On December 3rd 2018, the ETCDEV Twitter account has posted a message to announce that the project would shut down its operations. The reason invoked was that of an inability to secure short-term funding. On the surface, this seemed like the culmination of a common issue for open-source developers: as soon as their funding runs out, they have to cease their operations and move on to other projects.
However, the social media announcement came after a long week of infighting which culminated with the deletion of the ETCDEV GitHub account and the removal of the team’s Medium blog account. Though the files were not completely lost, the actions were a sign that some collaborators may be less benevolent than they seem.
In this regard, ETCDEV lead developer Igor Artamonov has written two detailed blog posts to talk about the financing of his team, as well as the supposed attempt of DFG (Digital Finance Group) to take over the Ethereum Classic project. Both pieces are essential for anyone who wants to get an insider’s view of the events.
Nevertheless, Crypto Insider has taken it a step forward by contacting Mr. Artamonov and asking him essential questions which make his point of view on the events a lot clearer. In his replies, the head of ETCDEV was so incisive and direct that we just had to ask if the responses are to get published as such. Thankfully, we received an explicit consent on the matter and we can present to you more details.
Furthermore, ETCDEV business development expert Donald McIntyre has also been invited to do an interview on the subject, as he positions himself on the same side of the debate as Igor Artmonov. The result was a rather interesting 40-minute discussion which shone light on the essential elements from this conflict. Unlike the written interview that we’ve done with Igor over the e-mail, the content of this discussion is entirely caught on video and we’ve made it available for you to watch.
For the sake of objectivity, Crypto Insider invites representatives of both ETC Labs and ETC Cooperative to speak their mind in the same manner and present their take on the subject. An attempt to set up a moderated debate was made, but it proved to be unsuccessful. Hopefully, the release of these two interviews will encourage more debate and Crypto Insider will be a platform to settle this kind of infighting which ends up causing FUD while tarnishing the reputation of the entire projects.
Without further ado, here is the text interview with Igor Artamonov:
Vlad Costea: Is it true that the shutdown of ETCDEV is also due to the fact that its funds were held in ETC and BTC, and this price drop was a hard blow to the organization’s ability to pay its employees?
Igor Artamonov: No, it was independent from that, I had enough money to continue the work, but it happened because of other problems of my business partners.
Vlad Costea: What is the current situation of the Github account? Anthony told me that it was a misunderstanding and not malevolence, the files are frozen and the account is under investigation with the purpose of providing clear evidence and restoring the data.
Igor Artamonov: Github Org is still owned by the same account, I think it’s locked. I’m also in touch with Github to help them with investigation. It was definitely not a mistake, but part of an attack. In this particular case it seems that it was attack on me personally, but fortunately I found it out before they used it against me.
Vlad Costea: Has anything changed in terms of your relationship with Darcy, ETC Labs, and ETC Cooperative since your blog post?
Igor Artamonov: No, nothing changed.
Vlad Costea: Do you still consider crowdfunding alternatives to relaunch the project?
Igor Artamonov: No, I’ll better focus on other projects now.
Vlad Costea: How many devs have jumped ship to ETC Labs and how many are still reluctant because they don’t trust in the good intentions of DFG?
Igor Artamonov: I can’t say for sure, all engineers received urgent offers with very good terms, at least 1 accepted. Now maybe others accepted too. As far as I know, the plan was to switch everything to ETC Labs this Monday, I mean it’s supposed to be their first work day.
Vlad Costea: Do you personally believe that this is a corporate takeover?
Igor Artamonov: Yes, I believe. There are also a lot of other things or signs, that I simply can’t prove.
Vlad Costea: Do you think it’s related to the donation from the Ethereum Foundation which the ETC Cooperative accepted and Donald publicly attacked?
Igor Artamonov: I don’t think there are any relation, though I may not know ETC Coop position on that matter and maybe that was turning point for them to support DFG actions.
Vlad Costea: What is next for you personally? Would you consider working for another ETC development team?
Igor Artamonov: I’ll continue to work in the blockchain space, but I don’t consider ETC anymore.
Vlad Costea: Can this be published as such? Or if there are sensitive parts, can you mention what can be a part of the article and what is completely off the record?
Igor Artamonov: I guess you’d want to make answers more literate. It’s ok if doesn’t change the meaning.