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Tezos Foundation President Vows to “Step Back,” Then Back Pedals

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM

It’s perhaps what one might expect from the infamous ICO that was Tezos.

Tezos is one of those blockchain startups that gripped the crypto community, first for its ability to raise $230 million in an ICO and then for how quickly they let it all slip away. Now Johann Gevers, the head of the startup’s Swiss Foundation who is also at the center of the battle with Tezos co-founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, is backing down, promising in a blog post entitled “Moving Tezos Forward” to “step back” from the foundation that controls the Tezos proceeds once the project is moving forward again — only to confuse matters by removing the post.

Reuters got ahold of it , with the news agency reporting that the ICO funds are no longer frozen, paving the way for Tezos to pay its service providers. Gevers said in the now deleted post:

“I have consistently communicated … my intention to step back from the Foundation as soon as things are on track with a new board that is independent and has the support of the Tezos community.”

Gevers confirmed that he removed the blog but said that the plans are still in motion, according to a statement  captured by a Reddit user –

“I was advised to take down this post for prudential reasons. Both I and the Tezos Foundation remain committed to communicating with the community within the constraints imposed on us, and will follow through on the plans outlined in yesterday’s post.”

Gevers chose Medium as the platform for the blog post because the Breitmans retain control of the website properties, which is a sign that the turmoil between these parties hasn’t lessened any.

Tezos 2.0

Meanwhile, Tezos is doing what it can to move forward, and after suffering the defection of board member Guido Schmitz-Krummacher has announced the appointment of another. Lars Haussmann is taking Schmitz-Krummacher’s seat after the latter stepped down amid the battle for control between the Breitmans and Gevers.

But the damage has already been done, and swapping out board members adds little solace to buyers of the Tezzie tokens, as they’re called, who were the victims in a stalled project that was at the mercy of bitter infighting. A pair of class-action lawsuits were lodged against the startup, focusing on the company’s failure to register the Tezos token with securities regulators.

Adding insult to injury, Kathleen Breitman — while investors were unable to access their funds from the Tezos ICO — suggested that the bitcoin and Ethereum directed toward the project are considered a charitable donation, not an investment, which only infuriated investors more.

Based on his original blog post, Gevers hopes the Tezos project can pick up where it left off, but whether or not that will materialize will depend not only on the company’s management but also on the Tezos community, who till now have been left out in the cold.

Featured image from Shutterstock.