SemkoDev Indicates Split From Iota
TLDR: SemkoDev are patenting their work for Iota, potentially to create a rival DLT platform 'Phybr'.
Developer Vitaly Semko today revealed that SemkoDev are patenting their work on the Iota protocol.
The blog post, which members of the community have described as vague and ambiguous, states that SemkoDev will seek to protect its intellectual property.
Confusion has arisen regarding just what exactly this means for Iota, an ultimately open-source project. Allegedly SemkoDev, a for-profit organisation, is seeking to protect its “technological edge” patenting software it has built on the protocol.
The post makes clear that SemkoDev need to finance their research and design work on Iota. But how exactly the team intends to raise the funds to fulfill their commercial obligations, and what a private patent will mean for Iota, was not made clear.
It’s possible that the patents Semko references are related specifically to specific business-to-business implementations of the Iota protocol, but the vagueness of the post has left supporters confused.
Further adding to the confusion Semko reaffirmed commitment to Iota’s technology, before suggesting the team is taking a separate path.
“we want to support the Iota technology, by exploring on our own the ways of how our technology can be applied to Iota, and perhaps some day in the near future, it can even serve as a better alternative”.
One member of the community speculated the company sounded as if it was seeking to launch a separate ICO for a rival project. It’s a rumour that’s gained traction following the launch of a website from the devs for a project known only as Phybr.
Founder of the Iota project David Sønstebø has responded to the announcement, urging the community to be wary of Roman and Vitaly’s SemkoDev and to stand united.
Iota has gained in popularity with a unique approach to distributed ledger technology. Rejecting the blockchain structure, Iota uses a tangle, a web of transactions that promises infinite scalability and zero fees. Its design has led to speculations it will serve as the backbone of the internet of things, allowing micro-transactions between machines.
Currently however the system is only maintained by a centralised coordinator, although it was recently announced the code behind it would be made open-source. While skeptics criticise the code however, Iota has made substantial integration progress, announcing partnerships with industry giants, including Bosch, Microsoft and Volkswagen this year.
It seems unlikely that SemkoDev’s Phybr will be able to truly rival the progress that Iota has made, whatever it may eventually be released to be. What is certain is that the uncertainty, division and rivalry caused by today’s announcement is unwelcome news for the Iota community.
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