Update: I’ve since written a more in depth article on some of the issues with Tierion’s claims: The Misleading and Inaccurate Claims Made to Tierion ICO Investors.

Tierion is a Centralized System

Unlike most ICOs, the Tierion network is an explicitly centralized system run by Tierion. By investing in this ICO, you’re buying a share of that system, and your share of it will be worthless should the Tierion company fail for any reason. For example, unlike a token such as the DAO, if a regulator such as the SEC can easily order the shutdown of the Tierion Network, making your share of that system worthless.

Microsoft’s role in the Tierion System

The Tierion claims that “Microsoft is joining Tierion in running a core part of the network infrastructure.”, I reached out to Microsoft to check the truth of that statement and got the following response:

Teirion is used by various teams within Microsoft to blockchain-anchor the state of data. Microsoft is not involved in the Teirion ICO.

The Tierion Token doesn’t have a clear purpose

Despite Tierion’s claims of the token being used for timestamping via Chainpoint, this is not technically accurate: timestamping is indefinitely scalable and has no need for a limited supply token.

Equally, even though Tierion makes claims about the high demands on Tierion network nodes, in reality they also state that the Tierion network will produce 4GB of data per year - a trivial amount. Not only is paying node operators to store that trivial amount of data silly, that’s simply a claim on the supply side of the token, pushing prices down, rather than a claim about why the token would have demand.

Their claims of “future applications” for the Tierion token are just that: claims without any explanation.

The term “anchoring data” isn’t defined

This is not a standard cryptographic term. I and others have asked Tierion to define what exactly they claim to be achieving, but have not gotten any answers.

Requiring node operators to have a minimum balance smells like a scam

There’s no technical reason claimed for requiring this, but it does have a clear economic reason: artificially pushing up the price of the token. This is a common technique used in token scams, and Tierion needs to adequately explain why they have done this.

Claims of high-accuracy NTP timestamping aren’t backed up

While it’s claimed that the Chainpoint standard has high accuracy NTP timestamping, the explanation in the ICO documents of how this happens does not make sense from a cryptographic perspective; the UUID has not committed to the data.

Again, I and others have repeatedly asked Tierion to back up these claims, but have gotten no answer.