Lane Rettig, a former core developer for Ethereum, has recently raised serious allegations about the distribution of Ethereum‘s native cryptocurrency, ETH. In a statement that garnered significant attention from the crypto community, Rettig claimed that approximately 70% of all ETH was distributed during the project’s pre-mine phase. This figure has decreased to about 60% in recent times. This revelation has raised questions about the transparency and fairness of Ethereum’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Rettig’s comments were made in a video that has been widely circulated among cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts. He expressed uncertainty about the precise percentage of pre-mined ETH, suggesting a range that could be anywhere from 10% to 80%. However, he emphasized that the proportion was excessively high regardless of the specific number. Rettig’s statement highlights a long-standing concern in the crypto industry about the concentration of ownership in the hands of a few individuals or entities.
Questions surrounding ETH’s ICO transparency
The controversy surrounding Ethereum’s ICO is not new. In the past, there have been discussions and rumours about the lack of transparency in the distribution of ETH during its early stages. Rettig’s allegations add fuel to these ongoing debates. He mentioned rumours, although anecdotal, about a very small number of individuals purchasing significant portions of pre-mined ETH pseudonymously. This raises concerns about the potential for centralization and manipulation within the Ethereum network.
Moreover, a video from last year resurfaced, showing ETH co-founder Joseph Lubin advising early Ethereum investors to use multiple pseudonymous identities during the ETH ICO. This strategy reportedly aimed to avoid deterring public participation by revealing the concentration of holdings among a few investors. This revelation further casts doubt on the transparency of ETH’s early distribution process.
Ethereum’s reputation challenged by ICO allegations
Rettig’s involvement with the Ethereum Foundation lasted approximately one and a half years. He cited the issues he perceived with the ETH pre-mine as a primary reason for his departure. According to Rettig, his role had diverged significantly from his initial expectations, leading him to feel that he was inadvertently supporting the interests of specific individuals, namely Joseph Lubin.
These allegations are not isolated incidents. Steven Nerayoff, a former ETH advisor, has previously accused Ethereum’s leadership, including co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin, of engaging in fraudulent activities during the ICO. Nerayoff compared the alleged misconduct at ETH with the infamous FTX fraud, claiming it to be significantly more severe.
The recent allegations by Rettig have reignited concerns about the centralization of power and wealth within the Ethereum ecosystem. The crypto community is now more vocal in demanding transparency and fair practices from Ethereum and all major blockchain projects. These developments could have a lasting impact on ETH’s reputation and the broader perception of ICOs in the cryptocurrency industry.