IOTA has been making headlines all through the month of December. Already a popular front runner when it comes to the newest and most promising altcoins, IOTA had a huge surge in the first week of December. The cryptocurrency, which was trading below $1 around 10 days ago, jumped more than 450 percent to hit a new lifetime high of $5.55 in a day. What fueled this surge? Well, that’s where it gets difficult. There was an announcement of IOTA partnering with Microsoft early in the month, now where the source of that rumor is where it gets a bit muddy.
News of the IOTA and Microsoft partnership ripped through the crypto-world. Prices surged and the message boards were buzzing of such a collaborating between a crypto project and a mainstream behemoth like Microsoft.
Apparently the origin of this rumor came from a quote from Omkar Naik, Microsoft blockchain specialist, “We are excited to partner with the IOTA Foundation and proud to be associated with its new data marketplace initiative”, after meeting with IOTA at a few event meet ups and seminars that were held in Microsoft offices.
IOTA published this quote on its blog, specifically requesting that the word ‘Microsoft’ be in the headline.
Media caught wind and went on a frenzy with every crypto media source headlining, IOTA and Microsoft Partnership!
The hype continued to grow for a few days before a Microsoft spokesperson issued the statement, “IOTA is a Microsoft Azure customer and plans to use Azure to test and deploy its Data Marketplace”,denying any type of partnership.
Was the partnership a lie on IOTA’s part, or inaccurate reporting that was blown up by the media?
IOTA co-founder Dominik Schniener stated, “We have never mentioned that any of the companies which are participating in the marketplace are our ‘partners’…We call them participants.”
He goes on to explain that there is an active, working relationship between the two parties: “We are in touch with multiple divisions at Microsoft (Chicago, Paris, Munich)… [and] are hosting two meetups today in Chicago and on Thursday in Paris which are hosted at the Microsoft offices.”
IOTA’s Official Response:
“We have never stated that there was any formal partnership with Microsoft, and instead always referred to them as a participant to the marketplace. The media has overblown the story into a “IOTA launches Data Marketplace with Microsoft”, which couldn’t be further from the truth, as we are working together with more than 30 of the largest companies in the world on the marketplace as a co-innovation exercise. When it comes to our communication and the involvement of Microsoft, we have asked for written and explicit approval of the press release, quote and logo beforehand and have stayed within the boundaries with what we were allowed to do.”
Maybe IOTA didn’t straight out say, Yes, we are in a partnership with Microsoft, but did they take advantage of the misunderstanding to garner more hype and accolades for the IOTA Foundation?
IOTA Co-Founder David Sønstebø pointed out on Twitter, if Microsoft itself used the word partnership, the onus was not on IOTA to correct it.
Following the news of the NOT-partnership, the IOTA coin has declined from it’s ATH of $5.5 to a steady $3.50. Many concerned IOTA hodlers have been mentioning bad PR as one of the biggest factors working against IOTA.
IOTA is an innovative new distributed ledger technology to function as the backbone of the Internet of Things. They have been highly regarded for their Tangle technology, the new generation of the blockchain. It’ll be interesting to see their next few moves after this stumble.