Townhall Transcript

Historically we haven’t talked about the market, instead keeping our focus the on tech, but the reality is we are inextricably linked to the market.

Recently, as you may have seen, the market has undergone a crash or a significant price correction. As a result, ETH is one third of the price we raised and planned for, and we don’t know how long this storm will last.

If you’re new to crypto you might not be familiar with its volatility, this happens from time to time, nevertheless it’s very real and we have to adapt to it.

While we believe in the long-term success of Ethereum, the trading mantra “just zoom out” offers little comfort.

We don’t know if this is a trough of disillusionment after the market getting impatient with projects failing to deliver, a series of bad events in Bitcoin or if it’s just tax time.

Whatever the reason, we don’t know how long it will take to recover, in recent years some crashes have been recovered in a matter of months, and we have fiat runway to cover for that. But in earlier days we’ve also seen crashes that have lasted years, and we may even be in one.

This is the first major crash that we will feel as an organisation. We’re forced to adapt. So, as of today, Status is now in battle mode.

What we do know is that we need to do our part in responding to the market by showing the market we’re serious in delivering real value.

We need to take an honest look at ourselves, like many other projects we wanted to be as closely aligned to the success of Ethereum as possible, but Carl and I overstepped the mark.

At the same time everyone contributing to Status has had alot of freedom, everyone joined knowing the whitepaper, yet we have collectively failed to deliver the SNT use-cases we promised.

While we’ve made great strides, we still have some technical issues unresolved since the beginning of this year. I also accept my responsibility in this.

I can’t stress this enough, we have two priorities, first deliver the whitepaper promises.

And second, get the app into a usable state so that means onboarding, reliability and ease of use so people can actually use SNT.

Now, here’s the part that really hurts,

We’re currently operating an organisation that is much larger than we can sustain in this climate.

This happened because we budgeted based on an assumption of a higher floor in the event of a market crash, and did not prepare for scenarios where the value dropped beyond 80% since August.

This was compounded by not having solid banking partners due to the difficulty in opening banking accounts for crypto projects until Q2 of this year, and have been hedging since then accordingly.

So, we are going to stretch our fiat as it stands today to provide 6 months of security over our operating costs. In order to do that we have to strip down the organisation.

Currently 25% of our roles are non-essential to those goals and our long-term growth projects, and regretfully we’re forced to ask the contributors occupying them to leave today.

For those staying with us, to squeeze every penny and get a runway as long as we can, I will be asking you to take a temporary paycut during this time, which will alleviate as the market picks up.

If you’re onboard, you will be given more SNT to help offset the cut and align with the network’s success.

Regardless of anyone’s decision, SNT will continue to vest for everyone throughout all of 2019, and everyone will be paid through to the end of the year.

The reality is that we will have to make another assessment end of Q2 which if the market hasn’t picked up we will be forced to make the organization even leaner, and the remaining fiat and our large ETH holdings will be used to create a runway measured in years.

Everyone who we’re asking to stay is considered a critical contributor to delivering the SNT use-cases and getting the application to a perfect state, along with continuing to build out Ethereum’s core infrastructure and delivering Serenity. I will have direct oversight on what everyone is working on, and it’s all hands on deck.

We’re all in this together and the pressure has never been greater to be fully aligned.

Let’s not forget it’s a storm, this is crypto, we knew we’d have them, and one day we’ll look back at this at this chapter with awe in what we accomplished in face of adversity. And I will be proud of everyone who made it happen.

Thank-you everyone for being there, for everyone’s contributions to making Status a reality.

We’ll be contacting everyone so hopefully all terminations will be done today, and everyone will have all the details and updated contract within the next 24 hours. It’s going to be a rough week, Carl, Myself, Nabil, JB, Stef & Ceri are here to listen.

We will execute, we will deliver,

We will get through this.


It’s a sad news.

Don’t know whether it would be helpful or not.
Me and few of my teammates are open source developer, and would like to help in delivering OSS commitment if our skill sets matches your requirements without any pay or token.

We love open source.



I’ve been fired from Status in the first wave, and let myself some time to digest that before writing anything on that matter. This second wave struck me hard as well, mostly because what seemed to be a one-off mistake acquired repetitive pattern, and, of course, due to the empathy to friends who’d been fired.

The mistake I’m talking about is this almost hypocritical message – “Status doesn’t need your services anymore”. At least, that’s what I heard in my case. It wasn’t “We can’t pay you anymore”, but “You’re bad, and we don’t need you” message.

I mean, we all know what’s happening. We hired too many people in a very short period of time – it’s literally in every Top 10 Startups Mistakes article, nothing new here. After seeing scared Yessin eyes in Prague declaring Status burn rate, it was evident that the company will seek changes in its payment model. I’ve been optimistic about trying new DAO-like ideas for this, even if it means less income for me. I feel naïve now, but back then in private conversations, I was trying to reduce other coworkers’ anxiety and was telling them that “no matter what, it’s exciting to be in this experiment”.

I was totally prepared for payment cuts if it was needed for Status survival. I’ve been long enough in Status to embrace its philosophy (that one on paper, at least), so the last thing I could expect is to hear that “someone on top of the hierarchy of flat organization decided to fire you and is doing this in this manner”.

How can you build community, if you throw out core contributors with words “we don’t need you”?

I still feel myself a part of Status, but, of course, I’m forced to look for another job now, and I’ll have little time working on the project I loved so much. I’ll try to work on the problems and issues I find important in my spare time, but, of course, trust link is completely broken now.


@a4nkit that’d certainly be appreciated , we’ll certainly be returning to the bazaar in 2019.

@divan I lament the way you were offboarded, in short @j12b @ceri messed up, but they’re only human - they have done an amazing job in such a difficult time and I’m really proud of them.

As for the mistakes Status has made, yeah Risk Management is definitely one of them, risk management requires maximing your upside while minimising your downsides, in such a volatile ecosystem it’s even harder than most startups. Many of the other startups in the space suffered from a similar folley.

I’ll take your punches man, I’m certainly learning myself and aware of the issues. I just hope that when your anger subsides, you remember how well you were treated while with us at Status, you even had liberties that weren’t extended to anyone else.

That trust link works both ways, happy to discuss in public. Your call.

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Ceri and Jason are just messengers, not sure finger pointing is appropriate here.

What I was referring to is that the whole situation was the first real test of values and decentralized governance at Status, and it failed spectacularly. Which is kinda ok, as we’re in the giant experimentation machine, but still begs for acknowledgement.

you remember how well you were treated

I do remember, but an appeal to emotion is a logical fallacy and is irrelevant here. You can’t beat a wife and then say “but you should remember how well you were treated”, right?

That trust link works both ways, happy to discuss in public.

In Prague, you assured people that “there is nothing to fear”, and a third of the company got fired the next month. This not only killed trust overnight but also showed centralized nature of current Status org. So I’m not sure what does “both ways” mean – Status lost trust to third of its employees or what?

They aren’t just messengers. You know that. If you’re implying that you would like direct feedback from me personally, let me know.

I never said anything of the sort, infact I directly broadcasted and halved the runway that Yessin had mentioned, down to 2 years runway, which is still the case if we sold all the eth at today’s price.

I don’t appreciate the comparison to a wife beater.