Moolah.io is a pillar of the Dogecoin community, that is undeniable. In addition to being the first Dogecoin payment processor, Moolah has handled the donation wallets for numerous community fundraisers - including the popular Doge4NASCAR. Founder Alex Green even donated large sums to various Dogecoin charity initiatives and is quite active on the Dogecoin subreddit.
However, being a financial transmitter in the digital currency space comes with intense scrutiny, and Moolah has also faced its share of that.
[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]fter three public investment rounds and the delay of ATM units that had already been purchased by customers, questions began surfacing on various channels regarding the transparency of Moolah. On Bitcointalk, /r/Dogecoin, and even /r/Vertcoin, the same questions keep surfacing: Who exactly is Alex Green? Where are the ATMs promised to be delivered at the end of March? What exactly is Moolah doing with the funds it receives for investment and storage?
Most of the concern was raised by anonymous, brand new user names, which lead to much of the concern being shrugged off as baseless. However, the intensity of the drama was inflamed when an /r/Dogecoin mod, "NeutralityMentality" seconded these concerns,
I've been looking into it for the past hour, and it's just straight up not legal to sell profit shares in a company to US investors unless it's done through the SEC. That alone is something investors need to know. This is dicey waters, but this is important enough that it needs to be hashed out.
[NeutralityMentality has since removed himself from the mod position.]
Alex Green, who is known to respond passionately on social media when questioned, reacted quickly and announced a hiatus from social media,
I do not have the energy to be involved with toxic people. It is burning me out both mentally and physically, and I will no longer let it affect my health. To the majority of shibes, we know you're awesome, we love you - but when "senior members of the community" are speaking out in the form of borderline defamation, and constantly attacking us, it becomes too much. People who invested, did so of their own free will. And having the founders, mods and foundation members of the community speaking on "their behalf" is ridiculous.
Additionally, some answers about the processor's incorporation status were provided, and a deadline was announced for Moolah to integrate an audit system for funds. Green's response, while dramatic, highlights another troubling issue regarding business practices in the digital currency ecosystem: the use of fear, uncertainty, and doubt - "FUD."
An Orchestrated Smear Campaign?
There are people who would like to see Moolah fail. Some may be enemies Green has made when responding harshly in IRC or on reddit, others may be affiliates of CryptoRush who are upset with Moolah's part in that fiasco.
Questions regarding FinCEN compliance are commonplace for any financial service, but questions regarding the ATMs and investment rounds struck many in the community as suspicious. No investors or ATM purchasers to date have publicly aired a complaint regarding Moolah, and the company has been very open about the delays in delivery of their ATM units. While dozens of other exchanges operate with fully anonymous operators, the semi-anonymous Green is called upon incessantly to prove his identity, despite his many contributions to the community.
In fact, a little research easily reveals Greens birthday, that he is British and has a residence in Switzerland, in addition to how many shares of Moopay LTD he controls. The only thing anonymous about him is his picture, which stretches the definition of the word "anonymous." The rest of the Moolah team is well documented, as well.
It is also worth noting that earlier this week Moolah.io's service was disrupted under severe DDoS attacks.
Another Day in Digital Currency
Those who have been involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem for a while will recognize all of this public drama as familiar. No matter which view you take on Moolah, they are either "another Gox" in the making, or another "BTC-e" who remains semi-anonymous while continuing to provide service.
It seems impossible to go a single day without the CEO of a popular service telling off a user on social media, and that may be part of the charm of the digital currency world - the smallness of it.
It remains to be seen if Moolah delivers on their self-imposed deadline for transparency by May 5. Even if they do honor their promise, these questions will keep arising until Dogecoin and digital currency grow up a little.