IOTA: Foundation head Schiener sings praises – but basics are still missing

At IOTA, co-founder and foundation head Dominik Schiener is increasingly polarizing. While Schiener praises IOTA to the skies, investors are increasingly aggressive in asking where promised developments are.

In better times, Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA, could be sure of almost unrestricted support from the community as head of the foundation. But the support is showing cracks, as a recent post by Schiener on Twitter shows. There, Schiener touts IOTA as perfect for use in the context of stablecoins and government-backed digital currencies (CBDCs), pointing to a $5 trillion market there over the next five years. But in the comments on this, Schiener no longer finds only applause for it; a good half of the panelists would prefer to follow up on IOTA in terms of technological advancements. Some examples:

– Schiener uses the term DLT (distributed ledger technology) and thus implies decentralization. But the decentralization promised with IOTA for at least five years is still pending, and Schiener has avoided talking about the associated “Coordicide” project for quite some time. This is intended to do away with the central coordinator on IOTA’s Tangle network. For CBDCs, this may even be undesirable – but for serious use of IOTA in lines of business like Decentralized Finance (DeFi), the central coordinator is a no-go. If the Coordicide aka IOTA 2.0 doesn’t come soon, it could mean the end for IOTA, some think and urgently ask for a target date.

– The official IOTA Firefly IOTA Wallet has often been a problem child. The mobile version was released a whopping 17 months late in September 2022 – and Firefly Mobile still lacks at least one basic feature, namely staking. That, too, has been a critical comment on Schiener’s recent IOTA paean on Twitter, asking for a date for the integration of the necessary feature. Elsewhere, a Twitter user has already derided Schiener’s appearance for IOTA in this context as a “roadshow of a medical doctor” and quite rightly noted that a non-fully functional mobile wallet Firefly is a huge obstacle to market penetration for IOTA.

– Of course, the topic of smart contracts, which IOTA is aiming for by integrating the standard Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) module, should not be missing. But the EVM is to celebrate its debut for the ecosystem at the IOTA side project Shimmer (SMR) first. There, the EVM had already been promised for 2022 – but is still stuck in the testnet today. Schiener is silent here as well.

When IOTA communicated in May 2021 that it would no longer publish any timetables for further development, the criticism of this was rather quiet. But more than two years later, large parts of the community and investors are tired of the eternal “soon”, “shortly”, “soon” and feel fooled. Thus, Schiener is now also being targeted as a “scammer” and IOTA is being compared to bullshit. It remains conspicuous that the man in his late twenties does not even respond to friendly inquiries and thus in reality only continues to feed the rumor mill.

Conclusion: IOTA and Shimmer heading for the siding? Chief Schiener remains an optimist

We published two reviews of the IOTA ecosystem this month, the one on Shimmer can be found here and the one on IOTA itself here. If Schiener now wants to jump on the bandwagon of stablecoins, which are currently making headlines, it seems to critical observers more like an attempt to distract from the actual and urgent problems in the IOTA ecosystem.

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