Polychain Accuses Ex-Partner of Token Ethics Breach

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Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum Foundation, attracted over 1,000 attendees to a room in Brussels at the EthCC conference, where CoinDesk’s Margaux Nijkerk was present. The conference featured numerous announcements from Europe’s largest Ethereum-focused event. However, one major blockchain story currently stirring the industry is the accusation by the prominent crypto venture-capital firm Polychain against a significant figure in the space. Polychain has alleged that a former partner at the fund, Niraj Pant, violated ethics policies by taking an undisclosed personal allocation of tokens from a project that had raised funds from the firm.

The story, originally reported by CoinDesk’s Sam Kessler, reveals that Neel Somani, the founder of the blockchain project Eclipse, allegedly allocated Pant 5% of a forthcoming Eclipse crypto token in September 2022, mere days after Pant directed Polychain to lead a $6 million pre-seed funding round for Eclipse. Although the allocation was later reduced to 1.33%, with a valuation of $13.3 million at the token’s most recent fully diluted valuation in a private round, Pant maintains that the arrangement was above board. He insists that it wasn’t finalized until September 2022, after Polychain had already invested in Eclipse. Internal Eclipse documents and sources close to the situation suggest the token grant was designed to incentivize Pant to secure Polychain’s funding and endorsement.

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Former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party recently adopted a platform supporting cryptocurrency innovation, as stated in a document released by the Republican National Committee. On another front, Multicoin Capital, one of the largest U.S. investment firms focused on cryptocurrency, has pledged up to $1 million to support Senate candidates favorable to the industry.

Additionally, residents in Granbury, Texas, have complained about physical symptoms caused by a “dull aural hum” from a nearby Bitcoin mining facility exceeding legal noise ordinances daily. The facility, owned by Marathon Digital Holdings, is reportedly working to address the noise issues.

Blockchain games are becoming increasingly sophisticated. David Z. Morris writes that many are now as enjoyable as traditional games. Jeff Wilser highlights the tap-to-earn game Hamster Kombat on the TON blockchain, which has gained significant popularity in Iran, prompting comments from the country’s deputy military chief.

Buterin delivered a keynote in Brussels, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the Ethereum blockchain and its ecosystem. He addressed concerns about transaction censorship and proposed raising the quorum threshold from 75% to 80%. He praised the Ethereum ecosystem’s decentralized nature and intellectual global community.

Other notable news in the Protocol Village includes key blockchain tech upgrades like Combinder, a DePIN for energy data collection, which unveiled an AI-driven prototype for energy nano-grid management on the peaq blockchain. Trilitech introduced Jstz, a JavaScript-powered smart rollup on Tezos. The TON Applications Chain (TAC) announced plans for a layer-2 network in the TON blockchain ecosystem, backed by The Open Platform and utilizing Polygon’s technology. Union Labs added support for Arbitrum, enhancing liquidity flow with IBC-enabled blockchains. Worldcoin’s developer firm, Tools For Humanity, opened its layer-2 chain, World Chain, to developers using Optimism’s OP Stack.

The rising demand for data centers powering AI machines has drawn private equity firms to bitcoin miners. Core Scientific recently secured a 12-year, 200 MW deal with CoreWeave for AI-related computing needs, attracting interest from top-tier private equity firms.

In the realm of fundraising, Rome, a startup using Solana for Ethereum layer-2 blockchains services, raised $9 million from investors like Hack VC and Polygon Ventures. Dora closed a $5.5 million early-stage round with Dragonfly Capital and Lemniscap leading. BOB secured $1.6 million from Ledger Ventures, while Term Labs closed a $5.5 million round led by Electric Capital.

Auros’ new venture capital arm plans to invest over $50 million in early-stage digital asset ventures. Open Campus announced a $1 million hackathon for decentralized app development. Immunefi and the Ethereum Foundation launched a crowdsourced security audit contest to enhance protocol security.

Market movements saw Bitcoin steadying at $58.5K as Saxony moved $600M in BTC. Celestia’s TIA token surged 25%, and concerns arose over Ethereum-era Golem sending $100M of Ether to exchanges. VanEck and 21Shares confirmed plans for a Solana ETF, and BlackRock’s BUIDL Fund exceeded $500M. AI tokens outperformed the CoinDesk 20 Index.

Germany’s state liquidation of Bitcoin, Israel’s decision on a digital shekel, and Fantom Foundation’s $2.2M court award made headlines. The blockchain calendar is packed with events, including TezDev 2024, Blockchain Rio, and Bitcoin 2024, among others.