- Crypto data firm Arkham Intelligence angered the privacy-focused community with its controversial Dox-to-Earn approach.
- As a result of the scrutiny, reports of the project’s unethical practices emerged.
- Arkham’s CEO responded to the allegations.
Binance’s new Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) project, Arkham (ARKM), has sparked intense controversy with its contentious ‘Dox-to-Earn’ approach, shaking the anonymous foundation of Web3.
This has led to Arkham facing scrutiny from the crypto community due to its privacy implications. To make matters worse, reports of the project inadvertently doxing users and having government backing have emerged, forcing Arkham’s CEO to respond.
Arkham’s CEO Responds
After facing pressure from the community for leaking referrers’ email addresses, Arkham’s CEO Miguel Morel openly acknowledged the accusations, recognizing them as ‘legitimate criticism.’ Morel explained they implemented the system during the platform’s beta phase to track user referrals and reward them accordingly. The chief clarified that users’ emails were strictly used for communication and referrals, with the system serving as a feature to verify the legitimacy of the invites.
Recognizing the heightened concerns from the community, Arkham has since silently updated its system, encrypting referral links to protect its users’ information. Morel acknowledged that they were imperfect but will always strive to do the best for their users.
However, despite the CEO’s response, the community continued to express their discontent as Morel’s explanation failed to adequately address their concerns regarding doxing and invasion of privacy concerns linked to Arkham’s practices. Consequently, the project continued to face backlash, with many in the community labeling the project as the ‘FEDs” and demanding its immediate suspension.
Arkham Doubles Down, But Remains Out of Taste
In response to the rising concerns, Arkham released a comprehensive FAQ addressing all allegations. In the document, the company firmly rejected its dox-to-earn label, emphasizing its core purpose as an exchange for trading on-chain analysis and labeling. It asserted that it wouldn’t entertain exchanging off-chain personal information and denied any association with government projects, despite being backed by Palantir’s founders, known to have ties with intelligence agencies.
Still, despite trying to alleviate tensions, the project failed to recognize that its mission to ‘deanonymize the blockchain’ poses a threat to the very foundation of the crypto industry. Experts argue that Arkham’s business model of allowing anyone to buy and sell information anonymously has a lot of potential for misuse. The community fears that once launched, malicious actors will exploit the platform to launch bounties targeting influential wallets and whales, despite Arkham’s firm stance against entertaining such requests.
Moreover, the community has expressed ethical concerns regarding Arkham’s approach to trading personal information, as it raises questions about commodifying individuals’ identities and infringing upon their right to privacy and control over their data. Additionally, doxing can be illegal, depending on the jurisdiction, particularly if someone exploits the information to harass or harm individuals.
On the Flipside
- Six months ago, some users raised concerns about the vulnerability in Arkham’s email system. Despite being aware of the issue, the company chose not to take immediate action.
- Despite the controversy, Arkham has managed to raise substantial funding.
- Despite Arkham’s dismissal of the Dox-to-Earn label, users have found the project’s CEO liking Twitter posts referring to the project as Dox-to-Earn.
Why This Matters
Arkham poses a threat to the very principles that crypto was built on. Its platform can potentially be exploited by malicious actors, plaguing the industry even more. Users must exercise caution until the FUD surrounding the platform simmers down.
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