Heated language has been used by some ethereans over comments made by Afri Schoedon, Parity’s Release Manager, including accusations of betrayal and worse. One highly voted comment says:
“Afri has become the Judas of our Ethereum community. He has become a traitor and instead of just leaving like Charles Hoskinson or Dan Larimer, to go off and create their own chain he is trying to sabotage from within. I sure hope other Ethereum core devs see Afri for who he is and banish him from the core dev.”
The highly emotive language was in reply to a bras comment made by Schoedon who among many things said the Beacon Chain would take 18 months even as other ethereum devs have stated numerous times it would be out by the end of the year:
#Serenity Phase 0 will be a proof-of-stake beacon chain only interesting for investors (staking), no EVM transition functions, no smart contracts, thus no d-apps. And yet, we still look at another ~18 months timeline to launch phase 0 in 2020.
“His talk of Beacon chain now taking 18 months has revealed to us his real hidden agenda of delaying everything so his Polkadot would have time to gain traction,” a top voted comment says.
Grants to Competitors
Questions were raised over the Ethereum Foundation (EF) granting Parity $5 million, with many asking for the grant to be revoked.
Without providing much detail of who made this decision or why it was found necessary, without even providing a name to a statement, “EF” said last month:
“Parity is a major technical contributor to the Ethereum project, and they’ve notably done so as a self-financed and open-sourced effort since their founding…
This grant will fund Parity’s work on Casper, sharding, light clients, developer tools, QA, audits and infrastructure improvements.”
Parity did not quite have its own project until recently, focusing instead on mainly maintaining and developing the Parity ethereum client, something they have been able to self-finance for numerous years.
Now, however, they are gearing up to launch an ethereum 2.0 like chain called Polkadot. Thus it seems they can no longer self-finance their eth 2.0 work.
"Polkadot delivers what Serenity ought to be." Change my mind. pic.twitter.com/6Az4wuYu8H
A Flood of Parity Bugs
Growing suspicion over a constant delay of the simplest planned eth upgrade, Constantinople, has further added to the anger.
A Parity bug was found on the testnet at the last minute, with Schoedon almost immediately calling off the upgrade for almost three months. A Polkadot testnet was launched in the meantime.
Then another bug was found just hours before the upgrade was to go live. The bug itself seemingly didn’t have much to do with Parity, but Schoedon appeared keen to ask for the longest time possible for re-deployment.
The upgrade is now set to go live at the precise time that ethereum’s new supply falls below 2 eth per block due to the ice age in an amazing coincidence.
On an eth devs call today Schoedon wondered whether this Constantinople recent delay by one month means the planned fork in October should now also be delayed by one month.
While Martin Köppelmann of Gnosis went on to highlight some centralizing trade-offs in Polkadot which, he says, give them added efficiency at the expense of decentralized permissionlessness.
Polkadot has a lot of amazing tech and concepts. And yet it does not have the most important feature of Ethereum. Permissionless innovation! I can deploy a new dapp to Ethereum any time. In Polkadot to add a parachain I am at the mercy of dot holders.
Change my mind. https://t.co/TRENzLoPZz
— Martin Köppelmann (@koeppelmann) February 14, 2019
Competitor Lifts the Mask
Cries of a conflict of interest have now reached fever pitch, with Schoedon continuing to be a moderator of r/ethereum despite a thread becoming invisible in unclear circumstance.
While all of this has been going on during the past 24 hours, not one of the C-level personnel at Parity have made a comment to distance themselves from Schoedon’s statements or to otherwise respond to the public anger.
Vitalik Buterin, Chief Scientist at the Ethereum Foundation, did however subtly intervene to explain that he had already begun work on Phase 1 of sharding and that ethereum devs will undertake work on all three main phases in parallel, stating: “because if we don’t parallelize then things will take until 2021 or whenever the trolls are saying.”
Parity in addition has now announced that a previous bug which they stated affects only infrastructure nodes like Infura, actually affects “*Everyone* who runs Parity Ethereum, not just those who serve JSON-RPC publicly.”
Crypto Bug War
To make matters a bit more spicy, Schoedon retweeted a comment by a dapp dev who had previously stated they may well move to Polkadot:
Is it just me or is shit about to get real game of thrones around here when all the PoS smart contract platforms realize they are in direct competition? https://t.co/uMyjEM1WKM
That in itself would have perhaps not been interesting, but there’s a bombshell that may well give some considerable weight to an editorial:
It's been game of thrones since day one.
— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) February 15, 2019
It’s unclear now what will be done in regards to what is obviously a considerable conflict of interest, but what might be somewhat clear is that Parity and ethereum are becoming two very different things.
However, the difficulty in decentralized and permissionless systems is that while everyone can enter the space, some of that “everyone” can be your own competitor and there might not be much you can do about it due to everything being permissionless.
Raising a complex question of how exactly you deal with a situation where a direct competitor has sway over a significant percentage of your own network, sway that they may well abuse and perhaps openly so.