Interview: IOTA Foundation Plans to Bring Billions of Assets on-Chain through RWA Tokenization, Says Dominik Schiener

  • Dominik Schiener emphasized IOTA’s strategic shift towards Real-World Asset (RWA) tokenization, aiming to digitize billions of assets onto the ecosystem.
  • Schiener emphasized IOTA’s pioneering use of Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology, distinguishing it from other cryptocurrencies and enabling seamless collaboration with various entities globally.

Collin Brown: Mr. Schiener, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Let’s start with a basic question: What inspired you to found IOTA?

Dominik Sheiner: When crypto started to take off, it was driven by a strong ethos to cut out middlemen and give back control to its users. Bitcoin was a tremendous inspiration and paved the way for a whole industry that followed this ethos, but it became very apparent very early on that the underlying proof of work could not scale endlessly and, therefore, could not serve humanity. This realization led many to seek better technical solutions, which also led to the founding of IOTA.

Collin Brown: How does IOTA differ from other cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects?

Dominik Sheiner: All Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) share fundamental principles, such as immutability. They primarily differ in how various aspects that make a DLT are prioritized, resulting in slight variations in outcomes. Consequently, the technology itself has, to some extent, become commoditized.

I would argue that the IOTA Foundation stands out significantly, not only for its pioneering use of Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology as the underlying data structure but also due to its unique positioning as a nonprofit foundation registered in Germany. While this status imposes regulatory challenges, it also provides significant advantages in applying the technology. We face no barriers in collaborating with corporations, governments, the European Commission, and other nation-states. Our operations under the vigilant oversight of the German government instill an enormous level of trust unmatched by any other project, which benefits us greatly.

Collin Brown: What challenges did you have to overcome in the development of IOTA?

Dominik Sheiner: We started from scratch with nothing. People forget, but IOTA has never raised any money other than the initial $500,000 from the crowd sale in 2015. So we had to bootstrap the entire operation, our token, and our technology. Instead of copying a known architecture and improving on it in one or the other aspect, we started from zero and were the first to make use of a directed acyclic graph that allows for parallelization. Parallelization is obviously much more efficient than using a single-threaded blockchain, but it also faces concurrency issues, which we had to overcome.

Collin Brown: IOTA has focused heavily on the IoT market in the past but has shifted focus recently. Which use cases do you see as particularly promising?

Dominik Sheiner: The Internet of Things is still relevant, but the world has moved on. While we might not use the term “IoT” much longer, automation and digitization are more prevalent than ever. The IOTA Foundation, nevertheless has enlarged its scope and nowadays focuses more on tokenization. We believe it’s the silver bullet of cryptocurrencies. The ability to tokenize assets and make use of them in an immutable, self-determined fashion that does not require any middlemen is what’s missing in our current, highly digitized life. It also is the biggest untapped market — most value on this planet is stuck in dormant, analog assets. Our vision with IOTA is to bridge the real world to Web3 through our regulatory work; the use cases we pursue, such as RWA tokenization; and the ecosystem builders we promote in our network.

Collin Brown: What milestones has IOTA achieved so far and what are the next steps?

Dominik Sheiner: I think it’s safe to say that the IOTA Foundation is the unchallenged global authority on DAGs. After sometimes painful years of research and development, the upcoming phase will fully focus on the application of the technology.

IOTA was the pioneer in showcasing use cases and applications that go beyond the typical crypto casino. We were the ones to show how blockchain can be used in the real world. Today, we have some of the largest and most successful use cases outside of crypto, such as trade finance, logistics tracking, digital product passports, and regional vouchers.

Now we are taking this to the next level by entering RWA tokenization to bring billions of assets on-chain to IOTA.

Collin Brown: What are your long-term visions for IOTA?

Dominik Sheiner: Ultimately, we want to make an impact on society. Right now, it’s apparent to everyone that humanity is facing tremendous challenges. DLTs are not only a technology that offers better security than any other technology before it, but they also come with much higher transparency and fairness. We believe that it will be the technology that acts as an enabler of a better, self-determined future that benefits everyone.

With IOTA, we want to be the ones to realize blockchain’s full potential and get it adopted in the real world. This is why we have made a significant investment in Africa and are continuing to pursue these use cases. We firmly believe that this will be the future of our industry, where DeFi, stablecoins, and so on are the building blocks of our digital economy. IOTA is the infrastructure on which this digital economy will run.

Collin Brown: What price can MIOTA reach in this bull cycle?

Dominik Sheiner: We as an entity do not participate in the practice of making lofty yet largely baseless predictions. Only the application and usefulness of a technology can determine its value. So far, most cryptocurrencies focus too much on speculating about a glorious future instead of building that future. We are convinced of the future success of IOTA and work tirelessly on it, but we do not dare to predict how quickly it will come to fruition. Time will tell, but needless to say, we see IOTA as one of the leaders of this industry and will do everything in our power to make sure that IOTA fulfills its real potential.

Collin Brown: Thank you, Mr. Schiener, for your time and the interesting insights into IOTA and the future of IOTA.

On June 4th, the IOTA Foundation launched its EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) Mainnet, enhancing blockchain capabilities for real-world asset integration, introducing features such as smart contracts, cross-chain functionality, and strong infrastructure support. You can find the most current IOTA news here or on our brand new YouTube channel.

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