AMA – Answers for newcomers!

AMA – Answers for newcomers!

Hello, newcomers!

As dozens of people are flying into our great big family every hour, I think it makes sense to provide you with a little bit of help.

This guide won’t be fancy with pictures, this guide will be “first aid”.


You want to understand IOTA?

Read this Reddit post and follow the links! That should be a good basis.

Also a good source:

For any other things I started an AMA:

Just press F3 or press search in your browser if you’re looking for a specific keyword because I won’t sort the answers. 



1)Why do I have to generate addresses to see my balance in my wallet?

IOTA does not save a local wallet file (like wallet.dat for BTC) so your seed is basically your “password”. If you generate addresses the system iterates through the database and checks if there is balance connected to your used addresses.

That way, you can access your funds all over the world, as long as you have your seed and a connected and synched wallet.

2)Why is my node not syncing?

Different reasons. First, it’s a difference if you use a light or a full node.

  • Do you have a synched server node for your light wallet? (
  • Do you have opened all your ports in your router?
    • Important are the ports you see behind the server node address (mostly 14265, 15600, etc)
  • Same applies for the full node
  • Are you fully synched?
    • GUI: click on View -Status
      • compare milestones with the milestones in #botbox of the main slack (not YDX)
    • Do you have enough synched neighbors? (Get neighbors in #nodesharing)
    • Are the ports, that your neighbors are using, opened in your environment (port forwarding is what you’re looking for)?
  • Do you have the latest version?
  • Do you have a good connection?

3)Should I spam with my light wallet, and if not why?

The light node is connected to a full node. Don’t do spamming with a light node, because it doesn’t make sense resource-wise as you reduce the connectivity of the light node server.

4)My transaction has been pending for over an hour, what should I do?

Try to replay(should work for 99% of all transactions). If it doesn’t work, try a new transaction from scratch. Spamming the network is always good for everyone, including you.

5)How do I keep my IOTA safe?

Your iotas are bound to your seed only.
First, make sure you have a secure + unique seed, so either you generate a seed over the seed generator in the GUI or you come up with 81 letters long, Latin, CAPITAL phrase, with a few 9’s included.

Don’t use a phrase like HERE9DO9I9STORE9MY9IOTA9DONT9HACK9ME.
Good example:  (no, there is no money on that seed and you should never use THAT seed for you.)


Since the seed is valuable, you can just print and secure it, offline, printed on paper, on diverse USB sticks, encrypted with KeePass.
With your seed, you are able to access your tokens everywhere on the planet with an internet connection and a fresh wallet.

Don’t lose it, it’s basically your money.
If you lose the seed, you will never restore the iotas, so make sure that is never going to happen!

6)Can I reuse addresses?

The help section of the GUI tells us:

“You can use an address for receiving as long as you have not used it for any outgoing transaction. What this means is that once you have sent a transaction with a specific address as input, you should never use it again. This is because IOTA uses Winternitz one-time signatures which degrade security exponentially after each reuse.”

7)Why do I have to replay transactions and how to do this?

Because sometimes, your transaction didn’t get referenced by the network. There is a good chance to get it confirmed but not all transaction get confirmed. Like about 2/3, so in all other cases you should try replay once.
If it never confirms, you can try a new transaction from scratch.

8)How comes when I enter my (old) seed into an updated wallet, my balance is zero? What can I do?

You need to generate addresses. See question 1

9)Since there’s a huge incentive at gaining control of more than 34% of the nodes, to steal money from the network, where’s the incentive for people to run full nodes thus creating a long-term, stable and wide community? 

Getting control over 34% of the nodes is hard to accomplish with mutual tethering. You had to look manually for all these nodes. A logistical nightmare.

  • The incentive to run a full node is: you believe in the tangle and you want to support it
  • You have a project on top of IOTA, so you need a secure connection
  • You don’t want to rely on the availability of a Lightnodeserver, so you run a full node.

10)Why must I attach an address to the tangle before using it, and what happens if I don’t?

edit: You can use the address already. Nothing happens, but you won’t see it in the history.

11)How can I check my transaction on the network? Are there any explorers?

There are some explorers.

Explorer with some features:

  • Current transactions
  • Address details
  • Tangle graph
  • Network load

Unofficial IOTA Explorer #1:

Unofficial IOTA Explorer #2:


12)Can we see recent distribution charts somewhere?

If you analyze the addresses in the tangle, or if you look at this assessment: you can get an idea of how

the iota are distributed.

Keep in mind that we have thousands of new users since March, so the distribution has HUGELY increased

13)Why did YDX stop trading?

IOTA will be listed starting with 13th June on known exchanges.
YDX stopped because they are preparing for a possible IPO and they need to upgrade their systems.
YDX is not connected to the IOTA foundation so their actions are independent


14)Do I need to set up a new address, every time I receive iotas?

Nope, not every time, see question 6

15)What would happen if I send out a new transaction before my previous transaction confirms(with a GUI)?

Before sending a new transaction, wait for the previous transaction to be confirmed.

16)How many % of iotas total supply are already distributed?

See question 12

17)When should I re-broadcast and when should I replay?


“Rebroadcasting is basically sending the exact same transaction to all of your neighbors again. Most of the time, apart from a situation where you’re sure that your neighbors didn’t get your transactions, Replay is more useful to get your transaction accepted by the network.

Replay is the process by which you “re-attach” your transactions to a different part of the Tangle, in the hopes of getting your transaction accepted. As such, you are completely redoing the transaction process (tip selection and Proof of Work).”


18)Why does my transaction, my address not confirm?

Maybe a connection problem, maybe the coordinator is offline, under maintenance right now (today, June 5th. In coming times, it won’t be shut off without announcement)

Check question 2

19)All my transactions are pending and don’t confirm, what can I do?

Check question 2 or replay.

20)Do we get another snapshot? What does that mean?

Yes, we get another snapshot before the 13th June.
A snapshot is a method to reduce the size of the tangle database.

You possibly need to claim your tokens, once the snapshot is successfully performed.

21)What is claiming?

Claiming means, that you transfer your tokens from the old databases (before the snapshot) into the new database (after the snapshot)

If you forget that, you will never be able to get access to your tokens again, so always stay in touch and claim if necessary.

This is your duty, so don’t blame the IOTA foundation if you didn’t keep track of the recent developments.

Not every snapshot has a claiming period, the ones that have it will be announced accordingly.

22)Is it right that I should use an adresse to receive only once? What if I did use it twice or more?

You can use an address as long as you want. If you use that address for an outgoing transaction once, you should generate and use a new one from then on. Look at question 6.

23)What does the network spammer do exactly?

It conducts zero-value transactions.
Since IOTA has the condition that you have to confirm two other transactions before you can send one yourself, you give more than you take and help other transactions to confirm.

Your node does Proof of work, similar to hashcash, to confirm the two other transactions.

Spamming is therefore good for confirmation timings.

24)Is there a new IOTA wallet for android too?

Yes. see: is responsible for that. Keep an eye on that or contact the developers in the main slack.


25)Is it wise to share the node addresses you’re connected to? Or is it wise to keep that private?

You shouldn’t share your neighbors with everyone. Mutual tethering should happen in private messages.

26)If a transaction never confirms, is it possible to “cancel” it?

No, just ignore it.

27)When will IOTA be on other exchanges like Bittrex?

Starting from 13th June, many exchanges gonna list IOTA.
We can expect a lot more announcements in the following days and weeks as IOTA is a highly appreciated asset for them.

28)Should I keep my iota on YDX or on other exchanges or transfer them to my wallet. 

Always keep them in your own hands!

29)What is the max amount of transaction per second?

Almost infinite.

IOTA theoretically is only hindered by physical and infrastructural bottlenecks.  IOTA scales as much as the internet and future storage systems allow it to.

So we can expect a lightning fast transaction settlement system that overcomes almost every problem of existing systems.

30)If IOTA is for IoT how will the bots deal with volatility? 

There is a solution on the way, but I don’t have the pay-grade to know details.

31)What features does it have? What about smart contracts or is just made to be fast?


“IOTA is a new distributed ledger. Both its technological underpinnings and unique features open up new use cases which were never before possible with old blockchain technologies. IOTA was created as an open source distributed ledger software project. While it was inspired by the immutability of blockchain technology, it solves nearly every problem inherent in blockchain protocols. Instead of a blockchain, a directed acyclic graph (DAG), the Tangle, is used. IOTA is mostly made for the IoT as the interoperability technology for data integrity and industrial appliances. Furthermore pay on demand, micro-payments, and machine to machine communication like sensor technology, smart cities, adaptive systems. To make it short: as the backbone for the Internet of Things.


Infinite scalability, lightweight design, quantum secure, no transaction fees, no blocks, no mining, POW for transaction approval, JINN-processor-supported in the future, ternary (not binary).
Smart contracts will be enables soon. On top of that, Oracles will be implemented. We get more info about that in the following months.

32)When will IOTA be on Azure (Windows) and also on IBM cloud?

IOTA is part of the testing lab for Azure and I’m pretty sure that IBM also is looking into it, but I guess most of that is behind NDA’s and I have not more information about that.


33)Will IOTA be traded in iota, Miota or Giota?

IOTA will be traded in Miota


I will possibly add other questions but these are all for now.

14 Replies to “AMA – Answers for newcomers!”

  1. Cool FAQ!

    Regarding 9) Where does the figure of 34% come from?
    Additional question) Is there anywhere some information regarding the updated tip-selection mechanism

  2. Isn’t this easy theft? by guessing seeds; a program made for “discovering pass-phrases”(for example) can easily find anyones ‘seed’ specially giving the hacker the obvious hint of the numbers 1 through 8 isn’t in their seed and there is a max character of 81 letters … how does the wallet know its own owner, Me. ?

    1. Just to find a random seed, not one, in particular, just a random seed would take a few billion years with all global computational power combined.
      If a hacker wants to broodforce this system, and he finds a seed with $741 worth of iota (after a few billion years), well I guess we’re having a big problem then. hehe

  3. Hi Limo,

    Thanks for the AMA. I have a question on answers №20 and №21.

    If I have IOTAs stored in my local desktop wallet and were not aware of a soon-to-be happening snapshot, does that mean I would lose all the IOTAs stored in my wallet/seed?

    Answers to questions 20 and 21 imply I would, if I understood correctly…

    1. Only if the snapshot would inherit a claiming period.
      These “happenings” are very rare and a long time beforehand announced, so don’t worry

  4. Hi Limo,
    Thanks, I am a reader from Malaysia. Owing to certain reason, medium link is blocked in my country. Thus I could not access those articles and press in medium. It will be helpful if these can be in pdf for us in Malaysia to access. Thanks.

    1. There are too many medium posts for me to put into a PDF.
      I suggest you use a proxy, vpn service (like a chrome extension) to access everything.
      That should work!

  5. Sorry , but I did not see my issue addressed or maybe Zim just didn’t understand the technical jargon. I have a confirmation of my transfer but am unable to see my balance in my wallet. It shows “0.” Can you please explain to me how to get my IOTA into my wallet. Sorry but I’m not technically savy. Step by step would be helpful. I suspect that many others would also appreciate it. I’ve been chasing my IOTA since the 4th of July. Thanks for understanding.

    1. If you have a confirmation, it’s very likely, that you entered the seed or sent the tokens to a wrong address.
      If not, try to use the same light-node server then you used when you sent them.

  6. What if soon to expect quantum computer which will then hack randomly seeds and stole the funds from the unlucky owners?

    1. how will he do that? we have winternitz one time signature scheme.
      and where is the quantum computer?
      Building one would be a WAY bigger problem, then building enough hash power to crack one transaction but the question is: why would anyone try to do that when the micropayment only transports tiny amounts?
      This value-streaming is the vision, so no big amounts need to be sent with the tangle technology.

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