Concerns About iagon Marketing vs Observation. Closed Source and Patent Concerns Brought Up In Discussion

I have concerns for the community.
I see a lot of videos on YouTube about iagon.
So I went to the website.

From there I went to the white paper.

The white paper is just a wish list with no mathematic notation.
But the white paper did have a link to their github.

It’s all forks of other peoples work.
The one original repository only has a Markdown file with just one sentence in it!

I followed the link to their YouTube Chanel.

Their last video is a year old!

This YouTuber demos their test app

It’s just a bunch of curl commands that move files around on your own computer!
And curl commands are built into the operating system so why do you need to download their executable?

There is no source code to look at so we have to trust that it’s not malware.

What does the executable even do?
Some guy on the iagon discord asked the same thing:

so how many iag to run a node? and what exactly is the node? different from supplying hard drive space?

Navjit Dhaliwal responded on 8/16/23 “Hasn´t been announced yet”

YouTuber hype does not match what I am observing

I am concerned that the community is getting a distorted view of the current progress and the project’s ability to deliver according to the marketing.


Have you already contacted the IAGON team and gave them the opportunity to explain themselves?


No I have not.
Show me I am wrong and I will apologize and become their biggest supporter.

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As a holder of IAG for some months I was often on pins and needles as I watched their coin do nothing but dive with respect to even other similar propositions… even long time loser FLUX, another purveyor of promises (specifically the proof of “useful” work which has only been useful to their own bursts of marketing).

Based on this point of view, the obligation is on the backing company to provide something besides promises, hype, and a marketing shell copied from other businesses… not upon their critics to give them the benefit of doubt regarding the existence of something that’s been promised but never delivered.


Dont get me wrong, im not saying you are wrong here. But if you are making such accusations, the team should have the chance to answer them.


You seem to have been active in Cardano since 2018 so have been around a while like me. I would like to point out a few things since I have followed Iagon closely for several years and also met the development team in the office in Fornebu and know they are real and building.

“The white paper is just a wish list with no mathematic notation.”
I am not sure why a whitepaper needs to have matemathic notations - they have patent filings that were accepted and they might have invested a lot of time in the ideas they have and want to build them out before they share too many details. This is building before releasing to market and is something many projects have to consider.

If you look at IdeaScale for some of the build-on-top Dapps they want to get community funds for such as Community Fluxion and Community Statur you can see they are planning to open source the API / SDK so it is not like they do not also plan to enable the developer ecosystem with the planned features.

If you download the Iagon app (currently v1.0.5) 1.0.5 Desktop Application | Iagon's decentralized cloud protocol documentation you can see they have a product they are iterating on and you can also check out the swagger API(s) such as for nodes: Iagon-api-docs or the resource manager (Iagon-api-docs) and honestly I would go as far as to say that I truly like the simplicity of Iagons api’s and build out, this is how you compete with AWS / Google Et. al. - they also have straight forward apis to utilize the resources in the cloud (I should add and more importantly a decentralized cloud provider of storage & compute). As long as they can deliver on decentralized compute and storage for the Cardano ecosystem that is what I care about personally. (I should add I have already tested personally that you as a user can shard files and rebuild them on the solution and this works fine). Is the current Iagon testing nodes doing everything they should? Far from it, and Iagon still has many iteration to go on its clients / backend but the path they are on is very promising, and from a company that has been moving more and more into the Cardano ecosystem and supporting and developing together with other developers in that ecosystem.

I do however understand your skepticism with quite a lot of videos lately on Iagon (honestly I think it is because people are discovering it more) so what I would suggest is you also ask on the Q&A sessions of Iagon for example or do a bit more investigation into trying out the solutions that are already out there to see if you like the product and where it is heading or not. There is plenty of material on Iagon if you take a closer look so I suggest you start there. Me personally I have been following the project for years, and I am happy to see it is getting some deserved attention. You can for example see the Iagon video in the Oslo summit from 2021 where I attended myself: If this was a scam project they would long have left the community IMHO.


If you load the discord of Iagon for testers you will see I have also quite a lot of things I want Iagon to improve but this is something entirely different from being a scam - they have already onboarded community feedback and the node versions have been coming fairly quickly. Granted I have maybe a bit more involvement in Iagon than the average user but again, I have been interested in them since reading the patents years ago and seeing them stay in the ecosystem and recover from incidents such as the nomad bridge hack and staying with the community the whole way with open communication so I am positive both in terms of reputation and credibility but also in what I see they are actually delivering on. It is still a project building out with all the risks that involves but that is again something different from being a scam.


While it seems you’ve approached our project with some skepticism, I welcome the opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings or concerns you might have.

  1. Investment & Company Details: iagon was founded in 2017. I’ve personally committed over 1.1 million Euros to this endeavor since its inception. As for our company’s legitimacy, Iagon AS is a publicly registered entity in the Norwegian business registry. Additionally, we’ve been fortunate to secure grants from respected institutions like Innovation Norway and Skattefunn. For a closer look at our patent endeavors, feel free to check out our recent approval: EPO Patent Link.

  2. Open Source & Code: In today’s software landscape, not every project opts for an open-source approach. Some renowned software applications, like Windows or Adobe Photoshop, choose to keep parts of their codebase private. We’ve been transparent about this aspect of our project. If you comb through our interactions on Telegram and Discord, especially when searching for the term ‘GitHub’, you’ll come across instances where we clarify our stance on private code.

  3. Software & Malware Concerns: Adopting the viewpoint that software might be malware just because its code isn’t publicly available could easily cast doubt on numerous trusted applications. Consider software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, or even Apple’s OS – none of these are open source, yet they’re globally recognized and trusted. By such assumptions, these popular applications could also be dubbed as potential malware, which we know isn’t the case. We are diligently working on getting our software audited, and it will soon undergo verification by industry giants such as Windows and Apple to confirm its integrity and security.

  4. Marketing & Content: Our commitment to transparency is unyielding, and I can affirmatively state that we have never financially incentivized any individual or entity for promotional YouTube videos. We staunchly believe in organic growth and marketing, a strategy that’s been central to our ethos since the beginning. This organic approach can be seen in our interactions across platforms where we’ve consistently highlighted our policy against sponsored promotional activities.

  5. IAG & Nodes: As for the specifics of our node operation, such as the amount of IAG required, we’re still in the deliberation phase. In iagon’s context, a Node is any entity that provides storage space. These contributors register as a node and are rewarded for their participation in our ecosystem. The mechanics of this process are close to completion, with the integration set to take place in our forthcoming applications and platforms.

  6. API Testing Tools: It’s a standard practice in the software industry to utilize tools like curl for interacting with APIs, and to employ swagger UI for detailed documentation. This is to showcase our documented API. Our use of swagger UI ensures that our users have a clear understanding of our API, allowing them to easily interact with it using straightforward curl commands.

Navjit Dhaliwal



So I looked at the video recommended by @Eystein_Hansen
In the link below, the video is queued up to the spot where iagon starts their presentation.
Right at the very beginning of the presentation they offer to give “context” rather than “technical details”.
I see marketing from iagon but little evidence that indicates to me iagon is likely to deliver a useful product to the Cardano community.

So I looked at the patent. It seems quite vague to me - just like the website, the white paper, and the video.
Anyway, getting a patent is in no way confirmation that the device described will actually work.
Patent examiners may not always have the expertise or resources to thoroughly test each invention. In some cases, an invention might be granted a patent based on the information presented in the application, but its actual functionality might be in question. This is why patents are not a guarantee of practical feasibility; they simply protect the intellectual property rights of the inventor for the described invention.

Furthermore on this issue of patents in the Cardano environment we have the following from Cardano’s developer website:

Cardano is a collection of open-source, patent-free protocols. It’s a platform that enables you to store, transform, and manage value, identity, and governance. Cardano follows research not opinions or bias.

I know you are iagon and not Cardano, but why is Cardano a collection of patent-free protocols?
I wonder if this patent can be used to stop other developers from innovating in this space.

The title of the video I mentioned above is:
Iagon - Cardano’s Distributed Storage Solution, COMPLETE Node Storage Testnet Review!
Yet this guy is reading, moving, and deleting files on his own computer using the curl command.
Here is the video again.

I remain skeptical and continue to have concerns.


If you remain sceptical after I linked you the client node software as well as background showing Iagon has been around for years thats your choice and I dont think I could convince you otherwise. Using Curl to interact with an API is fairly common and something you could do with say cardano-node as well.

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I know gamechanger wallet just implemented a file system and I believe a few other teams are building storage solutions. Honestly I am glad we finally are getting good storage solutions on Cardano instead of relying on ipfs alone.

I am a big fan of open source and would personally open source everything I can, but I do not think its wise to limit our ecosystem to only interact with companies who open source everything and honestly even with open source you still have “trust me bro” issues such as agreements not disclosed, information being misrepresented “slippage fees” or legal issues etc. Also in some cases patents increase competition such as when protecting a smaller startups idea from a larger player just scooping up the idea and just putting more resources into it. In general patent law tries to find a middle ground and is not ment to be a big limit on competition.

Look, here is the problem: In the blockchain world we believe in “don’t trust, verify”. We don’t want middle men and we don’t want a “trusted” intermediary. Having closed source code means that we have to trust you. I am sorry, but “trust me bro” is not going to cut it.

So now you say we should trust your auditors instead. For the record, I don’t trust Microsoft and I also don’t trust Apple to do what is right for the community. They will act with their economic interest as priority number 1.

I would plead with you to re-think the closed source mentality. Maybe there is a way that you can open source all the core components and just keep a front-end client app closed source if you must. That would allow others to build different front-ends upon your open source APIs, but you would still have a significant lead which you can monetise. Or, maybe you can use the open source smart contracts to pay fees for your development. Or, maybe there is some other way you can monetise your work. Other projects have found ways to do this and open source all their code. You definitely deserve to be paid for your work, but I still believe you need to open-source your code somehow.

I strongly believe that a decentralised, permissionless, trustless, can’t be evil rather than don’t be evil, Blockchain, is incompatible with “closed source code”.


No company enjoys being on the receiving end of baseless claims. We’ve not only been transparent about our approach but have also been clear about our non-reliance on paid promotions. It’s a testament to our commitment to organic growth. If there are specific claims, please provide sources, so we can address them head-on.

Lastly, while the initial concern raised was the legitimacy of Iagon, the conversation has now drifted towards the merits and demerits of open vs closed source. Within the Cardano ecosystem, while there’s an emphasis on open source, not every project is open. The tech world often relies on third-party audits, not as a seal of trust but as an additional layer of verification. It’s the same reason why even open-source projects often undergo third-party audits.


Audits are still important, even if the source code is published, since these are often very complex systems which require expert knowledge to ensure correctness. However, an audit does not remove the need to publish the source code.

I am sorry if you feel the conversation has drifted. You spoke about your code not being open-source in your post. I choose to point that out as a massive red flag. I am a different person to @johnshearing so I may choose to take the conversation in whatever direction is important to me.

Maybe it would be better to summarise the direction of the conversation by saying that your project is raising a number of red flags to a number of different people.


My priority was to address the false claims (´scam´, ´paid shilling´), and have yet to receive any information, sources, facts or evidence that support the claims.

To address your points: the nature of open source versus closed source software has been a topic of discussion in the software world long before blockchain came into existence. Every choice in this spectrum has its merits and challenges, and neither can be labeled universally as a “red flag.” Rather, these choices reflect strategic decisions based on the goals, competitive landscape, and the unique challenges faced by each project.

It’s important to understand that not being open-source doesn’t inherently make a project less genuine or trustworthy. Many well-respected projects and companies within the broader tech industry, not just within the blockchain space, operate with closed or partially closed source code.

Our patent is a reflection of our commitment to safeguarding the unique approach and value we believe Iagon brings to the decentralized storage space. We have always been upfront and transparent about this. A patent, in many industries, is viewed as a commitment to innovation, protecting intellectual property, and offering something unique. In our perspective, it isn’t a deviation from transparency; it’s a strategic decision.

It’s absolutely okay for different individuals to raise various concerns; it’s this very dialogue that ensures the blockchain community remains vigilant and informed. But it’s also vital to consider the broader context and to understand that decisions around open and closed source aren’t binary; they are part of a strategic continuum.

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I agree. And the importance of closed vs open source really depends on your trust assumptions. For example, if you have chosen to put your money in a private bank then you probably don’t care if their software governing your money is closed or open source because you already need to trust the bank and all it’s employees.

However, if I understand your project at a very basic level: Iagon is seeking to provide a decentralised storage solution. A building block upon Cardano’s platform, if you like. In other words, you would like other entrepreneurs to use your storage solution building block and build their services upon it. This is exactly what we want to see happening on Cardano, people building upon other’s building blocks.

However, we need to be cognisant of:


If we can’t see the source code of your decentralised storage solution then anyone building upon it is potentially exposing their entrepreneurial business efforts to platform risk. If there are also patents involved then these may also increase platform risk since maybe these could be used against users in the future. I don’t know, I haven’t looked into who owns the patents or what they involve. My concerns about patents would obviously be reduced if an entity like the Cardano Foundation owned the patents.

If you are intending to provide a building block service for the Cardano platform that you want others to build their businesses upon then I think it is very important to remove all forms of platform risk. Blockchain is about removing platform risk. Can’t be evil, not won’t be evil. Don’t trust, verify.

I am not implying that your source code has a secret backdoor or that your patent could be used against users. But, we don’t want to trust in some middle man to not do these things.

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First of all it is for me problematic that we have a thread on Iagon being a scam without a shrug of evidence that is now a debate about something different and deserving its own thread to not lend credibility to something not deserving a shrug of credibility.

Let’s nuance this a bit, perhaps? As someone developing on the ecosystem I care about the access to the resources and the code to access it. If I run a node through say or access information from servers through say Koios API or Blockfrost API - I want to know this is going to be reliable and that I have access to those nodes for my project. Currently on Iagon I believe you can see who is providing resources and who you are getting resources from, and you can interact with this through an API that is open to you. Iagon also states the SDKs are going to be open source. To me there are the same platform risks of relying on a single provider no matter the source code involved as long as you can pull up or down a service or not and the platform risk has little to do with the code being open sourced or not when it comes to access to a storage or compute resource.

As a blockchain we should be using multiple providers and I believe this is going to happen and why I welcome all of the storage and compute plays on Cardano.


I just received the following message from @Zyroxa who administrates the forum.

Hey im reaching out to because of the thread above.
I dont want to force you to delete the thread, nor i wouldnt like to change the title myself.
Im totaly okay if you are asking questions and raising concerns about such a project, but imo calling a project a “???” based on that its closed source, i think thats not justifiable.
I really would like you to change the topic title to something more proper, otherwise i will have to discuss this situation with the team and may change the title myself after if the mod team agrees.

At this point in iagon’s marketing video suggested by @Eystein_Hansen we hear technical parts will be omitted from the presentation but rather “context” will be given instead. Then we hear in the video that we are expected to ask if we have questions about the technical parts. Then a guy asks on the iagon discord “so how many iag to run a node? and what exactly is the node? different from supplying hard drive space?”. Then we hear back from @Navjit_Dhaliwal "on 8/16/23 “Hasn´t been announced yet”.

From this I believe that it is reasonable to be very concerned and that I owe it to the community to speak out.

From what I can see, marketing and YouTube hype in no way seems to match observable progress toward a product as suggested in the marketing.
What do you call that?

I am open to renaming the topic and am open to suggestions from all community members.

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I have not mentioned the word “scam” in any of my previous posts. Furthermore, I am not trying to argue that a project is a scam just because it has proprietary closed source code.

However, I do think that @johnshearing raised some big concerns that justifies the question being raised.

With that said, I still want to push on the importance of considering platform risk for future cardano builders.

In this video at 32:25 Ali Yahya explains the importance of Platform Risk.

He then goes on and makes this comment about how a16z understands platform risk:

“If there is a company that comes to pitch our main fund with an idea to build a product that depends entirely on the APIs of instagram, or the APIs of google, or whatever, that is a non-starter. It is now very well known that that won’t work. You cannot build a massive company on top of the APIs of a company like that because at some point, sooner or later, whomever runs that centralised company will change the rules because they will want to capture more of the value and it doesn’t work.”

Like I said in my first post:

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It’s essential for me to clarify a few things based on the feedback and concerns you’ve voiced.

  1. Clarification on the Node Requirement: Determining the exact amount of IAG needed to run a node involves a comprehensive understanding and study of our tokenomics, ecosystem health, overall distribution, potential for centralization, security risks, and, importantly, feedback from our community and early node operators. This isn’t something decided on a whim; it’s a complex process to ensure the longevity and success of the network. The mere fact that a specific number hasn’t been released to the public yet doesn’t label a project as a scam. Instead, it demonstrates a careful and thoughtful approach to a very crucial aspect of our ecosystem.

  2. Progress and Product Development: It’s essential to view the bigger picture when it comes to product development. As of now, we have over 150 testnet nodes actively participating, and we’re on track with the milestones we’ve set. The multi-sender dApp is already live, and we’re gearing up to launch our multi-sig wallet within the next few weeks. We already have launched our MVP last year, and have also open sourced a ´fun´ challenge called proof of burn in 2021 (first to complete this challenge).

  3. Context of the Video: It’s imperative to put things in perspective. The video you mentioned from 2021 was meant to provide a high-level overview, and it’s just one of the many content pieces we have shared. Since then, we have dived deep into the technical aspects in various posts, articles, and discussions. We always aim to provide comprehensive insights to our community, and this is no exception.

In the decentralized realm, skepticism is healthy, but it should be informed. It’s crucial to consider the broader picture and the tangible progress we’ve made over the years.

Given these facts, I’d strongly recommend revisiting the title and narrative of your thread. It’s one thing to seek clarity, but it’s another to cast shadows based on incomplete information.

The whole premise of this conversation was based on the word ´scam´ and also paid ´shilling´ both of which have NO factual basis. Still waiting for any evidence to these claims. The title seeks attention and thats what the writer has gotten. Concerns are heard with proper merit, not fabricated context. I´m all for open discussion on open source vs closed source vs partially open but the context of this discussion is based words that have no meaning in this discussion.