IOTA co-founder Sergey Ivancheglo, also known as “Come-From-Beyond,” has raised threats of legal action against David Sønstebø, another of IOTA’s co-founders. Ivancheglo also accused Sønstebø of embezzling $7.7 million worth of IOTA tokens.
“I notify the #IOTA community that I no longer work with David Sønstebø and am contacting my lawyers to get my 25 Ti from him,” Ivancheglo wrote on Twitter on February 2nd. “He refuses to transfer the iotas to make me act for his own benefit and against mine.”
The #IOTA community is involved because an IF’s director is about to be accused of embezzlement. @DavidSonstebo should resign.
— Come-from-Beyond (@c___f___b) February 2, 2020
JINN was reportedly the precursor of the IOTA project and is still allegedly closely connected with IOTA. JINN is currently working on a trinary microprocessor, which David Sønstebø was slated to publicly answer questions about today, February 3rd.
David Sønstebø responded to Ivancheglo’s accusations in a blog post on February 3rd, explaining essentially that the IOTA Foundation decided to go a route that Ivancheglo was not happy with, which lead to the feud between the two men.
“As IOTA kept progressing, [Ivancheglo] kept distancing himself from the project while simultaneously becoming more erratic and irrational,” Sønstebø wrote. “For every improvement to the protocol we made, he would reject it out of hand, refuse to review it properly, talk with engineers, or explain it.”
Ultimately, Sønstebø sees Ivancheglo’s departure as a positive thing for the organization: “as this nightmare has finally reached its apex, and I no longer have to carry this burden on my shoulders, I am feeling rejuvenated as I can focus solely on matters that excite me and are productive for our collective vision,” he said, adding that today marks IOTA’s release of GoShimmer, a node software that allows IOTA networks to be decentralized.
Sønstebø was unclear about whether or not he will respond with legal action to Ivancheglo’s threats: “legally I could pursue everything due to the current shareholding structure, but unlike him, I am not petty. I wanted him to succeed on his own, while IOTA continues to thrive,” he wrote.
IOTA also shared the following screenshot with Finance Magnates:
Ongoing personal issues between Ivancheglo and other co-founders
In addition to being one of IOTA’s co-founders, Ivancheglo joined the IOTA Foundation board of directors in August 2018. However, less than a year later, Ivancheglo resigned from the IOTA Foundation and stepped down from the board.
Ivancheglo also reportedly led a “vote of no confidence” in an attempt to oust Dominik Schiener, another of IOTA’s co-founders, in August of 2018. In the transcript of a leaked conversation around the dispute, Ivancheglo said that “I inform everyone that I don’t longer trust Dominik Schiener and I think he should quit the IOTA Foundation for the better future of IOTA.”
An official statement by the board on the leaked conversation said that “Sergey Ivancheglo has since stated that asking for Dominik to resign was an emotional reaction to the situation, which had built up over months. The situation did not feel fair to him, being an integral member of the team behind IOTA as we know it today.”
Certain elements of Ivancheglo’s behavior have caused concern for at least one member of the IOTA community in the past. Ivanchegov’s now-defunct website led one Reddit user to write that “under normal circumstances, I would read this and chuckle and move on. However, when investing my hard earned money into the volatile world of Crypto’s, this website gives me pause.”
On the website, which appears to have been satirical, Ivancheglo described himself as “the mastermind of computer science, in all domains, of literally all mind-numbing technology that you ever come across.”
The Reddit user wrote, “I deal with C Level executives frequently and for the most part, they don’t have a good sense of humor when making business decisions, and I just can’t help but feel that having a founding member of a technology that portrays himself in this manner is damaging to the overall mission of IOTA and jeopardizes their ability for global partnerships.” Ivancheglo reportedly responded to the post, but the responses are not public.