IOTA has overtaken ripple to become the world’s fourth biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. While investors have been preoccupied with bitcoin’s dramatic price rises this year IOTA has been exploding. By yesterday it had risen 900% in a month. In the last 24 hours it passed $3 for the first time, then $4, and at time of writing is trading over $5. A month ago it was valued at $0.37.

Trading volumes were also breaking records. Yesterday more than $1 billion worth of IOTA was traded on the Bitfinex exchange. Today’s volume could easily be higher.

Driving interest is the launch of IOTA’s “Data Marketplace”, a way of monetizing data. IOTA appears to have solved one of cryptocurrencies’ biggest problems, credibility, with a long line of well-established corporations like Cisco and Microsoft partnering with IOTA Foundation on the project. In a statement Microsoft’s Omkar Naik revealed how excited he was about the IOTA’s potential:

This next generation technology will accelerate the connected, intelligent world and go beyond blockchain that will foster innovation real world solutions, applications and pilots for our customers.”

IOTA hopes to become the cryptocurrency of the internet of things. Instead of being blockchain-based It has developed an alternative, Tangle, which according to IOTA’s founders David Sønstebø and Dominik Schiener is more scalable and enables trading free of transaction fees.

Vote of Confidence

There had been concerns that IOTA’s benefits were largely theoretical and would not transfer well to the practical world of old hardware and legacy software. However, these recent partnerships have been a massive vote of confidence in the technology, and the market has responded accordingly.

Sønstebø said in an interview with CNBC that IOTA had not come out of nowhere but was a “sleeping giant”. Recent news had led to people becoming familiar with IOTA, and they liked what they saw.

Add that to the casual investor’s fear of missing out on the next bitcoin and it’s easy to see why IOTA is suddenly getting so much attention. IOTA has some way to go if it is to break into the top 3 cryptocurrencies, another $16 bn, in fact, though in the world of cryptocurrencies things can move very far, very fast.

IOTA Image Via Shutterstock