This afternoon, cryptocurrency Verge had announced there long waited partnership. Video sites are by far the biggest consumers of bandwidth on the Web: Netflix, YouTube, Twitch… MindGeek. Or maybe that last one doesn’t ring a bell? MindGeek (formerly known as Manwin) has over 100 million daily visitors and is one of the top 10 consumers of bandwidth; some reports have them even in the top three. They operate nearly a hundred websites that in total consume more bandwidth than Twitter, Amazon or Facebook. Of all top content providers, though, MindGeek has by far the most shadowy presence. Its website says they are “pioneering the future of online traffic”, but doesn’t say much about what they actually do with all that bandwidth.
MindGeek is a porn provider. Or more accurately, the porn provider, they are reported to have a daily transaction volume of $500k USD daily, And Verge has announced it’s partnership with it. Justin (Vendetta) Sunerok put out an important update on March the 22nd (via twitter) stating that Verge had a potential global organization with a vast network of high traffic sites, looking to enter the crypto world as a means of having fast, secure and private transactions. That could reach an audience to the order of hundreds of millions.
Now, it might become pretty obvious why a company like MindGeek wants to include a fast and private payment option.
I believe a company of such an industry might be less deterred by XVG's somewhat controversial recent past compared to companies like Amazon that may thrive on their shiny image. Not to mention that the lead Dev. Sunerok has some minor criminal blemishes.
It would also make sense for a company like MindGeek to negotiate an amount of money for initial payment integration and marketing, whereas Amazon for example could probably just develop their own blockchain payment solution. Or just acquire an existing one outright.
Yet, there are more and more people who are putting their question mark at Verge, for multiple and good reasons. The credibility of Verge has taken a hit recently due to extensive Wraith protocol release delays and allegations of paid pumping by John McAfee. While Verge proponents have vehemently defended the token over recent months, in spite of a bizarre fundraising request and unsubstantiated partnership announcements, the increasingly erratic actions of the Verge development team are becoming impossible to ignore.
Verge has recently announced a fundraising, where people can donate in order to support the development toward a partnership ‘with enormous potential market with a global reach’, we all know what that is by now. This fundraise was disappeared on the fundraising wallet on the 13th of April and had become a serious source of concern in the crypto community.
As evidenced by publicly available information, 18,600,021 XVG were moved from the fundraising wallet to a Binance exchange wallet, assumably for immediate liquidation.
The history of the team behind Verge, specifically Verge founder and CEO Justin “Sunerok” Valo, is colorful indeed. Valo may currently operate as the leader of the Verge team, but his less recent history provides interesting insight into the credibility of the project as a whole.
The Verge Medium blog team post describes “Sunerok” as possessing “20+ years in network security” and “6+ years in blockchain.” Publicly available conviction and arrest information, however, shows that from 2003 to 2010, Verge founder Justin “Sunerok” Valo was arrested eight times on a variety of charges including criminal mischief, prowling, traffic violations, and failure to appear in court.
Other arrest information from Charlotte County shows that Valo has been arrested for trespassing, giving a false name, and the possession of schedule 1 narcotics.
While a history of criminal convictions doesn’t necessarily mean that Valo is unqualified to pilot the Verge project, it is worth factoring into a nuanced analysis of Verge’s credibility.