Astra Protocol, Republic Crypto Fought Over a Press Release They're Both Mentioned in

Astra Protocol and Republic Crypto battled over contents of a press release they purportedly worked together on.

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2023 at 7:21 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC

In journalism – crypto or otherwise – much news gets released through press releases, sometimes issued by a couple companies acting as partners. In the case of Astra Protocol and Republic Crypto, the two sides struggled to agree on the contents of one issued this week.

On March 7, Astra Protocol revealed a partnership with Republic. In a statement, Astra said it had "penned a new deal with Republic that will see the investment and financing platform acquire 10 million $ASTRA," the protocol's token. The statement included a quote from Andrew Durgee, the head of Republic Crypto. CoinDesk wrote a story, published on March 7, about it.

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  • Then, Republic said the statement was inaccurate. It had not, in fact, acquired any ASTRA; Republic was simply given pre-loaded wallets containing the tokens so that it could test whether Astra's compliance platform was suitable for its needs, Republic said. Also, Republic said the quote from Durgee in the March 7 statement was unauthorized.

    "Republic is not paying for these tokens and is not distributing the tokens. ASTRA is responsible for the financial and administration considerations involved in this free trial," Durgee told CoinDesk in a March 9 Telegram message.

    When asked about this repudiation by Republic, Astra did not initially respond. CoinDesk published a story summarizing Republic's refutation.

    Then, Astra refuted the repudiation.

    The original March 7 press release "was 100% signed off and approved by Republic," Astra said in a March 9 message to CoinDesk. "They agreed with the content and phrasing included in this press release. Republic also signed off explicitly on the [Durgee] quote in the press release."

    On March 10, Republic tweeted: "We are pleased to clarify a recent miscommunication regarding our collaboration. @AstraProtocol and Republic are indeed working together to introduce Astra's groundbreaking KYC/Know-Your-Business, AML, and identity verification services to the industry."

    Switzerland-based decentralized platform Astra Protocol offers know-your-customer (KYC), know-your-business (KYB) and anti-money laundering (AML) systems. The ASTRA token is required to use the platform.

    UPDATE (March 9, 2023, 21:35 UTC): Completely revises the story to say the two sides do not agree on the basic facts surrounding the press release.

    UPDATE (March 24, 2023, 16:19 UTC): Adds tweet from Republic Crypto saying the project is working with Astra.

    Edited by Nick Baker.


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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Brandy Betz

    Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.