IOTA (MIOTA) Goes Legal Against MIT’s Digital Coin Initiative


The distributed ledger technology giant did not sit with crossed hands to watch poor information generated by either IOTA (MIOTA) competitors, either by individuals who claim to be accredited investors at their 18th year in what we refer to as “life”.

On February 26, 2018, The IOTA Foundation’s official Medium account, posited a long read entitled Official Statement Regarding the MIT DCI Email Leaks“. 

In the digital document, the Berlin-based IoT Foundation explains why and how it decided to go legal against MIT’s DCI, who repeatedly spread misleading information regarding the IOTA (MIOTA) Tangle Network’s functionality and security.

According to previous statements from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) appearing back in 2017, IOTA had a series of critical issues considering “technical vulnerabilities” in their system that never went public, neither addressed by the IOTA Foundation.

The IoT giant even offered a bounty to the DCI if they could appoint specific issues and provide possible solutions, with DCI creating a set of changes that IOTA had to comply with, and it did back in August 2017, even without DCI answering the questions regarding the vulnerability.

IOTA kept asking until today the real reasons or/and issues that caused DCI go public against IOTA late last year, without getting any answer. The DCI kept saying that there was an issue and still is but would not appoint the issue itself.

Following chronologically the email discussions between the two parties, IOTA’s Sergei Ivancheglo (core developer) asked from then representative of DCI Ethan Heilman the exact problems, indicating his intent to improve IOTA and solve these ‘problems’ with the help of DCI. Mr. Heilman responds expressing the intention of going public, without bothering addressing any of Mr. Ivancheglo’s questions.

David Sonstebo (co-founder of IOTA), enters the discussion and asks from Mr. Heilamn to hold back on publication until both sides are agreed on what exactly is the problem and how they’re going to solve it.

Computer Monitor screen concept of spam email

The DCI kept saying that they will publish the issues without addressing them with the IOTA team. At the same time, third-party entities (IOTA competitors) somehow were aware of the supposed security flaw in the IOTA system, while the only ties who possessed information regarding the issue were alone IOTA and MIT’s DCI themselves.

That raised more questions from the IOTA side who this time would reach to Boston University with Mr. Ivancheglo asking help of legal counsel in order to understand what is really going on behind the scenes.

Quoting the official statement :

While the DCI team was initially very considerate and allowed extra time beyond the original agreed-upon schedule for disclosure, it was nevertheless reprehensible that DCI:

  • informed multiple 3rd parties of the details of their report without notice, including journalists and IOTA competitors;
  • moved forward with publication without resolving or even addressing any of the issues raised by the IOTA team;
  • has not (to date) released any code or documentation to substantiate their claims.

Whether intentional or not, DCI’s report and subsequent refusal to follow proper disclosure procedure have caused misinformation about IOTA to continue circulating on social media. The latest round of attacks on Twitter attempts to undermine our recently announced corporate relationships — we find these attacks equally reprehensible. There is a reason why following proper disclosure protocols is so important, and we can only speculate as to why DCI refuses to comply.

 The IOTA Foundation takes next steps to fighting misinformation in this new volatile asset scene as it could cost a company from millions to billions of dollars.

IOTA asks from MIT’s DCI to present and help address the possible issues with the help of IOTA. In that case, the DCI will get a generous bounty and IOTA will have to apologize to both DCI and the community, as well as work harder to improve the code day by day as they constantly did already.

In another case, If DCI cannot support their claims, they will have to publically ask an apology from IOTA and retrieve their publications from media and press.


What do you guys think of this action? Is IOTA doing the right thing fighting the FUD back, even if it comes from well-established organizations like MIT?

Reporting for , Ross Peili

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  1. Hey Ross, this is not 100% accurate. In fact, IOTA Foundation is not planning or persuading any legal action. Sergey Invancheglo has clarified that it’s a personal thing between him and DCI: „First of all I would like to clarify that IOTA Foundation is not involved at all, it is a personal business between me and Heilman. This is an important detail and in the future, talking about the matter, mention it, please.“ Any chance you correct your article including the headline. It is an important detail and will help getting things right. Source:

    • Mr. Rottmann, as previously replied to similar comments, I believe that “legal” doesn’t necessarily mean a court trial. It means that they will negotiate under a legal counsel that will record the interaction between the two parties and not just via email as they did so far. The real reason for that is that Mr. Ivancheglo lacks English skills on a legal level. Of course, it is a personal matter between him and Mr. Heilman, but the matter came to ask for legal counsel because they were discussing specific issues, specifically about IOTA. I will alter parts of the article changing MIT to DCI & Heilman and IOTA to Ivancheglo. The title cannot be changed and i don’t see the reason it should. Again. Mr. Ivacheglo asked for legal help regarding an IOTA issue being IOTA’s core developer. In any case, thank you for the position, sir.

  2. I think from an intellectual property rights stanze under trade secrets, publicity rights, and rights against unfair competition Iota’s position is justified. What major corporate or organisation would stand idle in this situation?

  3. The real question is: Why isn’t DCI presenting their information to the IOTA team?
    1) The Ph.D. candidates and others were WRONG about their assertion, got attitude, got publicity, and now they’re in fear for their professional careers, after having screwed up so publicly. So, their strategy could be to just not say a peep, claim they were right (without presenting evidence), and never be proven wrong.
    2) They’re maddy mad mad and don’t want to talk to the big meanies at the IOTA Foundation.
    3) They’re working on a competing technology and just want to trash IOTA. All miners (and other altcoins in general) have something to lose from IOTA.

    Anyway you look at it, DCI is wrong. Put the evidence out there, if there is any, so IOTA can fix the problems and we can all move on.


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