Consensys CEO: The Future of Crypto is Very Bright, 2019 Will be a Watershed

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 6 min read
Consensys CEO: The Future of Crypto is Very Bright, 2019 Will be a Watershed
Photo: Collision Conf / Flickr

The past month hasn’t been good for Ethereum and it’s co-founders’ company Consensys. With Ethereum going below $90 support line, and mainstream media attacking Consensys on all fronts, Consensyss’ image has already been tarnished.

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin is, however, not afraid. He says the future of the crypto industry is so bright he has to wear shades, and called a bottom to the current bear market.

ConsenSys Labs incubates around 36 startups that usually have anywhere between 5 and 50 employees. Around 50% – 60% of the workforce involved with these startups will be let go by ConsenSys.

Two weeks ago, we wrote of how the timing of the layoffs by ConsenSys makes us questions whether it is an outcome of the latest market slowdown. Moreover, this year’s crypto market crash has seen several companies shutting down operations. Also, Lubin calls this latest exercise a part of budget adjustments while focusing on important projects. It looks like in the current market turmoil, the company seems to reduce its scope of experimentation.

Lubin then said:

“I would call it a refocusing of priorities…On more rigor, more structure, more sustainability, more accountability.

He further continued:

“We will more quickly declare projects a ‘learning success’ and disband them, enabling their elements – technology, technologists, and entrepreneurs – to diffuse back into the sea of potentiality and reconstitute into another project with the benefit of greater experience. It recognizes that we’re in a new regime”.

One source said that ConsenSys is presenting some of its spokes with an option to discontinue work with a severance package or seek outside investment. The company has declined to answer questions about how the spokes will be jettisoned, but following the publication of this article provided the following statement:

“As part of the evaluation promised with our transition to ConsenSys 2.0, our Labs team is engaging in ongoing conversations with every project, and in some instances, has provided options for them to determine their path forward. Next steps differ, with spokes having autonomy to decide about their own staffing.”

It’s perhaps the most dramatic development at ConsenSys since founder Joe Lubin first announced his updated vision for the company late last month.

But Consensys’s founder, Joseph Lubin, finally breaks down the silence regarding negative news around Consensys. According to him, most of the news around Consensys is mass hysteria, rather than backed by numbers.

Lubin said he has seen a lot of FUD due to the prolonged downturn, but warned that people on the outside looking in shouldn’t draw conclusions about ConsenSys based on its current woes.

Lubin also chided detractors who are gleefully wallowing in schadenfreude over the current dismal state of the industry, and said ConsenSys continues to prepare for a watershed 2019.

He wrote:

“We have been on the receiving end of an epic amount of conjecture and preemptive paranoia — filled with damning rhetoric about situations journalists and bloggers don’t have real data for. The sky is not falling. From my perspective, the future looks very bright. I remain excited about scalability solutions that are available now.”

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, himself took to Twitter to defend Consensys, saying the downsizing is part of the journey.

He tweeted:

“Expand up to 1100 people, shrink to 600, keeping the 6/11ths that are most productive: OMG consensys is dead! Expand up to 600 with no shrinking, announce every step of the expansion: wow, the company is prospering!”

Tron Continues to Move at Nice Speed

The Tron project has continued to break records every day. Further checking DApp Radar, we find that the Tron network now has a total of 39 active Decentralized Applications.

Interestingly, earlier in the month, Justin Sun announced the creation of a ‘rescue fund’ for the developers of Ethereum [ETH] and Ethereum Classic [ETC], if they migrate to the TRON network. This announcement came weeks after the closure of ETCDEV, an Ethereum Classic development team that shut-up-shop due to financial difficulties caused by the bearish market.

Furthermore, Tomasz Zdybał, a former developer at ETCDEV took Justin Sun’s offer and joined the TRON network as a ‘core developer,’ the same was confirmed by Sun.

One of the main reasons for this competition with Ethereum is the Decentralised Application (DApp) on their respective servers. In mid-November, TRON surpassed Ethereum’s DApp volume for the first time. To further push the DApp volume on the TRON platform, the foundation introduced the TRON Accelerator, a $1 million competition that would empower developers to build their DApp on TRON.

While prospects seem dismal for the Ethereum-friendly group, it was explained that some of Consensys’ spokes will likely remain fully intact, contrary to rumors. Per those familiar with the matter, “core Ethereum tools” will continue to operate in their current state.

Such tools include Infura, MetaMask (the popular Ethereum wallet and dApp client), Alethio, Kaleido, and Truffle. For a majority of the other spokes, ConsenSys will be starting an “accelerate spin out” process, whereas two months of severance will be forked out, or partial equity, partial cash deal will be struck.

These days, the mood at ConsenSys is bleak; it’s clear the freewheeling days of expensing $14,000 in two weeks or buying day-of Emirates business-class tickets are over, says a source. And according to an email sent by Frithjof Weinert, who works in finance at ConsenSys, the company is “looking to reduce spending that isn’t absolutely necessary for business success,” starting with travel and events; some hiring has also been put on hold.

The source said:

“The office is empty, people are only finding out who’s getting fired because you try to to send Slack messages and they’re not there. ConsenSys won’t create a list of the projects that are being spun out neither send out anything in writing because they’re afraid of everything going to the press.”

The source added that earlier that day, all the spoke leads had a meeting with Cheng and Ron Garrett, who also runs ConsenSys Labs; when asked, they didn’t agree to create or provide a list of spokes or what would be happening to them.

As he looks ahead to 2019, Lubin said exciting things are just behind the corner as the token economy continues to mature and gain mainstream acceptance.

“We will see many exciting consumer utility tokens and tokenized security launches in the new year.”

Lubin then sent warm holiday greetings to both supporters and haters alike and signed off with the salutation, “Yours in Ethereal Serenity.”

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