Reuters Claims $232 Million Record ICO Company Tezos May Be Splintering

Blockchain, FinTech, ICO News, Investing, News | October 19, 2017 By:

Reuters has issued a special report indicating Tezos, the company that raised a then-record $232 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) earlier this year, may be falling apart.

A battle for control of the company is underway, Reuters claims. The struggle pits Tezos founders Arthur and Kathleen Beitman against Johann Gevers, the president of a Swiss foundation that helped with the ICO setup and has promoted the company. Tezos also has private investors, most prominently noted backer Tim Draper.

The foundation holds all of the funds raised through the ICO, which now are valued at more than $400 million, thanks to the rise in price of bitcoin and ether, the two currencies accepted in the offering. But Reuters says the Breitmans are attempting to oust the foundation head, using their control of the Tezos source code as leverage.

Tezos is a blockchain company, but has far grander plans than facilitating business for others. Among its plans:

  • “Sponsor a leading computer science department with endowed professorships and extensive grants to graduate students in the field of formal verification”
  • “Acquire mainstream print and TV media outlets to promote and defend the use of cryptographic ledger in society”
  • “Negotiate with a small nation-state the recognition of Tezos as one of their official state currencies, which would immediately give Tezos favorable treatment in terms of financial regulation. Attempt negotiations to purchase or lease sovereign land”

Reuters reports that an attorney for the Breitmans sent two foundation board members a letter asking for Gevers removal, limit the foundation’s future responsibilities, and grant the Breitmans a new structure that would give them control of Tezos.  Gevers was accused of “self-dealing, self-promotion and conflicts of interest.”

Gevers told Reuters he is not stepping down and claimed the Breitmans were staging “an illegal coup.”