- Bankless founders have recently found themselves at the receiving end of intense criticism within the crypto community.
- Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal has weighed in on the controversy.
- An Arbitrum funding proposal submitted by BanklessDAO is at the center of the debacle.
The crypto space is hardly ever void of controversy. In the latest instance, Ryan Sean Adams and David Hoffman, founders of the popular crypto media company Bankless, have received intense criticism over an Arbitrum funding proposal involving an eponymous DAO they founded in 2021.
The debacle has triggered reactions from several influential crypto community members, including Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal. Nailwal offered encouragement to the Bankless founders amid the wave of criticism.
Nailwal Tells Bankless Founders to Hold Their Heads High
In an X post on Wednesday, November 29, Nailwal appeared to challenge the criticism of Adams and Hoffman, instead offering encouragement and giving them kudos for their contributions to the Ethereum community.
“Ethereum community doesn’t deserve a BanklessDAO, we deserve a ThanklessDAO Keep your head high and keep doing great things @RyanSAdams @TrustlessState,” he wrote.
Nailwal’s statements come as some within the crypto space have taken advantage of the recent debacle to accuse the Bankless founders of being grifters and engaging in the undisclosed paid promotion of projects like Nexo, which came under scrutiny for money laundering in January 2023.
Background on Bankless’ Arbitrum Funding Proposal Debacle
At the center of the recent controversy is an Arbitrum grant application filed by BanklessDAO on November 20. In the application, the DAO, which Bankless founders claim runs independently of the crypto media company, requested 1.82 million ARB (worth approximately $1.82 million at the time of writing) from the Arbitrum DAO to fund a one-year educational program to draw people to the Layer 2 network.
The proposal quickly sparked outrage within the crypto community as concerns arose that BanklessDAO was leveraging the Bankless brand to con projects out of large sums of money. While BanklessDAO argued in its proposal that it had delivered a similar service for Optimism, members of the crypto community were quick to argue that the DAO had done a shoddy job.
Bankless founders Adams and Hoffman claimed to be ignorant of BanklessDAO’s application and the previous effort at Optimism. Still, many in the crypto space contended that ignorance did not absolve them of blame.
Delegate Cash founder “foobar” accused the Bankless founders of “legitimacy grifting,” slamming efforts to argue that BanklessDAO was unrelated to the eponymous media company as disingenuous.
Amid the mounting criticism, on Sunday, November 26, Adams and Hoffman revealed plans to discuss a clear brand separation with the BanklessDAO. They also revealed that they would be burning all their BANK tokens.
On the Flipside
- Proper delineation of entities is a widespread problem in crypto, as companies, tokens, and DAOs often share the same name.
- It is up to the Arbitrum DAO to decide if they want to support the BanklessDAO proposal.
Why This Matters
Bankless has earned a place as one of the most influential media firms in the crypto space, particularly within the Ethereum community. The recent Arbitrum funding debacle raised several questions about the integrity of the company’s founders.
Read this for more on Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal:
Find out what the recent CFTC Coinbase subpoena means for customers: