IOTA founder David Sonstebo and former board member Sergei Ivancheglo quarrel on Twitter. The conflict began with Ivancheglo’s tweet about refusing further cooperation on the development of the Jinn Labs startup and his readiness to sue Sonstebo with a demand to pay him 25 million MIOTA coins (about $8.5 million).
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. He refuses to transfer the iotas to make me act for his own benefit and against mine.— Come-from-Beyond (@c___f___b) February 2, 2020
During a skirmish, David Sonstebo posted on Medium a long read with a history of their collaboration.
The Jinn Labs project for developing a “ternary microprocessor” for distributed computing was launched by Sonstebo and Ivancheglo in 2014. It became the forerunner of IOTA.
In August 2018, Ivancheglo had the first conflict with the IOTA Foundation board due to the reluctance of the head of the board of directors, Dominik Schiener, to include yet another fund founder, Sergey Popov, on the board. The situation was decided positively both Ivancheglo and Popov were appointed to the council, although not without controversy. Dominik Schiener remained at the head of the fund, despite calls for resignation.
Over time, Ivancheglo increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with the IOTA development vector and even assembled his own development team to work on his fork. According to David Sonstebo, Ivancheglo threatened to sue the IOTA Foundation brand to name his project.
In November 2019, Ivancheglo left the IOTA Foundation, but all this time was on the board of directors.
David Sonstebo, in turn, said that they broke off cooperation with Invancheglo “professionally and on a friendly basis,” but he deprived himself of the tokens due to him when he left the IOTA Foundation.
“I’d give him all Jinn IP, engineers, advisors, brand, whatever, and we’d split Jinn Labs’ token assets on the respective networks. He gets his portion of the tokens on his fork (which I will call Triota until he comes up with a name), while I keep mine on the network he has denounced, divested from and gone to war against," Sonstebo wrote in a post.
Later, the amount that Sonstebo was going to keep was clarified - 65 Ti (more than $18 million).
As it turned out, this amount is the unredeemed tokens of IOTA crowdsale investors. However, Sonstebo announced the failure of the Jinn project.
Based on this, part of the community suspected David Sonstebo in an exit scam.
Following dissatisfaction with the comments, Sonstebo said he was ready to allocate at his discretion a portion of the funds to Jinn investors who had joined the project over the past year.