Iota Foundation to launch staging network and reward token

The Iota Foundation has announced the upcoming launch of a staging network, Shimmer, in a bid to advance through the Iota roadmap toward fully functional decentralization.

The layer-one network will act as an innovation testbed for developers and builders in the community seeking to evaluate decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) applications. This sandbox model allows applications to establish efficiency and compatibility prior to launching on the Iota mainnet, ensuring smooth deployment.

The first major network upgrades hosted on the Shimmer network are a programmable multi-asset ledger, smart contracts, full decentralization and sharding.

The Iota Foundation is an open-source, not-for-profit entity — known as a stiftung in Germany — that was founded in 2018 to support multifaceted initiatives within the Iota ecosystem, such as research, development and education in the distributed ledger technology space.

IOTA token holders will be granted the ability to earn staking rewards in SMR via the platform’s Firefly wallet. Following a token distribution over the coming months, the Shimmer network is slated to launch in early 2022.

Dominik Schiener, co-founder and chairman of the Iota Foundation, cited the recent success of Polkadot’s canary network, Kusama, to explain the company’s assurance of market receptiveness toward this announcement.

“As we’ve seen with the success of Kusama and Polkadot, the Shimmer network will become an incentivized staging network offering crucial testing and public validation to our ambitious development roadmap.”

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In mid-October, the Iota Foundation released its smart contract beta platform with the ambition of fostering the growth of DeFi and NFT applications as a result of proposed incentives of lower fees and higher scalability.

Schiener also outlined the potential risks of the network and how the team has worked to mitigate their probability.

“Introducing tokenization, complex output types, smart contracts and new consensus offers exciting new opportunities. These opportunities aren’t without significant risks, however, and Shimmer will ensure the safety of each upgrade. With Shimmer, we are supercharging the innovation playground around IOTA.”