The IOTA Foundation’s Dynamic Start to the Year

The IOTA Foundation started the year with significant advancements across its many projects and initiatives, from core protocol enhancements and smart contracts to developer experience and community engagement.

The Shimmer EVM has enabled seamless interaction with DeFi applications, marking a significant leap in fostering a vibrant ecosystem for developers and users within the Shimmer network. Meanwhile, preparations for the IOTA EVM launch are advancing, with a soft launch phase already populating the chain with essential tools and applications, setting the stage for a comprehensive ecosystem expansion.

Highlighting the collaborative efforts of various departments, this quarterly report represents a robust beginning to an ambitious year.

Engineering and Protocol Research

The IOTA Core team is dedicated to researching and conceptualizing enhancements for the core protocol, alongside implementing these advancements within the reference node software. This quarter, progress on the IOTA 2.0 implementation advanced smoothly. Improvements have been made to the iota-core node software's performance, and its API has been adjusted to better meet the requirements of the SDK, explorer, and wallet teams. Emphasis has been placed on rigorously testing the node software across multiple large-scale deployments and under various load and attack conditions. This approach aims to identify issues and fine-tune protocol parameters.

The Client Libraries team is responsible for producing the libraries/SDKs for developers (internal and external) to interact with the core IOTA protocol. In the last three months, the team has implemented all of the 2.0 TIP concepts in the Rust SDK, exposed them in the Nodejs, Wasm, and Python bindings, and made them available through the CLI wallet. Currently, the team is providing support to Firefly, fixing bugs, adding tests, and cleaning up the codebase.

The L2 Smart Contracts team develops solutions that provide programmability in the form of EVM/Wasm-based smart contracts as distinct side chains with enshrined bridges to L1 IOTA. A lot of progress has been made in adapting IOTA Smart Contracts to be IOTA 2.0-ready. A strong push for better UX using L1 assets on L2 has been made. Additionally, the team created a Legacy migration chain to automate the migration of pre-Chrysalis funds. Finally, preparations for the deployment of IOTA EVM are underway.

In Q1, the Developer Experience team made significant progress in both creating new and updating current content for Shimmer EVM to facilitate developer onboarding, particularly around EVM, its tools, and the IOTA Smart Contract’s protocol’s unique features. They have also developed the IOTA Sandbox to create a single tool that can be used for local development and CI/CD tests.

The Tooling team develops infrastructure applications that build on top of the core IOTA protocol, such as the explorer or wallet software. Over the past quarter, the team has been working on the development of Firefly Canary and Explorer versions compatible with IOTA 2.0 in anticipation of the Public Testnet. Additionally, the new IOTA Legacy Migration Tool was released, resuming the process of migrating pre-Chrysalis funds. Finally, the team has also focused on enhancing and maintaining the production versions of Firefly IOTA, Firefly Shimmer, and Explorer, ensuring usability and reliability for users.

The Identity team introduced selective disclosure credentials via the SD-JWT format, allowing credential holders to decide which attributes they want to share when presenting a credential. The team also added support for StatusList2021, a revocation mechanism that supports high-volume issuers that potentially need to issue credentials for millions of users. Lastly, the first version of the experimental Identity gRPC service was released, which allows the integration of IOTA Identity in any application stack via a language-agnostic gRPC API, simplifying the adoption significantly.

The DevOps team maintains and monitors infrastructure services, including all the different networks relating to IOTA and Shimmer. This quarter, notable updates by the DevOps team included working on an IOTA 2.0 network deployment and deploying a first testing network for testing iota-core.

The SUSEE team (“Secure Sensoring Platforms for Smart Energy Grids”) researches and designs scalable solutions for reliable and secure data transmission and processing in sensor networks. This quarter, the team set up a SUSEE node, providing all necessary services to support the planned field test. The services have been load-tested and the configuration has been fine-tuned. The SUSEE node has been successfully integrated into the LoRaWAN communication infrastructure of our project partners. Furthermore, the tooling for sensor initialization and message decoding has been improved to support multiple parallel sensor initialization and easier retrieval.

The EBSI Taskforce, responsible for assisting the IOTA Foundation’s participation in the EU Blockchain Pre-Commercial Procurement in research-related matters, has finalized its work on Phase 2B as outlined in the tender. All the deliverables expected for this phase were finalized and presented, and currently, the taskforce is waiting for the results.

Ecosystem Department

The Ecosystem Team has undergone a significant expansion and increased in size from three to eight members to better address the demands of upcoming initiatives. This growth underlines the IOTA Foundation’s commitment to nurturing its Ecosystem and catalyzing new projects. For example, throughout this quarter, the Ecosystem team has defined, planned, and developed the IOTA Grants concept, having recently successfully introduced and launched it to the community. Moreover, the Ecosystem Team focused on formulating and executing a strategy for the launch of the IOTA EVM. This involved ensuring the availability of all necessary infrastructure to facilitate a seamless launch process.

March was a busy month for IOTA and Shimmer Governance, with the yearly elections around the Tangle Community Treasury taking place on both networks. The votes were finalized at the end of March and the results and further steps will follow in April.

In the Shimmer and IOTA (EVM) Ecosystem, Shimmer EVM works like a charm, with the community happily engaging with DeFi apps in the EVM. Preparations for the launch of IOTA EVM are present everywhere, with builder teams and the community ramping up efforts to make IOTA EVM a great success. The Ecosystem department has been busy organizing the IOTA EVM launch and the onboarding of essential infrastructure. Since March 18, the IOTA EVM has been in a “soft-launch” phase, where the chain is populated with the necessary tools and applications for the highly anticipated public launch.

Many new builder teams were onboarded onto Touchpoint, which is being developed into an IOTA Builders Hub. Most alignments for the IOTA EVM launch between the IOTA Foundation and builders happen there, and we have been extending the server constantly

The Legal and Regulatory Affairs Department has been busily working on getting the UAE DLT Foundation fully operational. We are also closely cooperating with an Islamic finance institute to get our network fully Sharia-compatible. TLIP was supported by us in various ways and we made a lot of progress on our Web3 Identity Verification project.

In Q1, the Social Impact and Sustainability team kickstarted the year by hosting two additional community calls with BC100+ initiative signatories and publishing together with the steering committee a second and third newsletter on BC100+. Additionally, it continued its contribution to the INATBA Social Impact & Sustainability Working Group, which included planning 2024 priorities.


As already mentioned in this blog post, preparations for the release of the IOTA 2.0 testnet are well underway, with the infrastructure deployment being prepared, preparations to release the necessary tooling, including a Firefly version and node software, as well as respective documentation and proper TIP documentation.

For current updates on the work of our various teams and working groups, join our community on Discord or follow us on X/Twitter.

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