As everyone knows, we are going through really tough times at this time. Markets are crashing and startups are running out of money. That’s a big problem for most of the companies in our space and that includes ETCDEV, of course.
Just recently, I was talking about our financing and I found out that most people think that ETCDEV is well backed, but that is quite the opposite. ETCDEV has been always bootstrapping and working on Ethereum Classic (ETC) projects without much external finance.
However, the idea that we are somehow sponsored by Barry Silbert has been heavily promoted by Ethereum (ETH):
That is simply untrue or a manipulation of the facts. Notice that the term “associated” is used there. Yes, “associated”, but Vlad forgot to mention: Associated by whom? Who is spreading this view? ETH has been spreading this rumor for a long time.
Anyway, I don’t know why they use that particular line. My theory is that they think that ETC is supported by Bitcoin Maximalists, and, as ETH people think, most Bitcoiners dislike Barry.
I don’t know who likes who, but the fact is that Ethereum Classic is supported by Ethereum Maximalists. Bitcoin is a money and ETC is computation, there is no conflict and no relation.
So what about financing? ETCDEV has had some small initial donations, but that wasn’t even enough to hire one senior engineer from a big city like San Francisco or New York. But somehow, I managed to build a team of really passionate developers, who worked days and nights. Without weekends most of the time.
During this time, we made 28 releases of Classic Geth with more that 2000 commits since ETH forked from the ETC mainnet. We added support for custom and private networks, developed new developer friendly APIs, added enterprise grade monitoring, and, most importantly, we made Classic Geth as stable as a rock.
As a result, Classic Geth’s share in the ETC node count went from a little less than 20% at the beginning of the 2017 to 55% currently (the rest is Parity).
Besides Classic Geth, we built native Ethereum Classic wallets, for desktop and for command line (Emerald Wallet and Emerald Vault, respectively). We created a new framework to build Dapps that run on ETC, based on Electron and React, which allows to build closed source commercial applications as well (something that is not possible in ETH). And, we built a completely new EVM, standalone and lightweight, that can be integrated into other applications. This is not to talk about the ample progress in the network in general, such as improved security, new monetary policy, removal of the difficulty bomb, and the fact that the ETC’s blockchain has been working without interruptions since its genesis on July 30, 2015.
It has been a lot of work. I don’t know how we managed to do so much. Especially with a super tiny budget. However, what I did wrong was that I played that ETH game. In other words, I didn’t know who Barry Silber was at the time, but I saw that the ETH guys were saying that he was sponsoring us, so I simply didn’t accept his money, or from anybody else for that matter. Just to piss off people who spread that false rumor. It was such a stupid idea, and a big mistake. But, apparently ETH doesn’t care if that is true or not.
What could have been built if we had started to accept investments? It would have been a completely different story. Maybe ETH wouldn’t exist right now. Or, maybe it could just be on par with ETC (by market share).
My plan was to build a real usable technology and get sponsorships or grants to continue development. I mean, I didn’t have great illusions about donations . That has never worked for Open Source. We got some small donations in the beginning, but nothing large or serious (you can still donate to us). And, when we had the Callisto incident, a lot of people who initially believed in ETC left the community, so even that source of funding was greatly diminished.
My hope was on business support, which is a common source of sponsorship for most of Open Sources projects (example, example, example), in addition to consulting, education and support contracts. Most people probably know about Red Hat or Canonical, but there are really hundreds of other smaller open source companies known only to software engineers. I believe it’s hard to run that business model. At least in the traditional non-crypto world. But, in my opinion, it should be easier to do in crypto. This is because you can automate payment flows, transfer just a small fraction of a cent per business operation, and, if you have a well developed industry, you could reach a steady predictable flow of income.
Maybe in the future we’ll see such models. This kind of support could actually be already provided by businesses who are currently using software maintained by ETCDEV. I’m talking about exchanges, miners, wallets and others. Companies that already make money from our work. But, for now there are no cases of such support in the blockchain space, so that wouldn’t work for us, at least in the short term.
A few of weeks ago I decided that ETCDEV needed extra funding. It is especially important in this bear market. I’m sure in the following weeks most of the scams and ICOs will start to crash and the market will show its real disposition. It’s a perfect time to start building real technology. Without hype, without nonsense, and showing what is really important in blockchain (obviously not centralized projects). Starting this week I am raising a seed round for ETCDEV. Maybe, even Barry Silbert will invest in us, so the ETH guys will be able to push that narrative without blushing anymore.
Thank you very much in advance for your support.