Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has taken to Twitter to issue a public response on the matter of ConsenSys' disclosure of a 2020 deal which saw JPMorgan Chase acquire what has been called an "influential" stake on two of ConsenSys AG's (CAG) flagship products, MetaMask and Infura.
According to Hoskinson, JPMorgan has no stakes in the Cardano blockchain, and that neither does it have any presence or control in any "critical" Cardano infrastructure.
Just want to point out that J.P. Morgan does not own any critical Cardano Infrastructure https://t.co/SrEyVRehop— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March 4, 2022
According to the special audit filed by 35 shareholders from ConsenSys AG, there were " [...] fundamental intellectual property and subsidiaries illegally transferred from CAG into a new entity, ConsenSys Software Incorporated (CSI).”
These were specified further regarding the transfer's involvement of two flagship products served by ConsenSys, MetaMask and Infura (crypto wallet and gateway, respectively). According to a press release issued by the shareholders, the transfer was effectively offset "in exchange for 10% ownership of CSI" with an offset a "$39 million loan" that was purportedly made by Joseph Lubin, ConsenSys's founder and major shareholder. This transaction was recorded on August 14, 2020, and has since been the subject of criticism among ConsenSys' shareholders.
The transaction was internally codenamed as "Project North Star" and allegedly resulted in legacy financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase obtaining a sizable stake in MetaMask and Infura. In the crypto industry, the two aforementioned flagship products are widely used as critical infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, serving as a crypto wallet for the former, and as an IPFS and API gateway for decentralized applications built on the Ethereum blockchain.
In reference to the demise of Theranos, another Silicon Valley startup which failed to deliver its products after rising to a valuation of over $9 billion, Hoskinson highlighted Cardano's core principles with the following statement:
''Anyone in the world can fork Cardano…Anyone in the world can take our paper and implement our papers as has been done by Mina Protocol and Polkadot for some of our papers…There are no restrictions. If you are a scam, you don't let people see what's behind the curtain because there's nothing there. It's just that simple.''
Hoskinson's comments come off as a criticism of the ConsenSys suite of products, most of which are aimed at the development of Ethereum. As we know, the Cardano blockchain itself is poised as an "Ethereum killer" among other similar Layer 1 blockchains that have sought to compete with Ethereum's dominance.
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