Cryptographic vulnerabilities in IOTA?

A flurry of recent comment on the durability of IOTA – stemming from a report from Neha Narula at MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative…

Last month, Ethan Heilman, Tadge Dryja, Madars Virza, and I took a look at IOTA, currently the 8th largest cryptocurrency with a $1.9B market cap. In its repositories on GitHub, we found a serious vulnerability — the IOTA developers had written their own hash function, Curl, and it produced collisions (when different inputs hash to the same output). Once we developed our attack, we could find collisions using commodity hardware within just a few minutes, and forge signatures on IOTA payments. We informed the IOTA developers, they patched their system, and we wrote a vulnerability reportThe current version of IOTA does not have the vulnerabilities we found, but there’s more to be said about how this happened and what’s going on with cryptocurrencies right now.


Subsequently reported on by

The IOTA-U.S. dollar exchange rate (IOT/USD) has plummeted in the last 24 hours following revelations from Boston University and MIT researchers that cryptographic vulnerabilities had led to a patch in the widely touted cryptocurrency’s code.

Heralded for its corporate partnerships and unique technology that enables fee-free micropayments, the project had long attracted grumblings from developers who questioned the strength of its design. Still, market sentiment has been bullish, with IOTA’s market capitalization rising to more than $1 billion on its unprecedented debut in June.


BitDice to employ IOTA Technology on its next-generation platform

BitDice Casino has decided to start working on integration of IOTA’s tangle to BitDice’s infrastructure for addressing a number of critical shortcomings presently available for ethereum smart-contract solutions.

Full story here

Crypto Good. Crypto Bad.

2 examples this week of good and bad Crypto.  And a spur to accelerating regulator governance…

Crypto Good 

Crypto Bad

 The Regulators are coming…


New Adventures in Crypto

Before embarking on my Crypto Altcoin adventure, my knowledge of digital currency extended to an awareness of Bitcoin. And something called the Blockchain involving a distributed ledger. This was essentially the limit of my knowledge.  A peripheral high-level understanding of the near future economy.

4 weeks later, I’ve a respectable portfolio invested across a basket of Altcoins. I’m experiencing a gambler’s buzz in tracking and trading the market. A newbie and speculative hobby day-trader catching the wave late. Vibing the excitement of what feels like the raw internet of 1998 when I first made a living working digital.  

How have I progressed from a Crypto virgin to a fervent day-trader in 4 short weeks?

Step one was tuning into the Bitcoin price surge in Q2 2017. Talking to Scale 360 colleagues, it soon emerged that a hardcore niche had been dabbling in Crypto for a while. Some were already mining; both with rigs and via mining farms in China. A young DevOps Engineer had bought 4 Bitcoin back in 2016 (and sold early). A Data Scientist had bought Ethereum in 2016. I was late to the party.

Step two was heading over to Bangkok’s Satoshi Square Meet-up and meeting David Barnes, founder of Thailand’s only exchange, And an assortment of under-the-radar seasoned Crypto heads. It turned out transferring my Thai Baht from a Thai bank onto a local exchange and buying crypto was possible.

Step three was setting-up Crypto Club at Scale360 to harness the interest and energy of our 120+ Developer crowd. My colleague and Duoscene co-founder, Uli, quickly set-up a mining rig in our server room and we analysed electricity costs to network our laptops overnight. We looked at natural energy powered mining clubs in Iceland. Ethereum was on the radar at that point and Proof-of-Stake. The Bitcoin fork happened and mining quickly became a secondary interest.

Step four was starting to absorb as much Crypto news and background as possible. We set-up a HipChat room for our team and posted daily industry updates. I greedily consumed background news and subscribed to industry media channels (sample: Alex Tapscott: “Blockchain Revolution” | Talks at Google, Boxmining, Ivan on Tech etc.)

As my knowledge increased, I explored AltCoins. Ripple XRP seemed both stable and contrary (actively working with existing banks within a closed Blockchain). OmiseGo, a local Bangkok venture attracting global buzz, was soon on my radar. In the past week, IOTA, moving beyond the Blockchain and preparing the way for the machine-to-machine IoT near future, seems visionary and accessible – dime share investing Ghost In the Shell / Black Mirror near future technologies.

My recent step five has been learning to trade on more mainstream international exchanges. And placing an order for a cold storage device – now with a 4 week waiting list as the Crypto wave surges and attracts amateur speculators like me.

So where am I now? Seasoned Digital Tech colleagues have offered sage advice on making sure day trading doesn’t become a gambling itch. And quietly pointed me to the Tulip Mania bubble of 1637.        

But it feels like we’re palpably and rapidly accelerating into the 4th Industrial Revolution. Beyond the ICO ponzi gold rush hype, both the evolution of the underlying Blockchain to solve real world problems, and IOTA’s Tangle quantum computing viable design, suggest that the next evolution of the internet is underway.

For that reason, I’ll continue to actively explore and invest in Blockchain related projects, especially those that help the underbanked in emerging economies.

IOTA Blockchain to Help Trace Families of Refugees During and After Conflicts.

CashCow ICO designed to support Indonesian cattle farmers       

It feels good to be excited about the Internet again.

Dirk Smith