I looked at Matchpool earlier. Actually, it is fair to say that I scowled at this project, raising a number of questions and objections. My view is that they don’t understand what they are doing, and are offering a non-solution to a misstated problem.
Evidently, this logically shaky project has had a rocky execution as a company as well.
Corin Faife describes “The ICO ‘Scandal’ That Wasn’t”, walking through a couple of news items that he explains aren’t as “scandalous” as some have said.
Much of the fuss seems to be the departure of one of the founders. On the way out the door, he complained about a less-than-completely-transparent transfer of funds, over $1 million worth, out of the ICO account.
Faife tells us that this was actually a transfer from Ethereum into Bitcoin, as a “currency hedge” against the volatility of Ethereum. This isn’t an implausible story, though one wonders whether this kind of volatility it is a great sign for a business that is built on Ethereum.
A second issue is that the transfer itself required three signatures (keys), which is intended to prevent simple theft. It turns out that the remaining founder has two keys (!), partly subverting this security mechanism. He found one other person, and they just did it.
Perhaps multisignature wallets are not quite the silver bullet that some think they are. Anyway, this seems at least a bit “scandalous” to me, that large amounts of cash are sloshing around with little effective accountability.
Faife comments that, if not actually scandalous, the departure of a founder from a brand new company is certainly a bad sign. He reports that the company claims that he left because he submitted code that was rejected and had to be rewritten. (His code was “fired”, so the code quit?)
The story doesn’t explain what kinds of “errors” were flagged, though it is said to be “smart contract code”, which is the stuff that brought down The DAO, and which is notoriously iffy even when done well.
If this story is true, then it is kind of scandalous that such a poor coder was allowed anywhere near the code base in the first place. It also suggests that this founder probably doesn’t know as much as he believes he does about smart contracts.
Overall, I have to wonder if these people actually have any idea at all what they are doing. These are silly, rookie errors that suggest they really don’t deserve the confidence of investors or users. On top of their fundamental misunderstanding of the real world problems they aim to “fix”, they don’t seem to be able to run a software development project.
The article includes an unintentionally revealing “endorsement”, by project advisor Joe Shapira of Jdate,
“I think that Matchpool will be a very beneficial venture for its founders and the investors in its currency.” (quote from Shapira)
Whoa! A dating service that is very beneficial to the founders and investors, but has nothing to say to the actual users? Is that really the right idea? I don’t think so.
To the extent that this project is focused on investors and not on customers, it is absolutely guaranteed to fail. Assuming it even gets to release. At the rate they are going, I wouldn’t bet on it.
- Corin Faife, Matchpool: The ICO ‘Scandal’ That Wasn’t. Coindesk.April 15 2017, http://www.coindesk.com/the-matchpool-ico-scandal-is-all-smoke-and-no-fire/