IOTA is a cryptocurreny (coin) which was inspired by Bitcoin but is vastly different in design and implementation. The project is not a fork of any coin but is an independent project initially created by David Sonstebo, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Shiener, and Serguei Popov. The team has turned into non-profit organization which consists of board of directors, supervisory board, executive team, development team and advisors.
Instead of using a Blockchain, IOTA uses a Directed AcyclicShow more [+] aph(DAG), namely Tangle. Traditionally blockchain-based currencies require miners to verify transactions but in the case of Tangle, when you send a transaction your transaction needs to verify two other transactions in order for it to start being verified by later ones. This means IOTA's users will sustain the network by themselves without needing any third party. This makes IOTA an ideal candidate for micropayments since payments carry no fees.