It was the darling ICO of last year, breaking records for raising over $232 million from investors all around the world. However, the project has faced numerous delays as intense infighting has surfaced.
This has also spilled over into the community at large as Tezos now faces numerous lawsuits. This is because at the time of funding, Bitcoin was trading for $2,000 and Ethereum $200 so investors have lost considerable returns on the committed funds.
Now it seems as if the internal dynamics and dysfunction is on full display again. In this case, the news is related to the foundation’s president, Johan Gevers. He has been blamed for many in the community including the Breitmans as the reason for the delays.
Many accuse him of trying to operate a dictatorship which can further be evidenced by his most recent actions.
“All Swiss Team”
On Tuesday, Gevers said that he wanted to re-launch the project with an all Swiss team in upper positions. This was on the back of a request by Gevers for applicants for a “new look” Tezos foundation with a “global team”.
This was also a light at the end of the tunnel as those in the community saw it as an opportunity for new life to be breathed into the project. There were a number of those who applied hoping to get some feedback from Gevers.
However, this was quickly shot down as he vetoed all of the applicants with a single action. This was seen in a generic email that was sent to all of the applicants from Diego Pons to all of the applicants.
Email from the foundation to applicants
This baffled a number of people given that is was made clear by one of Gevers’ tweets (that was deleted) that said that they would welcome a global team and “developers will be sourced globally”.
Gevers’ Deleted Tweet – Image via Reddit
What then followed was a series of nonsensical tweets from Gevers that quoted people from Elon Musk to Warren Buffet to Gevers himself. In the end, he tried to backtrack on his initial claim and sent out the below tweet.
To be clear: the Tezos Foundation is a Swiss foundation, based in Crypto Valley, Switzerland, and its top leadership teams will be heavily Swiss-weighted. Physical proximity and cultural fit is especially important initially, to build trust and productive working relationships.
— Johann Gevers (@johanngevers) January 19, 2018
To the outside observer, these actions would no doubt raise a number of alarm bells. They could claim that this was his attempt to take over the foundation and make sure that everyone was under his control.
There were also less flattering descriptions of Gevers from some in the community. For example, the person behind Storecoin, Chris McCoy, gave his opinion of Mr Gevers after hearing his talk at the blockchain conference in Switzerland.
…This Gevers character came across as a sociopath dictator extraordinaire. His speech was some weird shit. I’m now unsure how this plays for Tezos, the blockchain protocol. Very unfortunate
Gevers’ Previous Ventures
Indeed, it seems as if Gevers does have quite a long and unsuccessful business record. This was pointed out by many in the community who assembled a list of the ventures that he has been involved.
While the fact that someone has been involved in numerous companies and has their name attributed to them is not uncommon for consultants / auditors, there appears to a specific trait with his ventures. The document stated that
…a noticeable pattern emerges: the majority of these companies end up in dissolution, bankruptcy or seem to disappear without a trace
Not All Doom and Gloom
While it is quite clear that Gevers has managed to annoy a large amount of people with his antics, it is by no means the determining factor in the project. While the lack of a strong leader is a hindrance, the development keeps ticking on.
The Github repository has had a large amount of activity over the past few weeks. This shows that developers are hard at work, building the most important part of the project, the technology.
Although the antics by Gevers are giving the project a bad reputation, it is good to see that many view that as the only stumbling block to an eventual launch.
One can only hope that the foundation is able to deal with the stumbling block soon.
Featured Image via venturebeat.com