The board of the Iota Foundation has unanimously decided to “part ways” with Sønstebø: the company’s interests would be “significantly different” from those of the co-founder.
David Sønstebø will no longer be part of the Iota Foundation, a non-profit foundation he helped co-found and recently co-chaired.
According to an announcement released by the Foundation, the organisation has “parted ways” with Sønstebø, noting that this was a “unanimous decision taken by the Supervisory Board in the interest of Iota and its ecosystem”.
The announcement states that the project’s interests Bitcoin Era platform have “diverged significantly” from those of the co-founder. His photo and biography have already been removed from Iota’s website. The Foundation further added:
“The decision to part ways, although difficult, had to be made. […] There have been several instances where David’s actions have not aligned with what the Foundation stands for and who we aspire to be.”
Board members further stated:
“While this choice may come as a shock to many, it must be recognised that the Foundation is willing to make difficult decisions to protect the interests of the community.”
Sønstebø founded Iota in 2015, a project with a strong focus on the Internet of Things; he has also been co-founder and co-chairman of the Iota Foundation since 2017. The statement does not clarify whether Sønstebø is still involved in the project under another title, but stressed that he “will forever be a founder of Iota”.
This is not the first time Iota has faced problems from an organisational structure perspective. In 2018, a series of messages had emerged from the Foundation’s internal Slack channels discussing the fact that two of the founders had not been included on the board: it was suggested that the current members should step down to make room for them.
Reaction to the news on social media was generally supportive of the Foundation’s announcement.
Reddit user 4745454B said: ‘This is good news after all, some founders can’t grow with the project. It looks like Iota is getting ready to become a real company even beyond the technology aspect.”
Redditor CalculatedLuck, on the other hand, writes: “I sold Iota a long time ago, mainly due to poor leadership. Some of the communications that have come [from Sønstebø] have been very unprofessional. This probably doesn’t instil much confidence in the people still in HODLing.”
Sønstebø has a certain reputation in the crypto world for outbursts on various topics, whether they involve Iota or not. He even sarcastically admitted that his behaviour is “deeply alarming and unprofessional”, responding to a Twitter user who wrote to him on social media:
“I’ll make a note of that. My behaviour is deeply alarming and unprofessional, including this: fuck you and your elitist mentality.”
The Iota Network is currently implementing a three-step plan to remove its Coordinator, a strategy called “Coordicide”. A fully decentralised Iota mainnet, called Iota 2.0, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
At the time of publication, Iota (MIOTA) is trading for $0.27, having fallen 16.9% in the last 24 hours.