Rift in the IOTA development team: High level Iota devs, Semko brothers to launch a “copycat” of IOTA

Roman Semko is a senior developer in Python, Javascript and blockchain with an extensive experience in the field of other technologies (Angular, React, machine learning), which he has been dealing with since 2002.

Together with his brother Vitaliy, he runs a SemkoDev software company. And they both have been one of the vital parts of the IOTA development team. However, there seems to be some disgruntled feelings seething in the background of Iota team as David Sonstebo, norwegian founder of IOTA posted this in IOTA discord:

“Another statement from David Sonstebo:

“I highly doubt that scenario. EC is known, EC is implemented in code etc. I am not at all worried about that. What I dislike is distraction and fragmentation of community, which is why I am forced to take a harder stance right now. IOTA made the Semkos, and now the Semkos look like they are exploiting this trust and support that you – the IOTA community – have given them. Roman’s latest tweet re: Coordicide is quite revealing, they were offered to work together with our vast team, with very good salaries, on Coordicide, but instead they elected to decline that under the guise of wanting to be ‘independent’, which is fine, but now it is made obvious that this independence is less about creating a thriving and healthy community, but more about maximizing profits. In general, there is nothing wrong with a for-profit model, within IOTA there are tons of for-profit opportunities, but when they start talking about patenting consensus and piggybacking on their trust within IOTA to also on the side ‘support multiple coins’, that enters an uncomfortable territory for me. ”

Semko brothers responded to this by stating that they are a commercial entity and have to look after their interests while emphasizing different approaches IOTA Foundation and SemkoDev have when it comes development of IOTA. Still, they are willing to be the part of the team that works on the cutting-edge DLT technology of IOTA called the Tangle.

Semko brothers launched their own project called Phybr, “The next generation of distributed auto-peering, consensus and ledger technologies.”

It is in some way a competition for IOTA as it also focuses on the IoT devices and their communication and parts of IOTA community even accused them of “forking” IOTA (even though that is not possible, at least not in the sense of blockchain forks(. The project will not have an ICO, at least not any time soon.

The community has sided with the IOTA founder and against the “disingenuous”, Semko brothers,  bringing up how they gladly collected donations from the IOTA community for their work while obviously having a side gig on their own.

In conclusion

While I very much appreciate the Semko’s work, it’s a 2-way street. Maybe their “demands” are too high. Maybe it’s just something that doesn’t fit the vision of IOTA. Maybe it’s something the IF has already accomplished in test scenarios themselves, and will implement soon, etc… There is so many options, people should not read into this too much. But I do feel a bit like the Semkos might have shot themselves in the foot with this…

If you think the IF is giving up something revolutionary that they arent able to achieve themselves because they are too cheap to pay the Semkos for it, then I think that’s probably the most naive/doubtful scenario. So I’m not worried at all.”


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Damian Booker
Damian Booker

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