IOTA Token

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

IOTA Token

The IOTA Token is a digital currency (cryptocurrency) and a powerful tool for value transfers between machines (M2M), humans (H2H) and human to machine (H2M). The IOTA Token is a powerful digital asset. There is no mining or staking, which means that value and data can be handled without fees enabling a variety of use cases that no other digital asset can.

For many applications, the IOTA Token is mandatory, for example for payment of services or monetary compensation when trading data or goods. The reason why you don’t get IOTA but MIOTA at the Exchanges is that not single IOTA (1i is the smallest unit) are traded, but always MI (= 1 million IOTA). This form of currency makes IOTA especially interesting for micro/nano transactions since even the smallest amounts can be paid.

IOTA Total Supply

The maximum number of tokens is 2,779,530,283 MIOTA. All tokens were issued at the end of 2015 at the crowdsale and are in circulation. The company IOTA AS has collected the equivalent of $434,511.63 for the issuance of 999,999,999,999999 “old” IOTA tokens (1337 Bitcoin at that time). The range of IOTA tokens was later changed to 2,779,530,283,277,761 tokens. For 1 old IOTA token there were 2,779,530.2861 “new” IOTA tokens. At the time of the crowdsale IOTA could be purchased by Bitcoin and also by an asset called JINN. The FIAT conversion date and exchange rate of all BTC and JINN received is not publicly known. Therefore the $434,511.63 is probably not the exact amount received.

The IOTA token was fairly issued. There were no blocked tokens, no early stage corporate investors and no tokens were issued to the founders. The founders bought their tokens using their private assets. To ensure the sustainability of the project 5 % of the tokens were donated by the community to support the foundation.

IOTA Token
Source: IOTA Foundation

Can the maximum number of tokens be increased?

For the IOTA ecosystem it was and still is important to have a high number of tokens available because the tokens will be used for micropayments between machines and therefore high prices per token are rather obstructive. If in the distant future, due to a very high demand, it might be necessary to increase the maximum number of tokens. This is possible by a trick: the decimal point could be shifted.

Why is this possible and what is the effect?

The value element in a transaction is 81 trits long, of which 33 trits are currently used. Exactly 33 trits are used because it has been determined (presumably by cfb) that the current max supply is the highest positive number that can be represented by 33 trits in the balanced ternary, which looks like this:

((3^33) – 1) / 2 = 2.779.530.283.277.761 = 2.78 x 10^15 (current max. supply, Oct. 2019)

Since 81 trits were reserved for the value the maximum supply can be increased to 81 trits if necessary, as follows:

((3^81) – 1) / 2 = 221,713,244,121,518,884,974,124,815,309,574,946,401 = 2.22 x 10^38

In this case each current owner would still have the same share of the total value but these amounts can now be divided into smaller units.

Explanation: 1 IOTA could be divided into 1000 MicroIOTA (speculative, other denominations are also possible). This does not change the total value of all tokens but there are now smaller units. Practically this means users who had 1000 IOTA in their wallet before the comma shift will still have 1000 IOTA in their wallet after the comma shift but IOTA is not the smallest unit anymore and therefore the 1000 IOTA can be displayed as 1000000 MicroIOTA. The above mentioned IOTA units system would have a unit (MC for Micro) added at the bottom.

Why should an increase of the maximum number of tokens be necessary in the future?

In just a few years experts expect more than 50 billion devices in IoT. Imagine how they will pay each other for services with small amounts of IOTA tokens. Currently (Sep’19) there are about 2.78 billion MIOTA at about 23 cents per MIOTA. Now imagine that the majority of these IoT devices contain on average the equivalent of 1 USD in Iota. This scenario means that there can be no doubt that the price of iota will have to rise due to scarcity, which also means that in due time, splitting into smaller units may be necessary in order to grow further. New applications (e.g. digital assets) could also make an increase necessary in the future.

More Details

Buying Tokens

Overview over different exchanges and their advantages and disadvantages.

Wallets & Security

General security tips when handling your own crypto assets and overview of the different types of wallets.

Token Economics

Is the IOTA Token even needed? Uses, benefits and value of the Token.

Token Price

IOTA is creating a completely new ecosystem in which various services can be offered or purchased autonomously. Why should the token price increase?


Is volatility a problem for IOTA? What does volatility even mean? How could IOTAs volatility be reduced?

e-Euro vs. IOTA token

Could IOTA be replaced by a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?


Original source

Last Updated on 16. October 2021