Ethereum Name Service Removes Core Team Member Brantly Millegan Over 2016 Tweet

A tweet from Nick Johnson, founder and lead developer of ENS, confirmed Millegan has been removed from both the DAO and as director of operations of True Names Ltd.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2022 at 8:50 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:41 p.m. UTC
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Over the weekend the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) community voted to remove Brantly Millegan as a steward because of a tweet he posted in 2016 that recently resurfaced. He will also be removed from his position as director of operations of the decentralized autonomous organization's (DAO) corresponding legal entity True Names Ltd.

  • In the tweet, Millegan wrote that “homosexual acts are evil. Transgenderism doesn’t exist. Abortion is murder. Contraception is perversion. So is masturbation and porn.”
  • ENS gives the ability to point a domain name to a wallet. Users would be able to go to a .eth domain name as opposed to a complex wallet address. Domains can be traded as non-fungible tokens (NFT). There are over 675,000 registered names, according to ENS.
  • “Practically, it means that you can have a name that you own, that has all the decentralization and censorship resistance and programmability of Ethereum,” Millegan told CoinDesk in 2020 in describing the project.
  • Millegan hasn't apologized for the tweet, citing his religious beliefs.
  • In a post on Discord, he reaffirmed his beliefs and said he’s open to working with and being friends with a wide range of people. He also said that traditionally minded Christians, Muslims and Jews should not be excluded from Web 3 – and he has received messages of support from those who self-identify as being traditional followers of these religious groups.
  • As of late Sunday Pacific time, community delegates from the ENS DAO voted to remove Millegan from his position with a majority voting in favor.
  • But the vote wasn’t unanimous, with some delegates warning about the dangers of "cancel culture" or the irony of a decentralized service centralizing around the voice of one person.
  • “Brantly contributed to ENS success and deserves to be here. I respect the fact that he stands by his words and doesn’t pull the usual 'It was four years ago, I’m different now, blablabla,'” wrote "victorstark" in the discussion thread. “Woke and cancel people are more toxic than Brantly ever could be, pure herd mentality at work.”
  • Nick Johnson, founder and lead developer of ENS, said mid-Monday Asia time that Brantly would also be removed from the DAO's corresponding legal entity.
  • "Brantly has been a valued team member of TNL for the past three years. However, as a team we felt that his position with TNL is no longer tenable," Johnson said in a Twitter thread. "Many of you were hurt by Brantly's comments over the past 24 hours, and we strongly believe that ENS should be an inclusive community. Going forward we'll continue to do everything we can to ensure that remains the case."
  • Johnson did not respond to a request for comment from CoinDesk. Brantly has yet to make a new statement on this development.
  • The ENS token is up 4.5% to $20.76 at the time of this writing, according to CoinMarketCap.

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 8:40 UTC): Changed lede, added 9th, 10th, and 11th bullets with new information and quote from Johnson.


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