News began to circulate beginning Nov. 28, stemming from thenextweb and Reuters that IOTA has partnered with Microsoft, Samsung, Cisco, Volkswagen, Fujitsu, and many others in a 2-month long project that aims to make the data marketplace a truly global, decentralized collaborative effort. 

Days later multiple media outlets ran with it, including CNBC, causing a 70% surge to occur on Sunday alone. Since then IOTA has been steadily climbing:

Update: CNBC has removed Cisco from their article

Check out the insane 24-hour volume last updated on December 5th:

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Everyone is excited over the promise of what these partnerships may bring to IOTA and data decentralization overall.

The only problem is, several of these partnerships are not real.

These companies are talking to each other, there is no doubt about that. Microsoft and IOTA are set to meet in Paris on Dec. 14. Fujitsu CEO Dr. Rolf Werner constantly tweets his love and support for IOTA, but as far as an official partnership …

This is the only tangible evidence linking Microsoft to IOTA. Nothing on Microsoft’s website to confirm this. We have reached out to Omkar Naik to confirm:

What about Cisco?

Again nothing official exists, so we at Squawker reached out to them directly. This is their response:

“Thank you for reaching out on this. I have confirmed that your suspicion was right—Cisco has not teamed up with IOTA.

Both Cisco and IOTA are both founding members of the Trusted IoT Alliance (sometimes abbreviated TIOTA). That is the only connection between the two companies at this time.  I am reaching out to Reuters to let them know as well.”

– Christine Johansen: PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER.IMC

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This same lack of official publication exists for Volkswagen. I cannot find anything on their sites and have also reached out for clarification.

There is this promotional video, so a partnership is very possible, if not now certainly in the future. There is no mention of a partnership in this video:

Now check out IOTA’s price action as of Dec. 5th:

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Were the announcement of all of these fabricated partnerships part of an engineered pump and dump? Certainly seems like it. 

When you have a market cap of just under $10 billion and you see close to $1.5 billion in market volume in one day, that to me raises major red flags.

IOTA’s Vulnerability Issue Discovered by MIT

Then I come across this, tweeted on Dec. 4th by Kyle Samani: cofounder and manager of a cryptocurrency fund called Multicoin Capital:

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This is the article in which MIT disclosed IOTA’s vulnerability: Cryptographic vulnerabilities in IOTA, written by Neha Narula: Director, Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

It is important to note that the vulnerability they discovered no longer exists in IOTA, however, Neha had this to say:

There are other red flags — unlike every other program running on your laptop or phone, IOTA uses ternary instead of binary. Since all computer hardware today uses binary, IOTA converts to ternary in software, which is less efficient and more complex. This complexity prevents IOTA from benefiting from existing security analysis tools that are designed to work with binary, and makes the code harder to read and understand. Another inefficiency is that transactions in IOTA are 10KB (in contrast, Bitcoin transactions are on average 600B), meaning that this is not well-suited to devices with limited storage, like those used for IoT, one of the developers’ primary use cases. The current IOTA tangle requires a trusted party (the coordinator) for security, suggesting that in its current form it’s not ready to run as a truly permissionless, decentralized system. Others have written about IOTA’s use of a trusted coordinator and asked about the incentive structure — whether users of their system have an incentive to converge the tangle if each acted selfishly.

… the fact that none of IOTA’s partners raised these concerns about a glaring vulnerability in a ~$2B cryptocurrency, or spoke about the other red flags, is worrisome. 

Once again IOTA proves that due diligence is vital before making an investment decision.

Recommended Article: Why I find Iota deeply alarming