Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies were introduced and succeeded mainly because of two features which traditional currencies lacked big time. One of these features was decentralization, and the other was transparency.
The world’s second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum has been under criticism from within and outside the community for the past few days. Earlier in the week, former co-founder, Charles Hoskinson severely criticized Ethereum for its ‘top-down’ or ‘King/CEO driven’ approach, which according to him was in contrary to the concept of decentralization.
Ethereum Foundation has always had a positive identity in the community, and is the managing body of Ethereum (ETH). However, after Hoskinson’s remarks, it is now the Ethereum community which has raised concerns over lack of transparency in the Foundation.
Founder of crypto community platforms ETHHub and host of Into the Ether, Eric Conner, was the first to raise this issue on his Twitter handle. He said that Ethereum Foundation’s lack of transparency concerns him, and urged the Foundation to publicize basic info like total headcount and expected yearly burn rate.
Conner tweeted on Thursday,
One of the most common concerns I see these days is EF transparency. It's an easy ask and I believe the following would be enough published quarterly:
-high level org structure or team breakdown
-avg salary by team or by role types
-expected yearly burn rate
— Eric Conner (@econoar) April 10, 2019
Conner’s tweet sparked a debate across social media, with many known faces showing solidarity with his views.
DCinvestor, another Ethereum community member affirmed Conner’s viewpoint. Sharing his views on Reddit, he said,
“I agree with Eric 100% on this. The default mode for the Ethereum Foundation should be transparency, where it does not create an undue burden to do so; and frankly, the current level of opacity isn’t a good look for an organization helping to create a transparent and decentralized world.
These are basic data which are needed to have any meaningful discussion around staffing and funding shortfalls, etc. The goal of releasing these data is not so the community can play watchdog over the Foundation, but rather to help it achieve its goals through supplemental efforts where they may be needed.”
More support for Conner’s tweet came from financial journalist Camila Russo. Russo, who is writing a book on book on Ethereum with HarperCollins, retweeted Conner’s tweet saying that it was one the biggest issues she faced while compiling her work on Ethereum. She tweeted,
This is one of the biggest issues I've come across reporting for my book on Ethereum. Two things I would add to Eric's list: Total assets held by the EF and more disclosure on how the money is spent. The best would be that they published their audited financial statements. https://t.co/U4C3rnBM6V
— Camila Russo (@CamiRusso) April 10, 2019
In another tweet, Russo shared a screenshot from a Reddit post, stating that people don’t even know whom to ask for.
This from Reddit. It’s pretty bad that people aren’t even sure who to ask.. pic.twitter.com/BAzS9VG64S
— Camila Russo (@CamiRusso) April 10, 2019
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Foundation is under criticism over transparency issues. In February 2018, Ethereum Foundation released a blog post about its grants system, through which it funds platforms that contribute in developing Ethereum ecosystem.
Details pertaining to a total of nine projects was revealed in the post, however, amount granted to them remained undisclosed. This invited a series on criticism from people, who raised their voices against the undisclosed amounts, especially on social media.
As users of cryptocurrencies get more and more aware, opposition to lack of transparency will surely rise. Crypto-backing platform like the Ethereum Foundation must have a proper disclosure mechanism in place, which would enable users to access any information regarding the platform they want.
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