Ethereum Core Developer Quits Over ‘Conflict of Interest’ Attacks

Christine Kim
Feb 18, 2019 at 03:52 UTC
Updated Feb 19, 2019 at 14:42 UTC
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UPDATE (19 February 14:30 UTC): Afri Schoedon has since indicated on Twitter that he is quitting the ethereum community, not simply social media. Read his latest remarks here

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Ethereum core developer Afri Schoedon is taking a step back from the project due to an onslaught of online criticism.

Tweeting Sunday that he will “no longer respond on Gitter, Skype, Discord, Slack, Wire, Twitter and Reddit,” Schoedon said that for the foreseeable future he would no longer answer contribution requests or general technical questions directly from the public. He later said that this effectively marks his exit from the project entirely.

Having contributed to the ethereum codebase since 2015, the comments have inspired responses from other developers who are outraged over the actions that led to his decision.

“I’m so angry and disappointed in the Ethereum community. You ran out one of our best contributors for the dumbest reasons. More people should have spoken up in support and there needs to be less vitriol,” stated community relations manager for the Ethereum Foundation Hudson Jameson on Twitter.

The comments follow Schoedon’s frank remarks Thursday in which he compared ethereum scaling technology Serenity and blockchain interoperability protocol Polkadot.

He wrote on Twitter: “‘Polkadot delivers what Serenity ought to be.’ Change my mind.”

Taken by some as a targeted attack against ethereum that undermines the blockchain platform’s value, Schoedon was called out on Twitter and Reddit for what some perceived as a “conflict of interest.”

Schoedon is the release manager for an ethereum software client managed by blockchain startup Parity, the company concurrently building Polkadot. Denying allegations of any malicious intent, Schoedon tweeted on Friday: “I want to clarify that I put out this tweet to stir discussion, not to cement a narrative.”

All tweets by Schoedon since June 2017 have now been deleted, save for the two he posted Sunday explaining his future absence from ethereum.

Since then, director of developer relations for the Ethereum Classic Cooperative Yaz Khoury warned on Twitter that “this mob behavior against Afri and Parity [Technologies] is the result of toxic tribalism,” adding:

“Ethereum is a technology with many implementations and visions … The diversity of networks is powerful.”

Correction: Schoedon’s contributions to ethereum as reflected on Github dates back to 2015, not 2017 as originally stated.

Ethereum image via CoinDesk archives