Last week it became known about the sudden closure of ETCDEV, key team Ethereum Classic. The project suffered greatly from a prolonged bear market. ETCDEV kept their money in the cryptocurrency. Due to the fall of the market, the group capacity was limited so that in recent weeks they could not pay staff salaries.
But this story can stand something more. Various sources related to Ethereum Classic, told interesting details about the last weeks of the existence ETCDEV. However, the version expressed by various interlocutors of the ETC community, diverge up to a direct contradiction: someone says that the company and its employees have been thrown a lifeline, and someone that she was subjected to hostile takeovers.
The problem of financing ETCDEV
The story begins in early October when the leaders ETCDEV, which include CEO Igor Artamonov, Manager, business development Donald MacIntyre and Darcy Reno project Manager, realized that the funds to support the activities of the group coming to an end. The money was needed by the company to continue developing products and services for which it was responsible, and pay salaries to employees.
They appealed for help to James Waugh, Chairman, Digital Finance Group (DFG), one of the main sponsors of the network. According to MacIntyre, In the proposed ETCDEV in the form of a grant for $ 300,000. Also, allegedly, asked them not to seek financial assistance from anyone else. According to the leaders of ETCDEV, in the second half of October, they received from DFG grant for $ 40,000, but and Artamonov, a and McIntyre, expects to receive a larger amount in mid-November.
From this point the testimony of different participants and witnesses of the story begin to diverge. Darcy Reno, which was hailed as one of the leaders ETCDEV, in mid-November, went to Hong Kong to meet with Terry CULVER, Director General of the DFG, and discuss the financing options of the project. According to Artamonov and Mclntyre, in this trip, Reno moved to the side of the opponents of the project, since a few days after his return, on November 19, he announced his intention to leave ETCDEV and go to work in the Labs ETC. At that moment ETCDEV have enough money for another week of work.
Elizabeth Kukka, program Director of the ETC Lab, those who disagree with this version of events. She explained on the phone that they had discussed ways and means by which the development team ETCDEV could continue working on Ethereum Classic. Kukka said that with the management team of the project was reached a preliminary agreement, however, Artamonov it is not staged.
ETC Labs is an incubator and accelerator project, which is a subsidiary of DFG created this year. James In a post of the Chairman of the Board, and CULVER is the CEO.
About the «poaching» team ETCDEV
According to Artamonov and Mclntyre, after the breakdown of negotiations in the second half of November, ETC Labs and, in particular, Renault launched a coordinated effort «to entice» to itself of developers ETCDEV. McIntyre says that at the meeting held on November 23 – Black Friday – all the developers said that they were asked to work in Labs ETC.
According to MacIntyre, it was a classic poaching employees, and in the worst form. Artamonov in your email address agreed that «by any possible definition, the command was captured and is overbought in the course of «normal work» period. In his post on Medium Artamonov compared Reno with the «Trojan horse».
However, this is quite a controversial point: for example, Kukka has called this statement is completely unfounded. A source in ETCDEV on condition of anonymity, said when the ETC Labs began to offer them a job, ETCDEV was already in front of them the arrears of wages. According to the same source, Reno in recent weeks gave them great help, apparently trying to save to work on the ecosystem as much as possible ETC.
«If workers are not paid wages, it would be called poaching – said an anonymous source in ETCDEV. – Darcy [Reno] threw developers [ETCDEV] lifeline. I unequivocally deny the charges Artamonov address Reno poach employees.»
At the beginning of December in Labs ETC passed only two of the eight developers ETCDEV. Say that another man initially accepted the proposal but later rejected it. Will the rest of the developers in the Labs or ETC will continue to work on the platform of their own, is unclear.
So was there a coup?
From talking with various sources the impression that the management team ETCDEV gradually became more and more closed from the rest of the community and even from their own employees. Anthony Lusardi, Director of the ETC Cooperative, who learned of financial position ETCDEV only the beginning of December, said that the leaders of this team became more and more isolated and kept separately from other projects.
This same view was confirmed by a source inside ETCDEV, which stressed the strong commitment and Artamonov, a and MacIntyre, the fundamental ideas Ethereum Classic: the absolute immutability of the records in the blockchain is self-sufficient. McIntyre publicly criticized the ETC Cooperative for the receipt of funds from the Fund Ethereum (ETH), believing that it compromised their independence.
«This maximalism in respect of immutability were not helpful – said an anonymous source in ETCDEV. – The management of the project itself isolated itself from the rest of the community members. Essentially, it was poor management».
McIntyre said that he and Artamonov, was fully committed to compliance with the fundamental ideological principles Ethereum Classic. He believes that this is also true in relation to other members of the community, including Coop ETC. In his opinion, Labs ETC and DFG before and already had plans to be the leading developers of Ethereum Classic and considered the financial difficulties ETCDEV as an opportunity to entice their developers in Labs ETC.
Kukka, in turn, has expressed disagreement with this statement:
“It’s crazy, says Elizabeth Kukka. – ETCDEV worked as a company. DFG considered the question of providing financial support, but we knew that it could not solve the problem. Their rate of spending was far beyond the boundaries of the proposed us $ 300 000. The company is likely to put back in the same position in three months».
Others suggested that the main reason for the closure ETCDEV boils down to inefficient financial management. As already mentioned, a large part of their assets the company kept in cryptocurrency. And, as a result of market collapse and a prolonged bearish trend, the group’s ability to continue to Fund their activities and pay staff salaries were sharply limited.
“I don’t think that Artamonov was the right man for Treasury,” said Anthony Lusardi.
Artamonov for its part denies this point of view. In the email he said that the rumors about mismanagement of funds are part of a campaign to discredit him personally:
«I know that Darcy [Reno] and Anthony [Lusardi], which also received money from the DFG, I am accused of ineffective management of funds, but none of them had access to my long-term finances, had no idea of exactly how they managed and on the causes of the problem. This is pure speculation and deliberate misinformation, with the aim to damage my reputation.»
The last lesson ETCDEV
ETCDEV the collapse caught everyone by surprise, including the leaders ETC-community. Although we hear a lot about that over the platform employs hundreds of developers, the loss of a dedicated «core» of the team is a big blow to Ethereum Classic, at least in the short term.
But what is agreed, perhaps, all sources interviewed, it’s the fact that, despite the importance of the role ETCDEV, Ethereum Classic will continue its development. Despite this setback, the platform continues to grow and, according to Cookie, next month ETC Labs will add to it another 12 projects.
However, the events of this week show how easy community even operates relatively seamlessly – can be covered by internecine strife. When it comes to solid judgment and high ideals, projects are often too easily be divided into smaller rival factions.
In the end, that is what got Ethereum Classic.