12 mins ago |
By Samuel Haig – |
Tezos Founders Enter Legal Battle for Control of $400m in Raised ICO Funds
Founded by husband and wife, Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, Tezos is a decentralized platform that hosts smart contracts that seeks to compete with ethereum. Tezos’ initial coin offering (ICO) did not have a cap on investment and raised approximately $232 million – at the time comprising the largest ICO crowdsale to date. The 65,703 bitcoins (BTC) and 361,122 ETH raised by the company is now worth more than $400 million USD.
The Breitmans Are Reported to Be Attempting to Attain Greater Control Over Tezos’ Finances
The Breitman couple has become embroiled in a legal dispute with Johan Gevers – the president of a Swiss foundation that was set up by the Breitman’s and an independent body that would manage the funds raised through the ICO. Both parties accuse one another of having a conflict of interest which render them unsuitable for managing the funds. It has been reported that the Breitmans are now seeking to create a new foundation, which, if they are successful, will allow the Breitmans to exercise greater control over the management of Tezos’ funds.
Reuters has reported that an attorney representing the Breitmans sent a letter to the two other members of Tezos’ board threatening that if Gevers is not removed from his position then the Breitmans will then remove their support for the project. The letter accuses Geevers of “self-dealing, self-promotion and conflicts of interest.” According to Reuters, Geevers has been asked to “step aside for a month” while the board investigates the matter further. Gevers described the Breitmans’ actions as “attempted character assassination,” and referred to the accusations laid against him as “a long laundry list of misleading statements and outright lies.”
There Is Currently No Date Set for the Launch of the Tezos Network
Gevers alleges that the Breitmans have been attempting to bypass the legal structure in order to exert control over operations, with Gevers’ lawyer describing the Breitmans’ involvement in Gevers’ work as having been “incompatible with the needed independence of the foundation.” Gevers blames delays in the development and release of the Tezos network on the Breitmans’ actions, stating that “they’re unnecessarily putting the project at risk.”
Reuters reports that the Breitmans have contacted the publication regarding the dispute, stating that they have acted “in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,” and that their priority “remains the successful launch of the Tezos network.” In an interview quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Kathleen Breitman stated “we made a lot of mistakes. The best I can do is put my head down and work on the code.”