Friday, December 6, 2019

IOTA to Enable Geotagging for Users in Their Transactions

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Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on [email protected]

IOTA has announced an upgrade to its services which is the addition of a geotagging feature to its transactions. The platform introduced a new standard known as IOTA Area Codes (IACs), which will enable users to mark their transactions from anywhere in the world. This will give rise to more applications that will derive benefit from pinpointed locations.

How Does It Work?

Extra to the transfer of IOTA tokens, transactions performed on the platform can contain information. What does this mean? It means that geolocation data will become easier to store and retrieve.

Geotagged transactions can currently be viewed by users on a map, with each transaction being represented with an individual pin. Location data could also serve as sensor information.

However, IOTA achieved a significant breakthrough in IAC because it is a lot more accurate than Open Location Codes, the standard in which IAC is based. IOTA’s new standard will ensure the concise representation of the location and efficient querying.

The Application

A demo of the system has been released already by IOTA. Users can make use of the new web app to create geotagged transactions, query existing transactions and publish messages. The demo is powered by IOTA’s devnet which means that real IOTA transactions are not being used.

By the way, a similar app emerged last summer by name Dariota. The IOTA app is equipped with geotagging as well as better performing features. For instance, posts by users can be monetized on the platform. Dariota, on the other hand, does not have such privileges because it doesn’t have access to the new standard, thereby making it lack precision. Dariota is so limited in its search capabilities that only an 11 km² search can be completed by it at a time.

Issues Concerning Privacy

Geotagging often raises the issue of privacy. Photos are often geotagged automatically by cameras and phones which can be a risk to the parties involved.

Anyway, a user’s current location is not required by IOTA; instead, it helps them to link transactions to any location on the planet. Of course, it is possible for an IOTA wallet to prompt a user to share their current position, like lots of apps do, when a transaction is being sent, but such can be taken care of by permission requests.

However, blockchain technology has much more to offer than just keeping transactions anonymous. In fact, some blockchain projects are now eliminating privacy so that verifiable location tracking can become a major feature. With this approach, items will become more difficult to steal or misplace. But for now, IOTA will likely use geotagging for only specific tasks.

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