The IOTA Foundation has been in the crypto news lately for revealing its plans to gradually phase out the IOTA network Coordinator which many see as a centralization risk. The organization behind the altcoin has published a series of posts on its official blog this week, where it outlined a number of steps it plans to take before “Coordicide” which is seen as a major landmark on the road to complete decentralization.
Even though IOTA is not a blockchain but a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), it does employe Proof-of-Work network security mechanism just like a blockchain which means that in theory, if a user were to command enough of the network’s hashing power, they could bend the rules to do anything they want including double spending and network splits.
So, the real risk for IOTA was the fact that unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum which have thousands of miners, the IOTA network and its hashing power was relatively small, meaning that it would be less difficult for an attacker to gain control of it.
This is why the IOTA network coordinator was created with a primary remit of preventing double spends – all in order to forestall a scenario like this. The coordinator, known as “Coo” will be terminated because at least theoretically – it permits the Foundation to choose which transactions receive priority and permits it to freeze suer funds by instructing milestones to ignore transactions involving such funds.
On top of this, Coo provides a central point of risk in case it stops the functioning or its taken over a bad actor, all halting the IOTA network. A quote from the blog post, summing things up, reads:
“The short answer is that the Coordinator can and will be removed when our research team is satisfied that we understand the coordinator-free Tangle sufficiently.”
As the Foundation said, while they plan to get rid of Coo eventually, there is no plan to rush things through.
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“I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”He was especially addressing the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey who was sitting right next to him at the panel discussion. Bailey noted that Utermann’s opinions were ‘’quite strong’’ but he did agree that cryptocurrencies don’t have intrinsic value. Bailey made sure that the FCA is watching closely and that they have the initial coin offering sector under surveillance. Utermann’s stance doesn’t leave any room for negotiation but some of his colleagues at Allianz are more optimistic about the use of blockchain technology. The chief economist at Allianz Mohamed El-Erian said that he also doesn’t believe that cryptocurrency will ever be able to replace fiat money but they will become more widespread. He said:
“Cryptocurrencies will exist. They will become more and more widespread, but they will be part of an ecosystem. They will not be dominant, as some of the early adopters believed them to be.”El-Erian explained that crypto is not dead and the technology isn’t dead also. He is sure that we are about to see more widespread adoption by the private sector but also from the public one. El-Erian concluded that the last year’s frenzy was ‘’unwarranted’’.
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“A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.”The twins and Gemini founders also revealed their plans to expand to the Asian crypto market where they will face stiff competition from the thriving exchange industry that includes companies such as Bitfinex, Binance and Huobi.
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