09 Aug 2018 · 3 min read

IOTAs "Heated Discussion" Sparks Leadership Debate

A leaked copy of internal communications between the founders and the current board members of the IOTA, the decentralised internet-of-things foundation, has sparked a debate online on whether all of the board members have what it takes to lead a multi-billion-dollar foundation like IOTA has grown to become.

Source: IOTA
Source: IOTA, montage by Cryptonews.com

According to an official statement from the IOTA Foundation published on Wednesday, the entire discussion is based on the fact that two of IOTAs co-founders, Sergey Ivancheglo and Serguei Popov, were not given seats on the foundation’s board of directors at the time the foundation was formed “for reasons of timing and simplicity.” For the past few months, however, the two have been working to become official members of the board, a move that IOTA Foundation chairman Dominik Schiener appears to have opposed.

The issue culminated in a heated discussion in an internal Slack channel that was later made public. According to the leaked chat log, Sergey Ivancheglo stated that he “no longer trust” IOTA Foundation chairman Dominik Schiener, and that he has asked him to step down from the board, saying: “Either I’m in or he is out.”

Schiener subsequently responded “this is a joke. I’m off for tonight. All I asked for was a call, and now I get public impeachment haha.”

In response to the internal fighting going public, the IOTA Foundation issued a statement where they made it clear that Sergey Ivancheglo’s demand that Dominik Schiener should step down from the board was “an emotional reaction to the situation,” and that the board intends to bring the two co-founders onto the board.

Mixed Reactions

Regardless of the latest clarification from the Foundation, the internal fighting has sparked a wider debate online about IOTA’s leadership and whether the current board is capable of leading a large and complex organization like this.

Many IOTA holders and supporters took to Twitter and Reddit following the incident, with some expressing support for the way the team handled the incident, while others were more critical. One critic said that the Foundation should be able to “discuss whatever they want,” but the discussions need to be kept private “unless a final solution can be published.”

Another said he now have “doubts about the whole project,” and that it shows “how the founders don’t trust each other.” Others also expressed the view that occasional fighting is normal, but it should be kept private.

On Reddit, some users expressed their support for the way the incident was handled. One user pointed out that the statement from the Foundation was “well-written”, and that people “should calm down now.”

Other Reddit users were mostly critical of Sergey Ivancheglo’s decision to publish the internal chat log online, with one saying that his actions “does not reflect well on his value as a board member.”

At the same time, others were focusing on the age of the team.

“Looks like a typical crypto conversation to me. A bunch of 20-somethings who have technical knowledge but little life experience, and who think they are big shots. Lack of maturity is a significant weakness in crypto,” redditor qthistory wrote.

“Overall the three members with the biggest issues and lack of professionalism are coincidentally the youngest ones. This is just an observation and I don't think one can get better in such situations without making mistakes first,” another Reddit user Izrud said, adding that he decided to sell a portion of his investment in IOTA, despite that he still believes that “the foundation will move past this and deliver the coveted product.”

IOTA price chart:

Source: coinmarketcap.com