Iagon: Midnight Deception Or Just Misleading?

YouTube influencer announces proof of concept that doesn’t prove anything.
Iagon uses the media outlet below to make it appear as if they are demonstrating a proof of concept medical application using the Midnight Zero Knowledge Proof Blockchain when in fact there is nothing in the demo that I can see which uses Midnight technology or does anything with Zero Knowledge Proofs.

We see in the video this influencer using Charles Hoskinson’s notoriety to introduce this so called proof of concept. Also we hear this influencer tell us that an iagon employee is in the Midnight Pioneer Program and we are expected to believe that this student has enough proficiency with the Midnight Tool stack to do something useful.

Below from iagon’s twitter account we see them claim there is a proof of concept and offer a website to test it out.


Below is the link to their “Proof of Concept”
Judge for yourself if this demonstrates the power of Midnight’s Zero Knowledge Proof Technology or if they are just showing us a database application with fancy UI.

Key characteristics of a proof of concept project include:

  1. Feasibility Testing: The primary purpose is to test the feasibility of the proposed solution. It helps stakeholders determine whether the idea can be implemented successfully in a real-world scenario.
  2. Risk Reduction: POCs are often conducted to identify and mitigate potential risks associated with a larger project. By addressing challenges early on, organizations can make more informed decisions about moving forward with full-scale development.
  3. Quick Iteration: POCs are usually executed relatively quickly, allowing for rapid iterations and adjustments based on the feedback and insights gained during the testing phase.
  4. Proof of Value: Besides technical feasibility, POCs aim to provide evidence of the value and benefits of the proposed solution. This evidence can be crucial in gaining support from stakeholders and securing funding for a larger project.
  5. Decision-Making Tool: The results of a proof of concept project help decision-makers assess whether the proposed solution aligns with organizational goals, meets requirements, and justifies further investment.
  6. Learning Experience: POCs offer an opportunity for project teams to learn about potential challenges and gain valuable insights that can inform the development of a more robust and successful solution.

The above list is from ChatGPT.

Judge the so called Proof of Concept for yourself and decide whether or not any of the objectives above have been accomplished or if rather what we are seeing it is just a mocked up marketing tool to attract gullible investors to their token.

It seems to me a more honest representation would be to call it a mockup.
A mockup is a legitimate tool for representing ideas and for marketing, but to represent a mockup as a proof of concept seems misleading at best and deceptive at worst.

But is this just about getting investment dollars or is there another agenda?
It could be that this dubious claim is an early move toward gaining patents surrounding decentralized file storage in the Midnight ZKP File Storage domain? I hope not but iagon’s current and somewhat centralized file storage solution is patented and is also closed source. So it follows that they could be seeking patents in the Midnight ZKP Decentralized File Storage domain as well. This would make it difficult for others to develop in this domain if patents are filed.

I hope this is not the case but the following are some of the strategies to help prevent companies from claiming ownership of methods already in the public domain, such as the zk-SNARK-based decentralize file storage:

1. Public Documentation:

  • Publish research papers, articles, or blog posts: Clearly describe the method’s technical details, prior art, and public availability.
  • Present at conferences and workshops: Share knowledge with the relevant community and create a record of public disclosure.
  • Contribute to open-source projects: Incorporate the method into publicly accessible code repositories, demonstrating its public nature.

2. Early Publication:

  • Establish a timestamped record: Publish online using platforms like arXiv, researchgate, or self-hosted websites to prove prior existence.
  • File a provisional patent application: While this doesn’t grant a patent, it establishes a filing date and allows “patent pending” status for a year.

3. Defensive Publication:

  • Strategically release information: Disclose key details to prevent later claims of novelty by others.
  • Consider open patent pledges: Commit to not enforcing patents on the method, promoting open innovation and collaboration.

4. Prior Art Search and Documentation:

  • Conduct thorough research: Identify and document existing publications, presentations, or code that demonstrate prior use or knowledge of the method.
  • Collaborate with community: Engage with experts and developers to gather evidence of prior art and public knowledge.

5. Community Awareness and Vigilance:

  • Educate others: Raise awareness of the method’s public domain status and encourage vigilance against potential patent squatting attempts.
  • Monitor patent applications: Track filings in relevant domains and raise objections if attempts to patent the method are discovered.

6. Legal Assistance:

  • Consult with intellectual property attorneys: Seek expert advice on strategies and legal options to protect the method’s public availability.
  • Challenge dubious patents: Take legal action to invalidate patents that wrongfully claim ownership of public domain knowledge.

Additional Considerations:

  • Patent offices often have limited resources: They may not detect all prior art. Community vigilance is crucial.
  • Patent litigation can be expensive: Consider alternative dispute resolution or open collaboration to resolve disputes.
  • Promote open-source development: Embrace community-driven innovation and knowledge sharing to minimize patent squatting risks.

By proactively implementing these strategies, individuals and communities can help ensure that valuable methods like the zk-SNARK-based decentralized file storage remain accessible to all and are not subject to restrictive patent claims.

The above list was gathered from the Bard Ai

iagon’s current and arguably centralized storage solution may soon become irrelevant as Zero Knowledge Proof of Storage on Midnight makes truly decentralized file storage possible. The way I see it, iagon must move into the Midnight ZKP Decentralized File Storage Domain. In fact I hope they do. But if this so called Proof of Concept application (seems to me just a mockup which demonstrates nothing about Midnight or ZKPs) is an early attempt to claim patents surrounding Midnight technology then the community should consider taking the above steps to ensure everybody’s right to develop on ZKP methods that are already in the public domain. In the list above are some of those steps.

See the following thread for concerns about iagons closed source patented project and original concerns about their marketing.


I actually think in a thread such as this about Iagon, it is important that posters reveal any important potential biases. My disclosures are at the bottom.

So Iagon is entering the big league seeking to deal with people’s private medical data in such a way that certain information can be revealed without betraying user privacy. And Iagon seeks to convince users that it’s systems can be trusted to fulfil these goals and reliably protect user data for the long term.

On a blockchain like Cardano, I can’t believe that I need to point out that Iagon has closed source code and software patents, which preclude verification of these goals. Moreover, I can’t understand why the Cardano social media influencers on twitter and youtube seem to be concealing such facts.

I will just leave this quote from an article by the free software foundation about software patents:

In a world where multinational corporations have unlimited political influence, while citizens are deprived of the necessary democratic mechanisms to control them, the future is bleak. At the same time, the acceleration of technological progress in the recent years has led to an astounding ubiquity of software in all fields of life. With software patents being granted in every digitized sector, the significance of user freedom increases exponentially.

Important disclosures:

  • I own Ada, but no other tokens or NFTs (except for 2022 Cardano Summit NFT). I also don’t own any other blockchain tokens or NFTs.
  • I have no exposure to Iagon (short, long, or combination) except for how it might impact the future success of Cardano.
  • I support and donate to the Free Software Foundation.

Unfortunately it seems that cerra.io will be the first app on Cardano to embed the Iagon platform risk into it’s immutable smart contracts. Note that I called cerra.io an app rather than a Dapp because it can’t be considered decentralised when it is embedding a dependency upon the Iagon middle men who manage Iagon’s closed source code and patents.

I don’t know if many ordinary users will think this through properly. Smart contracts on Cardano are immutable. It won’t be easy to simply upgrade the apps backend storage dependency later. Furthermore, the previous version of the smart contract will exist on chain forever.