Prominent IOTA Crypto Investor Says mIOTA Is Centralized, Has Singular Point Of Failure
Early Stage Investor Claims IOTA Has A Single Practical Point Of Failure
IOTA, the blockchain project designed for the Internet of Things (IoT), and largely believed to be decentralized has been proven to be centralized, with a “single practical point of failure”.
This is according to Limo, an early stage investor in the project, as well as the founder of TangleBlog.com –a blog dedicated to all things IOTA.
Limo stated this on the TangleBlog after discovering problems that affected the way the platform’s data structure works. He wrote on his blog,
“A consensus was never centralized, but there was and is a single practical point of failure because the coordinator (COO) is a mechanism that, under these conditions, can actively stop the confirmation-rate on the tangle,” … “Part of that is that no one ever developed a random walk implementation that could circumvent the COO, although they could have.”
IOTA which currently runs on Tangle, a Directed Acrylic Graph (DAG), is designed to handle micro transactions and is often considered a “blockless blockchain”. As a result, it doesn’t really need blocks to confirm and verify transactions.
Therefore, all it does to confirm a new transaction is to assign two prior transactions to verify and approve the new one. This is in direct contrast with the Proof of Work consensus that requires multiple nodes on the network to verify transactions.
While this does have its advantages including speed of transactions, simpler process, and a faster network, the reality is that the setup allows for a major vulnerability. As a result, it is possible for a hacker to take advantage or hijack the network.
For instance, all an attacker needs is to generate 33 percent of the network’s hashpower, and they’ll be able to alter the fundamental algorithm that the nodes depend on to function.
This can occur because all transactions are automatically added to the network or Tangle tree and are easily confirmed using a device as simple as a computer.
The good news though, is that the project team is aware of this vulnerability, and intends to correct it using something called Milestones. Milestones are transactions that are triggered by a Coordinator node, which is controlled by IOTA Foundation.
This node essentially serves as a protector or “gateman” that keeps the network secure and safe from interlopers or entities with malicious intent.
IOTA Foundation’s Solution To The Problem
According to Limo who said he’d spoken to a couple of the foundation’s members, they are ardently working on an effective solution that will help secure the network and eliminate the vulnerability. He said,
“The IOTA foundation has solutions for the coordicide,” … “They are neither approved nor tested, but they are promising concepts that can withstand the first and second logical hurdle.”
Also, the foundation is right on the verge of releasing a less expensive version of the IOTA Reference Implementation, and will execute the coordicide shortly afterwards. The timeline for this is around June 2019.
“To that day, IOTA will have accomplished its mission. The largest, most uncertain milestone: COO-less decentralization will be reached,” Limo concluded.
If IOTA is able to achieve this and finally becoming truly decentralized, the project will most likely, enjoy a wider adoption rate and attract even more investors. Right now, the project is currently partnered with leading global companies including DXC Dach, Bosch, VW, and Fujitsu.
But, until that issue is fixed, the platform will run as a fairly vulnerable centralized network.