Efforts to keep the $ 200 million blockbuster free of corporate interests are turning into chaos amid accusations against the companies at the center of the effort.
In question it is the conduct of programmers of the protocol and the motivations behind their push to change the rules of the blockchain they maintain. Last week, developers including the creator of siacoin David Vorick made changes that would prevent mining equipment operators from gaining value by protecting the distributed storage protocol.
Put simply, the code would have pushed bothcoin so that the products offered by Bitmain, the China enterprise on the verge of an initial public offering, and its competitor Innosilicon, would be disabled.
But while such efforts have been enthusiastically welcomed on other blockchain, satisfactory concerns about how such changes could affect the balance of power on their networks, there is only one problem: in the case of siacoin, l & # 39; Equipment that would still work is being sold by a company managed by siacoin developers.
In fact, the mining company in question, Obelisk, was founded by Vorick in 2017. In June of this year, Vorick subsequently announced a service called "Launchpad", through which Obelisk would create mining equipment. for a wider range of blockchains.
But while this has been praised as a new model for blockchain management, it has done little to change the competitive environment for the company. The miner SC1 of the obelisk had already been beaten on the market by a competing offer of Bitmain in January. The stage set for the June competition, the mood in the community was tense, if optimistic, until Obelisk failed to meet the July deadline.
Having accumulated $ 22 million from siacoin users for the production of mining machines, the situation is now degraded into a tangle of legal threats and proposals to shell out the blockchain. The situation is so difficult, even Vorick said he did not know "how things will go".
Vorick told CoinDesk
"Things are very chaotic right now, and the situation is complex, to do the right thing, but it's not obvious to us which is the best way from here."  Not simply a way to regain the economic influence of the network, more sources within the siacoin community told CoinDesk that the move was a response to growing legal pressure, a fact mentioned by Vorick in his statements.
"The obelisk believed there was sufficient pressure in the community both, and sufficient pressures from the Obelisk community to justify the release of the algorithm to both the development team," Vorick told CoinDesk , adding:
"Now it is in the hands of the developers to decide whether or not to implement the algorithm."
At the time of writing, two parties contacted CoinDesk claiming to be pursuer g legal action against Obelisk. In both cases, the causes arise from accusations that the company failed to send the miner SC1 by July 30, as agreed for the purchase.
A third-party developer previously responsible for the maintenance of web sites and web-related tools for siacoin, the "pseudonym" RBZL "has recently given up its engagement with siacoin, stating that the obelisk controversy has effectively blocked platform development.
Now pursuing legal action, RBZL explained that his concern was that Obelisk knew he could not commit to his timeline release, RBZL then called the "proud and arrogant" initiative, stating that the company's behavior was a "slap in the face" to Obelisk's buyers
Comments on the social media site Reddit attest that such marketing efforts have been made, with Vorick stating that users "will benefit from a full refund "in the case of a missed term.
" I have no interest in seeing the project either go, but have done a good job of setting one "RBZL told CoinDesk.
Continuing, RBZL shared screenshots of private messages with Vorick that characterized the founder by stating that Obelisk was unable to offer refunds due to lack of funds. Funded entirely with the advanced sales of its mining machines, Obelisk had already spent its money on production.
"I feel quite clear that we would not be able to survive the reimbursement requests," wrote Vorick in the message.  Referring to a commentary on Reddit, Vorick acknowledged that his statements could return to impact society. "This comment may be enough to kill us in court and when I say kill ourselves, I mean dead society," he said.
Nebula and Obelisk
To make matters worse is that those behind the effort suggest any legal action against Obelisk could have an impact on Nebulous, the startup entity that currently employs open source developers for the siacoin protocol.
In the same screen, Vorick is seen to state that "Obelisk and Nebulous are not properly armed", and warned that in the legal case, "it is likely that the court will order Nebulous to repay the damages and that we have no money for anyone of two."
Speaking with CoinDesk, Vorick confirmed that the messages were authentic, but said he was "speaking on a personal level and sharing [his] of his fears with a moderator and community leader." He requested that these messages "not they were interpreted in an official way. "
Another user called "Bloqtwits" also contacted CoinDesk, claiming to represent a group of applicants who had purchased Obelisk miners and are now looking for a cause for class action  Bloqtwits refused to share more information about the deposit, as he did RBZL, citing advice from the legal council that could jeopardize any case.
However, some of those seeking redress believe that the entities supporting the siacoin protocol have sufficient funds to pay. The only development agency of siacoin, Nebulous is the custody of what is called the "siafunds", a slice of a siacoin smart contract that is built to stimulate bothcoin development.
Speaking with CoinDesk, a siacoin trader named Scott Bell estimated the fund is close to $ 56 million, or did at some point during 2018.
"I think these people are not actually looking for justice but they see instead a legal path for the nefandi siafunds in a collective action, "Bell Bell told BellDesk.
This does not mean that there is no ongoing effort to support protocol developers.
Bell, for example, leads one of the factions within the siacoin community that is promoting a "user activated soft fork" (UASF), a change that would have found users who opted to change software rules, at the contrary to a business entity.
Bell said the proposal seeks to find a way to defend itself from the growing legal pressure against Obelisk and Nebulous, which h sees as an attack on the siacoin network.
And this because, according to Bell, Nebulous is vital for siacoin. If a lawsuit on Obelisk failed to bring Nebulous down, it could have a damaging impact on the network.
"There will be no more developers on it, the visionary will go bankrupt and he will have to leave, and everything we work hard will go up in smoke," Bell told CoinDesk.
Published two weeks ago, the proposal claims that once mines are released, Obelisk should give Obelisk miners the run of the network for a three-a-period period, after which other miners would again be able to protect the mines. protocol.
"Unfortunately, the only thing we could get is a fairly messy way to solve the problem, and this is essentially paying people who are threatening legal action, I hate to say it, but it's like that," Bell said CoinDesk
An uncertain future
However, other factors suggest that the volatile situation may continue to change in the days and weeks to come. For one, Obelisk said he began shipping his units on Friday and planned to send "hundreds" this week.
"We are still on track to deliver all Batch 1 units by the end of August," the company announced on Discord last week.
Meanwhile, Vorick said he remained skeptical of basic efforts to change the protocol (Obelisk and Nebulous have not issued statements on proposals).
For one, while Obelisk agreed to release its new algorithm, one that would have excluded competing miners, Vorick said he disagreed with the UASF group's efforts to open the network to other mines after a short period block, as specified in the proposal.
"If we are going to take proactive measures to treat our mining community, the goal will be to create a healthy, decentralized and open mining ecosystem," Vorick told CoinDesk, "So it makes no sense to me that we should change and then go back. "
In addition, uncertainty r emain – for example, the threat of class action has not diminished.
Speaking with CoinDesk, Vorick said that for now he is practicing caution, focusing on shipping units and hesitating to take dramatic steps that could be a permanent precedent for the government of cryptocurrency.
"Something as significant as a fork should never be rushed," he told CoinDesk.
Correction (09:20 UTC, Aug. 21, 2018): An earlier version of this article erroneously stated the market value of siacoin as $ 200 billion rather than $ 200 millions. This was correct.
Image reflector through the CoinDesk archives