Ethereum Foundation in Damage Control Mode After Major Leaks

Ethereum researchers taking lucrative jobs with a competitor project has sparked a crisis of confidence in the Ethereum Foundation.

Man staring at a smoking Ethereum Foundation logo in the sky.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Ethereum researchers have insisted they can remain impartial after leaks, but the community has grown skeptical.
  • The leaks have potentially forced disclosures, raising questions about the Ethereum Foundation’s transparency.
  • In response to the leaks, the Ethereum Foundation has scrambled to implement a conflict of interest policy.

The Ethereum Foundation, the backbone behind the world’s second-largest blockchain, is facing a crisis of confidence. In a move that sent shockwaves through the crypto community, two prominent Ethereum researchers, Justin Drake, and Dankrad Feist, revealed lucrative new gigs with EigenLayer, a project aiming to scale Ethereum.

The twist? EigenLayer is a direct competitor to the very technology they help develop for the Ethereum Foundation. This bombshell has sparked a heated debate, raising questions about conflicts of interest and the future of Ethereum’s development.

Millions Made, Transparency Debated

Drake took the first jump, announcing a hefty “millions of dollars” incentive package from EigenLayer. He insists on remaining critical of the project and reinvesting the funds back into Ethereum. Feist echoed similar sentiments, receiving a “significant amount of tokens” while emphasizing his independence.


But the community isn’t buying it all. Skepticism abounds, with some questioning the timing of the disclosures. Leaks within the community might have forced the researchers’ hand, raising concerns about transparency. Crypto trader Jordan Fish even went straight to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, demanding answers about potential conflicts within the foundation.

Faced with mounting pressure, Ethereum Foundation Executive Director Aya Miyaguchi admitted their current approach, relying on “culture and individual judgment,” isn’t enough. 

In a surprising turn of events, Miyaguchi revealed a formal conflict of interest policy has been in the works and will be rolled out soon. This policy aims to restore trust and ensure neutrality in the foundation’s operations.

A Recipe for Trouble?

The controversy centers around EigenLayer’s role. It allows Ethereum validators to “double dip” on their staked assets, earning rewards on the same Ether twice. While innovative, it directly competes with the scaling solutions the Ethereum Foundation is developing. This raises a critical question: can researchers objectively work on both sides of the fence?


The Ethereum Foundation’s response will be crucial. A clear and robust conflict of interest policy could be the key to regaining community trust. As the crypto world evolves, ensuring transparency and ethical conduct remains paramount, especially when millions of dollars hang in the balance.

On the Flipside

  • The hefty financial rewards offered by EigenLayer could be a strong motivator for researchers, potentially influencing the direction of their work beyond just Ethereum.
  • It’s unclear how this situation might affect the long-term viability and competitiveness of Ethereum’s scaling solutions.
  • This controversy raises concerns about external financial incentives influencing researchers and Ethereum’s direction.

Why This Matters

If the Ethereum Foundation can’t effectively navigate this conflict of interest situation, it could erode trust in the entire project, impacting Ethereum’s development trajectory and potentially hindering the growth of the wider blockchain ecosystem that relies on its technological advancements.

If you’re interested in the recent developments surrounding Ethereum ETFs, check out this article exploring the origins of the SEC’s interest in approving them:
SEC Interest in Ethereum ETFs Came from Nowhere, Or Did It?

Wondering how Ethereum’s upgrade might affect other players? Check out this exploration of Polygon’s place on Ethereum’s scaling solutions:
Polygon (MATIC) on Ethereum L3s: “L3s Don’t Make Any Sense”

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.