At the end of 2021, Assembly (ASMB) was introduced as a commercial side project at IOTA and staking started. Now the staking of ASMB goes into the fourth and last round. But the future of Assembly is uncertain.
In the IOTA ecosystem, the Assembly (ASMB) side project is under special scrutiny. That’s because a lot has changed in IOTA’s strategic expansion since Assembly was first announced in December 2021, and they’re now focusing on the second major side project, Shimmer (SMR). In the summer, IOTA CEO Dominik Schiener hinted that an official launch of Assembly is in jeopardy because promised external venture capital failed to materialize. But nonetheless, IOTA and Assembly are sticking to offering staking for ASMB. In a blog post, the IOTA Foundation states that on Monday (November 7), the fourth and final staking round for ASMB will begin.
According to this, in order to participate, you need to install the IOTA Firefly Wallet in the latest version 1.7.0. Then you will be able to register your IOTA there for the staking of ASMB. This should be possible from today in a so-called pre-staking period. Starting on Monday, 0.000001 Assembly will then be credited every 10 seconds per 1 MIOTA over 90 days. But watch out: ASMB is still only a planned coin. Whether Assembly will actually get its own mainnet in the future like Shimmer and could then be listed on crypto exchanges seems uncertain. Even after repeated inquiries, for example on Twitter, there are no concrete answers from the IOTA Foundation as to what the next steps for Assembly will be.
Even in the IOTA community, there are doubts about where Assembly should still find a meaningful place in the ecosystem. Since Shimmer made its way to crypto exchanges, SMR would be a direct competitor for ASMB. Meanwhile, external projects that want to dock with IOTA are choosing Shimmer as a place to go because of the imminent launch of smart contracts there. Where in this situation Assembly might develop its own appeal is hard to see.
Conclusion: Is IOTA still doing itself a favor with Assembly?
IOTA critics see Assembly staking as a red herring that excludes whether ASMB can ever develop monetary value in practice. Clear statements about Assembly’s future have eluded IOTA Foundation CEO Schiener for months, and on his Twitter account he promotes Shimmer, not Assembly anymore. So there is also a scenario in the room where ASMB Staking now goes into the final round as promised, but Assembly never reaches the status of a functioning network. Still, of course, if you’re interested in Assembly and hold IOTA credit, you can now claim ASMB for free by participating in the Staking round.