21 Jan 2019 · 4 min read

They're Alive! Haven Protocol Responds to Exit Scam Accusations

Advertised as “an offshore bank in your pocket,” Haven Protocol (XHV) has a market cap of USD 2.4 million and it seemed that nobody left at home. The project, which only has two publicly listed developers who still remained anonymous, seemed to have been abandoned by both, and many were considering this an exit scam by the team. However, following the amount of pressure from the crypto community, the developers came forward and gave control over the code to the rest of the team.

Source: iStock/enot-poloskun

One of the Haven co-founders, who goes under the pseudonym Donjor, finally took to Twitter to clear up the confusion around the protocol and the alleged exit scam.

“Myself and other predominant team members have been pressuring @havendev [co-founder and lead developer of the project, named on the Haven’s website] to give us access to the offshore code as well as more transparency on the governance fee,” he wrote. Apparently, Havendev was not replying to them, so after news.cutter, a team member of the project, came forward on the Discord chat to announce that he was quitting, he was pressured into sharing the code and giving over control over the governance fee to Donjor and others.

After the announcement, XHV trimmed its losses to less than 18%:

However, Donjor adds that he is still waiting for access to the repositories, “so stay tuned on that.” Havendev has written in the Discord chat, “Haven development has been ongoing. I have still been working on the offshore code through Christmas and New Year. I stepped down from running the Discord and social networks 4-6 months ago and handed that control over to @donjor and @news.cutter. In light of the insane amount of FUD, and although I want to keep the offshore code under wraps I will prepare it and hand it all to the team so that they can hire new devs to work on it. I will continue to help the team where I can.”

This, presumably, means that the project is after all remaining active, and that the pressure of the community was necessary to give it the boost it needed. The community is mostly just relieved that there is no scam: “Thank you for reacting. And now ... all the best of luck with the crisis management. Please bear in mind that transparency goes a long way in situations like this,” wrote Twitter user @Dutch_Offspring.

Other reactions:

How it all happened

The first sign of something being wrong came when Twitter user @loomdart noticed that the charts of the coin under the ticker XHV looked like it was going to zero. Only a few hours after that, a team member of the project on its chat service Discord, under the username news.cutter, wrote, “I’ll be honest here. Consider this project dead unless some devs take it over.”

He continued, “@havendev is apparently the only person with access to the code repository was asked weeks ago to open it up so other contributors could help out and review the code. Ever since then we haven't heard from him. On top of that he was asked to to make the dev fee transparent. Nothing from him on that topic either. I'm gone until more capable, more communicative and transparent dev take this project over.”

The fact that only one developer has access to the code repository on GitHub was worrying, given that the project’s website states that, “Some of the Haven Protocol contributors are anonymous, some are not, please respect the choices made by each individual on this matter. As a community-based project, with no ICO, the lack of corporatization is key, anyone can contribute to this project and is highly encouraged to do so.”

Another Twitter user, under the handle @CryptoVerso, posted a screenshot of what he claims is an email from cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which states that, “We are currently waiting for a response from XHV coin developers and it will face delisting if we get no response within the next 48 hours.”

A screenshot of the XHV developer team chat reads: “dweab: I think we need to give ourselves a time limit on this again, if no contact and real progress within the next 3 days then I think we need to give it up.” This was followed by a message which stated: “please be aware of he timeline @dweab and @news.cutter have given in which they will no longer be a part of the project.”

Haven is a fork of privacy coin Monero that bills itself as untraceable. It offers fiat value storage by a system of minting and burning coins via smart contracts. Users will ideally be able to send their funds to offshore storage contracts while retaining a portion of the blockchain’s funds live to remain responsive to the market.

The team behind Haven Protocol has not replied to our request for comment.