 14. April 2021