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


For some time now, data has been described as the new oil of the digital world. Companies like Facebook, Google or Amazon earn a large part of their revenue from our user data by collecting it in advertising profiles and selling it to various advertising companies or by directly targeting us with advertising tailored to our web browsing behavior. But not only our collected browsing data is worth a lot. Sensor data such as the collected temperatures of a meteorological institute can be worth something or various data sets that can be collected by means of a so-called digital twin.

A digital twin represents a real object in the digital world. It describes the properties and behavior of the real object under certain conditions and can be connected to the real world in real time via sensors. The mapped objects can be tangible or intangible objects such as products, services or processes. Thanks to the coupling with real data, such as environmental conditions or tool positions within the machines, the digital twins allow various analyses and simulations to be carried out. For the digitization of production processes, simulation, analysis, production and development processes with digital twins represent the basis. In Industry 4.0, digital twins will accompany the complete development, production and operating cycle of a product or service. Processes can be planned, optimized and adapted thanks to virtual simulation models.

A basic idea of the IoT is the exchange and trade of such data sets. With “machine-to-machine” communication, devices can autonomously trade a wide variety of data among themselves, but it could also become very interesting for humans to receive data directly from sensory end users without having to go through a third-party platform. Creating data marketplaces is an inevitable consequence of the IoT revolution. It will fundamentally change the way we connect, interact or trade data.

Moreover, currently diverse data is mostly limited to the control of a few entities and unavailable to the masses. Because no one has knowledge of these data sets, let alone would have access to them, many potential insights from a missing analysis of this data are lost. Without access to diverse data, not everyone can develop new use cases or enter new business areas either. Traditional value chains will change, forcing companies to rethink how they compete within ecosystems. Data marketplaces are emerging as a means of exchanging data, monetizing data streams and as a basis for new smart business models.

Particularly at a time when data is becoming increasingly important, IOTA and its data marketplace represent a counterpart to the status quo. The IOTA marketplace is a decentralized data market that aims to make data available to any compensation partner. They are a way to create and capture value in an environment where sensors and connected devices trade data directly with each other autonomously in real time. For example, smart city sensors can be paid for sharing valuable real-time data, or physical production equipment can now be leased, so “pay-per-use” models will shape the smart sharing economy and reorder value chains. Also, our personal data could soon be accessed only with our proactive consent through our digital twins or personal data management systems, enabling radically new personalized and real-time services. (e.g., eHealth)

In addition, the data marketplace enables the secure sale and access of these active data streams. As an IOTA Data Marketplace user, you will have the ability to buy or sell IOTA Streams-encrypted data.

Proof of concept and future development

The IF has already internally created a proof of concept for a data marketplace in the past. Since the beginning of the PoC development, a number of proactive industry participants have already progressively intensified their engagement and provided valuable feedback to the IF technical teams to help accelerate the development of the IOTA data marketplace to a production-ready product.

In 2017, the IF published this PoC (Open-Source) asking the community and interested companies to help fully decentralize all functions of the data marketplace to shape a common standard that works for everyone. With the published PoC, a major challenge has already been met and the IF is providing the first impulse for new business model thinking. For all participants, this platform provides a starting point for exploring new IoT / M2M solutions and business models for the “economy of things” and designing their own data marketplaces.

Source: IOTA Foundation

Outlook: Building an ecosystem to foster innovation

The IF will organize more co-creation workshops, webinars, hackathons, and information sessions with the topics of Data Marketplace, IOTA Streams, Trusted IoT, GDPR and Personal Data, Smart Energy, and Smart Cities to catalyze the triggered exploration process. External perspectives and capabilities will help deliver viable ideas for all. In cross-server data sharing, new models can only emerge through ecosystem collaborations, as existing value chains often need to be reconfigured. It takes a cooperative effort by all participants to enable a mutually beneficial business relationship. This co-creation process focuses on creating minimal viable ecosystems of partners around specific use cases. The key is building trust between partners and aligning them around a common goal.

In January 2019, a workshop in Berlin already attracted more than 80 participants from a wide range of industries, including mobility, energy, agriculture, real estate, eHealth, smart manufacturing, supply chain, financial services, semiconductors, IT integrators, consulting, universities, and industry clusters.

Conclusion: IOTA Data Marketplaces with all its forward-looking possibilities are eagerly awaited by many companies and for IF it is also one of the most important sub-sectors of the very large vision for the autonomous economy of the future.

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Open Marketplace

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Data Marketplace – Part 1Part 2 – IF

EVAREST Marketplace – Youtube

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Last Updated on 14. October 2021