A week after Quantstamp community members began accusing the smart contracts auditing startup of undermining the value of its $65 million token, the company responded with a statement on Thursday.
As previously reported by CoinDesk, for at least the past week, Quantstamp token holders have been alleging that the company misled them by accepting U.S. dollars and ether, rather than its token, QSP, as payment for its auditing services.
According to the company's published materials, customers are meant to trade QSP to pay for, receive and improve verification services within the Quantstamp network.
The company told CoinDesk that the community's concerns stem from a lack of clarity regarding the difference between two of its projects and admitted that the community's frustration has indicated that Quantstamp "need[s] to do more" to clarify the distinction.
The products in question are, on the one hand, an auditing protocol outlined in its white paper and under development. The other one is a "web product" which it currently uses for audits.
"The Quantstamp web product is separate from our protocol that adheres to the vision outlined in our white paper and is still under development," the company said.
The startup added that its move to accept ETH and USD for its services doesn't diverge from its white paper, and said the alternative payments were also necessary due to restrictions on its token sale. Namely, because U.S. and Chinese buyers were excluded from participating.
"While Quantstamp has accepted QSP, USD, and Ether, the latter two are only accepted for our current offerings and out of client and customer necessity, as not everyone is currently capable of acquiring and using our token," Quantstamp said.
The company declined to comment on CoinDesk's inquiries pertaining to the percentage of audit reports they completed in exchange for USD or ETH.
Questions over audits
Community members also raised concerns last week over the company's use of open-source technology in the 489 audits it claims to have completed to date.
The company told CoinDesk it is using a combination of "proprietary and open-source software" in its web product "with the sole purpose of increasing accessibility for non-technical users" such that it can target both the crypto community and the financial services industry.
Quantstamp co-founder and CTO Steven Stewart took to Medium on Thursday where he sought to clear up investors' confusion over the functions of the company's web product and its protocol.
"The web product is a proof-of-concept user-interface for requesting security audits of smart contracts and viewing descriptive reports. … that permits small payments of QSP," Stewart explained. "Under the hood, the web product is intended to include and build upon smart contract analyzers such as Oyente (an open-source tool)."
The protocol, in contrast, will make use of a decentralized network of computers to verify smart contracts, and Oyente is one of the options the company is considering using as an analyzer for it.
Quantstamp intends to connect the web product with the next iteration of its protocol, scheduled to be completed by the end of August, according to Stewart's post.
Fire extinguisher image via Shutterstock