IOTA is a cryptocurrency that focuses on the internet of things, or IoT. Unlike Bitcoin, there’s no blockchain and there are no transaction fees. IOTA uses a ledger called Tangle where there are no fees for transactions, thereby making micro and nano-transactions possible, allowing devices to transact with one another.
Tangle and mining IOTA
Tangle is an encrypted system that’s built to withstand quantum computers, and transactions are all encrypted making it impossible to tell who the sender, receiver and amount transferred was.
Unlike bitcoin, which can be mined, the only way to get IOTA is to buy it on an exchange.
Only a few exchanges trade in IOTA: Coinone, Binance, and Bitfinex. Some exchanges only allow transfer between Ethereum, or Bitcoin and IOTA.
The best way to buy IOTA is to first use an exchange like Coinbase to buy Ethereum, then transfer you Ethereum to one of the above exchanges and then buy IOTA. We’re recommending Ethereum because the transaction fee is lower than Bitcoin.
To hold IOTA you need a wallet and only one wallet is supported at this time: you get it from IOTA’s GitHub page. The process is involved, so we go into the key points here.
First, get the latest version of the wallet for your operating system from here: https://github.com/iotaledger/wallet/releases. Make sure you select the right installer for your operating system.
When you run the installer it will ask you whether you want to select a full node or light node – a light node is good enough. It will also ask you to select a site and port – all of them are equivalent so you can select whichever one you want.
Once the installer has finished, the wallet will ask you for a Seed with a Login button below it. A seed is your wallet ID, and gets generated by web page. Visit this page to generate your seed: https://iotasupport.com/gui-newseed.shtml. There’s a link on that page that starts with https://ipfs.io/ipfs… Click that link and move your mouse around to generate a new seed. Save the seed in a private and secure place – recovery of your wallet is not possible without the seed. Paste the Seed into the Seed box of the wallet application and you’re presented with your wallet’s balance.
This article introduced you to IOTA and described some of the differences between it and Bitcoin. We also explained how to get an IOTA wallet.