The IOTA side project Shimmer (SMR) is entering a downward spiral. One reason for this is a statement by IOTA Foundation head Dominik Schiener, who has effectively written off Shimmer and thus infuriated the community.
“A token that is owned by the community does not work” – this is how IOTA Foundation head Dominik Schiener addressed Shimmer (SMR) at the weekend. The quote was spread by IOTAPoet via X and the consequences of Schiener’s assessment can be seen directly in Shimmer’s price curve. SMR slipped to a new all-time low of USD 0.023 on Saturday and has barely recovered since then. In the IOTA and Shimmer community, there is a lack of understanding and even anger as to why Schiener is now publicly denouncing the side project SMR, which was launched in fall 2022.
Shimmer had only just announced an airdrop worth 1 million US dollars, promising positive momentum. IOTA influencer IOTAVrom takes refuge in sarcasm and comments via X: “Great move once again.” First the IOTA Foundation advertises the SMR Airdrop and then it switches to “shitposting” about Shimmer in order to push the price down further, according to IOTAVrom. One thing is clear: the SMR airdrop is not working. The data from DeFiLlama speaks for itself: Shimmer’s TVL has increased by just over one million US dollars since the registration phase for the SMR airdrop began – and it ends on Wednesday (February 14). The Shimmer airdrop will likely become a zero-sum game instead of a symbol of expansion for the IOTA ecosystem in the targeted decentralized finance (DeFi) space.
IOTA and Shimmer will compete with each other in the future
Shimmer was initially conceived as a testnet for IOTA and was then to sharpen its own profile with the integration of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) from fall 2023 at the latest. But now Schiener writes, “we should abandon our dreams of Shimmer becoming a TOP 100 coin or pumping to 10 US dollars”. Although Schiener half-heartedly invokes the future significance of SMR for the IOTA ecosystem, he fails to provide any substantive details. A recent official blog post by Shimmer on future plans also offers more buzzwords than ideas on how SMR should differentiate itself from IOTA in the future.
This is because Schiener has long since made IOTA the main focus again and has also promised the integration of EVM by April at the latest. From a technological point of view, IOTA and Shimmer would then be congruent in their functionalities for the time being. This is foreseeable: IOTA, with its long history and a market capitalization of still just under USD 800 million, will swallow Shimmer’s DeFi groundwork with the introduction of the EVM.
Conclusion: Erratic communication from Schiener harms IOTA and Shimmer
The IOTA community received SMR for free through staking and now feels mocked by Schiener. Not forgotten is the IOTA inflation hammer that Schiener single-handedly pushed through in September 2023, which also led to mockery of investors by the foundation. Meanwhile, Schiener dreams of a decentralized IOTA 2.0 in 2024 and a return to the top 10 of the most important cryptocurrencies. However, the failed Shimmer airdrop and IOTA co-founder Schiener’s usual chaotic communication strategy are just two factors that are dampening hopes. SMR’s recent all-time low reflects the markets’ opinion of Shimmer.
The situation does not look much better for IOTA itself, with prices of around USD 0.25, the once coveted altcoin is struggling to remain among the 100 most important cryptocurrencies. When Schiener took over the leadership of the IOTA Foundation in a coup in December 2020, IOTA was still trading at around USD 0.30. By comparison, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at around USD 20,000 in mid-December 2020 and is currently trading at around USD 48,000. Investors don’t need a calculator to see this: IOTA and Shimmer are unable to benefit from upward trends on the crypto markets, but are increasingly disappearing into insignificance, also of their own making.