Over the weekend, comments by the crypto lawyer John Deaton triggered an “ETH Gate” Twitter storm, but is there any truth to crypto’s latest conspiracy theory?
In response to wild online allegations, Charles Hoskinson, one of Ethereum’s co-founders who later played a key role in launching Cardano, has dismissed Deaton’s more extreme claims.
ETH Gate erupted over the weekend after the prominent crypto lawyer John Deaton implied that Ethereum’s founders may have engaged in shady backroom deals with the US Securities and Exchange Commission SEC.
According to Deaton and other ETH Gate conspiracy theorists, the Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin secretly met SEC officials around the time of the ETH Initial Coin Offering ICO.
Based on these supposed contacts, the SEC allegedly agreed to the classification it has stuck to in the years since. Namely, Bitcoin and Ethereum are decentralized enough to exempt them from US securities law.
Meanwhile, the SEC seems to have designated Ripple’s XRP and similar tokens as fair game for enforcement.
Commenting on the ETH Gate charges, Hoskinson dismissed the idea that Ethereum’s founders engaged in any kind of conspiracy with the SEC.
However, he didn’t attempt to justify the apparent double standard that fuels speculation the SEC granted Ethereum preferential treatment.
Hoskinson suggests that Ethereum simply got lucky. Its ICO slipped under the regulatory radar, and by the time the SEC started its recent crypto crackdown, it was, in his view, “too old to be considered.
Although Hoskinson denies that the Ethereum founders inappropriately influenced SEC policy, he said that “personal relations and backroom stuff likely played a role.”
In a bid to justify such backroom lobbying, he added that “it happens every day,” comparing Ethereum’s efforts with tactics used by businesses across different industries.
Despite Hoskinson’s attempt to subdue the ETH Gate conspiracy theory, comments on his post point to a prevailing sense of injustice among XRP supporters.
“This was always about control. You can feel for us all you want but this was a war on ripple and #XRPL being a threat to ETH,” one user argued .
Another accused Hoskinson of ridiculing and belittling the XRP community by not acknowledging their concerns.