Tezos is moving forward and its current governance problems will soon work themselves out, according to founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman. The current situation “stinks” and is embarrassing — but it will blow over, they said.
Battle Between Tezos Foundation and Founders
Once the darling of the 2017 ICO craze with a $232 million USD raise, Tezos has recently been attracting attention for all the wrong reasons. Its founders (the Breitmans) have been locked in a battle with Tezos Foundation head Johann Gevers, who controls the money.
The large Blockchain Track room at Money20/20 was standing room only in anticipation of an explanation and update from Tezos’ founders. What exactly is going on with the money, with Gevers, and how are contributors supposed to react to all this?
“There’s a big difference between $10 million and $200 million,” moderator Meltem Demirors of Digital Currency Group stated. “What happened between September 2016 and now?”
The Swiss-registered Tezos Foundation is independent of the Breitmans’ company Dynamic Ledger Solutions. Formed before Tezos unexpectedly hit the big time, it has only three trustees including Gevers.
Arthur said that was done on recommendation, when Tezos was a much smaller project. Maybe it could’ve been different, he mused, giving a frank assessment of the board’s performance.
“Governance would’ve been better if we’d had a bigger board. (President) Johann Gevers is not a good fit, he did some things that were wrong, and I think it’d be better if he walked away from the Foundation.”
What About ICO Contributors?
“So what would you say to the people who contributed to the ICO?” Demirors asked. That list includes prominent blockchain investor and promoter Tim Draper.
“I would say bear with me,” Arthur said. Kathleen added, “This will blow over. It stinks and we’re both really embarrassed about the situation, but we think it’ll be resolved in due course.”
“There’s a bit of working through to do. It’s unfortunate what happened and it’s caused some delays, some people will be angry about it,” Arthur said.
There’s now a new entity called Tezos France and together everyone is working on a solution, the Breitmans said.
What Is Tezos, Again?
Amid the ICO hype and governance problems, some may have forgotten what Tezos actually is.
“It’s a co-ordination platform,” said Arthur, while Kathleen spoke of its potential benefits to the worlds of gaming and equities trading. The two said they were working on Tezos years before the blockchain hype started.
They decided to head down the ICO road because it was the best way to have many people take a financial stake in the project, said Arthur. He said he was impressed by the Ethereum’s model and the way it allowed so many projects to raise funds in this manner.
The popularity boom was likely a combination of fortuitous timing, boosted by the price of Ethereum’s ether (ETH) and a general wave of interest in token sales as a fundraising method.
Does Tezos Offer Any Lessons for ICOs?
But what happens now? “I think we have a pretty good proof-of-stake algorithm,” said Arthur, before going on to discuss the project’s technical development process.
All in all, Tezos is likely an interesting blockchain project that got a sudden kick into the limelight. It’s also likely it wasn’t really ready for that — but it’s still definitely a going concern.
“A lot of these tokens need a good boot (kick) of pragmatism,” Kathleen said. They’ll have to deliver real world solutions and value to prove they’re worth what token buyers have poured into them.
What’s your opinion of Tezos and ICOs in general? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Jon Southurst, Tezos