Amid Ethereum Classic Schism, 'Community Notice' Issued

Amid Ethereum Classic Schism, ‘Community Notice’ Issued

The Ethereum Classic community is currently in the throes of a contentious schism. Some ETC stakeholders have sounded the alarm on what they’re calling an attempted community takeover by Digital Finance Group (DFG), backers of ETC Labs. Now, a notice has been issued warning enterprises in the space to steer clear of DFG’s software going forward, but ETC Labs has pushed back. What comes next remains to be seen. 

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After Apparent GitHub Flex, Schism Ensues

A December 13th “Community Notice” posted to GitHub argued that Digital Finance Group has completed a forcible takeover of the original Ethereum Classic GitHub repository.

As such, the notice said that DFG’s repo and software weren’t to be trusted and that the other ETC teams at ETCDEV, Parity, and IOHK were the only trusted third-party developers in the coin’s space for now.

DFG, a Shanghai-based business group focused on cryptoeconomy ventures, has hitherto gained what sway it’s had in Ethereum Classic’s nook of the cryptoverse in being sponsors of the ETC Labs development team.

To Understand the Now, Trace the Chaos Back

The current episode’s direct catalyzation can be traced back to November 30th, when ETCDEV founder and CTO Igor Artamonov issued a security alert noting a then-unknown entity had taken over sole control of the Classic Geth repo.

“Someone took admin control of the Ethereum Classic community organization with Classic Geth, and removed all other admins,” Artamonov said at the time.

“This is an important security issue and we do not know the intentions of the person or persons who have taken admin control […] We recommend that you DO NOT download Classic Geth until this issue is resolved.”

In the aftermath of this incident, Artamonov fingered DFG as the culprit, saying the group attempted to leverage ETCDEV’s strained financial position and poach its employees in the group’s attempt to consolidate the repo, and in extension, the ETC blockchain.

The Ethereum Classic community is having a soul-searching moment. Can it weather the storm in one piece?

For their part, ETCDEV ended up shuttering its operations on December 3rd over a lack of funding. 10 days later, Artamonov argued ETC Labs were clearly ripping off ETCDEV’s technical roadmap in the aftermath of the flex.

“I’m not surprised ETC Labs has chosen ETCDEV’s existing roadmap and work as their advancements,” he said.

“ETCDEV was working on most of these things for past few months, which can be easily verified by our commits on GitHub.”

Regarding these arguments, DFG CEO James Wo and DFG USA CEO Terry Culver didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Bitsonline.

However, ETC Labs did issue a response on December 13th, wherein its team declared it had come to control the Classic Geth repo in a fully compliant manner:

“‘Ethereumproject’ is the GitHub account owned by ETC Labs under the name ‘Krykoder.’ We became the owner through a legitimate and compliant process. The removal of other owners was also legitimate and conforms to the Term of Service of GitHub, as confirmed by GitHub and hence, the [suggestion of a] ‘hack’ is an utter lie.”

New Community Notice Aimed at Businesses and Users

This brings us back to the December 13th community notice that asserted DFG and ETC Labs did, in fact, coordinate a hostile takeover of the repo.

That notice, issued by ETC community stalwart MikO, threw down the gauntlet in challenging DFG’s alleged bid for power.

“This may be the most important point in ETC’s history,” MikO wrote. “More important than ETH hard forking from our network.”

As for why the notice came when it did, the author argued action was needed after 1) GitHub refused to revert the repo’s old admins, and 2) after a last attempt to negotiate with DFG CEO James Wo went without response.

“We need every community member, miner, stakeholder and fan of ETC to voice their dismay loud and clear to DFG that this will not be tolerated,” MikO said.

What Happens Next?

Per ETC Lab’s aforementioned response, it doesn’t seem their side will be backing down.

That means there are now two general factions within the Ethereum Classic community that are strongly opposed to one another. What that means going forward remains to be seen, but bad blood will be in the water for the foreseeable future.

Whether ETC Labs would be willing to fork off from ETC if blow came to blow is an open question for now.

Whatever happens, Bitsonline will continue to track the situation as it develops.

What’s your take? Do you think DFG is in the wrong, or no? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay

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