BZeroX Founders Are No Longer Part of Ooki DAO, Lawyer Says

A federal judge this week ruled the CFTC should serve the Ooki DAO lawsuit to Tom Bean and Kyle Kistner.

AccessTimeIconDec 15, 2022 at 6:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 15, 2022 at 6:45 p.m. UTC

Tom Bean and Kyle Kistner, the founders of bZeroX, a company that eventually became Ooki DAO, are no longer tied to the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), an attorney for the duo said.

Bean and Kistner founded bZeroX, which ultimately became Ooki DAO, to offer unregistered derivatives products to U.S. customers. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Ooki DAO earlier this year, after settling with Bean and Kistner for their previous work with bZeroX. However, crypto industry participants took issue with the CFTC's effort to serve the entire DAO by posting in a web forum and help bot.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the CFTC should serve the Ooki DAO lawsuit to Bean and Kistner, as they had been token holders with the DAO.

However, in a letter filed with the court on Thursday, Jason Gottlieb of Morrison Cohen said while he could accept the suit on behalf of Bean and Kistner as individuals, the duo could not accept the suit on behalf of Ooki DAO.

"In particular, as you no doubt recall, the settlement between our clients states (at page 14, Section 3(3)f): 'Respondents shall cease all participation in the governance, operation, or any other activities of the Ooki DAO. Without limitation, Respondents shall not make proposals, directly or indirectly through others, related to Ooki DAO governance; or vote any Ooki Tokens they own or control,'" the letter said. "As a result, Bean and Kistner no longer have any involvement with the governance of the Ooki DAO. Accordingly, Bean and Kistner are not authorized to accept service on behalf of 'the Ooki DAO' ‐‐ nor could they be."

Gottlieb also noted that the CFTC had already settled its charges with Bean and Kistner.

Because of Bean and Kistner's lack of involvement with the DAO as a whole, as well as the previous settlement, Gottlieb wrote he did not think that the CFTC could serve the DAO by serving the two individuals, nor was he sure whether the regulator could serve the entire organization after settling with two alleged members of the group.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.