On December 20, MIT Media and the MIT Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) issued a public statement written by DCI Director Joi Ito, refuting an article published by the institution’s own MIT Technology Review about IOTA’s potential to outperform bitcoin.
MIT DCI Criticizes IOTA
On December 14, MIT Technology Review’s Mike Orcutt published an article entitled “A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built to Outperform Bitcoin.” In it, Orcutt introduced various works and partnerships IOTA has led throughout 2017 and the technical intricacies of the network.
Specifically, Orcutt’s article delved into the non-blockchain platform of IOTA and how the elimination of the blockchain technology in a cryptocurrency can maximize scaling.
However, within a week of the article’s publication, MIT Media, DCI, and Joi Ito released a column to refute the reporting of MIT Technology Review’s Michael Orcutt. Ito and the rest of the MIT DCI team wrote that the initial article of Orcutt contained a flurry of inaccuracies and misrepresentation of IOTA’s works.
In the beginning, Orcutt noted that the IOTA Foundation had secured strategic partnerships with some of the global technology industry’s largest conglomerates, including Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, and Fujitsu.
Previously, many news publications and media outlets have reported that IOTA had secured a partnership with Microsoft, which led the price of IOTA’s native token MIOTA to surge by nearly 100 percent.
Researchers at MIT DCI explained that IOTA’s partnerships with top-tier companies were misrepresented. In an interview with The Next Web, IOTA founder Dominik Schiener admitted that IOTA had not secured an alliance with companies participating in testing the IOTA marketplace. Schiener emphasized that they are participants, not partners.
“We have never mentioned that any of the companies which are participating in the marketplace are our ‘partners.’” said Schiener. “We call them participants.”
But, the MIT DCI team noted that the IOTA Foundation corrected their relationship status after the reports were released, not prior to the release of the official press release and media reports:
“After a flurry of media reports making this claim, IOTA corrected their relationship status with top-tier companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Huawei in a blog post dated December 16. That the MIT Tech Review story links to IOTA’s initial blog post instead of the later version is misleading.”
More importantly, MIT DCI expressed its concerns over the article of Orcutt describing IOTA as a tamper-proof decentralized ledger. Its researchers explained that the entire IOTA network was temporarily shut down in November and inoperable for three days. No decentralized leading public blockchain network in the market such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin have demonstrated such occurrences in the past.