Correspondence with Dom related to the Foundation's Vote on Proposal #96475

I was considering sharing a letter sent to another community member and me on the 1st of December from the Foundation’s lawyers but clearly written by Dom. In it, Dom references what I now understand to be the NNS Principles proposal and a very early draft of an unpublished blog post he gained access to from the logs of a private chat group that were leaked to him. His letter alluded to but did not explicitly threaten legal action in response.

Subsequent to recieving the letter I have responded to The Foundation’s lawyers requesting clarity on the issues they see with the proposal and blog posts. The have not responded to this request. I also indicated my prior intention to publish the letter and requested they reach out to discuss the matter. They have not. Dom was CCed in all of these communicaitons.

While I have decided not to publish, this represents at best an act of extremely heavy-handed censorship. At worst (and also in reality) it amounts to Dom using the weight of the Foundation to intimidate people who disagree with him and influence the NNS to suit his ends.

The only reason I raise the issue here is that Dom used the Foundation to kill the NNS Principles proposal which is exactly the scenario decentralisation is intended to prevent. The Foundation’s stated reason - “it won’t lead to code” - raised here:

Was never brought up in the extensive Governance Working Group discussions involving the Foundation that took place over an 8-week period, or in extensive community consultation about the proposal. In the presence of Dom’s letter it can’t be taken seriously. All issues raised were included in the proposal documentation. Additional issues raised in the linked thread are all addressed in the proposal documentation. What has not been raised is a plausible alternative solution to the problem clearly stated in the documentation:

At the end of the day, it is important not to let this escalate further. Dom controls the Foundation and influences the largest whales. The voting pattern of the reject votes matches those of some of the large seed whales voing with one neuron at a time to avoid being identified as a single actor. Together these whales and the Foundaiton have total control of the NNS. We need a plausible solution to fixing the one-man point of centralisation Dom represents. This of course will be very hard to impliment via the NNS because this group controls the NNS itself.

This all said. The vast majority of other blockchains including Bitcoin & Ethereum are more centralised than DFINITY. The only reason it is possible to make such claims of centralisation is the transparency of the IC platform. This is a good thing. Also, centralisation tends to decay over time. Almost all blockchains begin centralised and trend toward decentralisation. It is my opinion that we are seeing this happen here. Through civil discussion, and non-violent communication this community can guide the IC via the NNS even in the presence of the whales and Foundation, neither of which are bad actors, but rather are valid participants in the governane process.

I won’t respond to comments in this thread but I wish Dom, DFINITY, and everyone in this ecosystem the absolute best. Please don’t sue me Dom.

[Edited for sense and clarity]


I just feel that if this was legit. note or occurrence that,

You would not be “beating around the bush” yet not providing any reliable proof to these claims. This letter could be written and typed by you or any number of individuals. I’m just not sure I am “Buying” that an individual at the head of a foundation this size would go out of their way to have several lawyers draft something, that was written/ penned by him himself. It sounds like a fake letter. If their lawyers never replied to you I would assume that this is a “deep fake” of sorts tbh. I’m not sure of a legal team out there that would send such letters with the foundation or their names attached and not give you some type of due process or response.

I hate to say you are lying… I totally understand the mentality of “forward-thinking” however, I myself have had several questions and concerns about some of the issues you briefly mention here. Mainly concerning proprietary rights and how grant funding projects give DFINITY a very loose yet still hold on any project using grant funding.

More specifically sections 7 in the Grant application pertaining to intellectual property rights. It does say you own the product rights, yes, but it also states that you give DFINITY all rights to promote or use your product. It’s not “real” ownership. It could be a loophole. Especially, with how most NPO’s use this type of system. It is like universities. You do a research project while being paid under a grant, the university owns the research and you are the author of the research. Not the real owner.

This, among the several red flags you’ve raised here, has me questioning the legitimacy of the IC even further. Then, to say all of this (in your OP) and not give us some concrete evidence or even a glimpse of the letter to show validity makes me question what is what. The individual who asked you not to share could be the one sending you these letters is my thought process. Like one big nasty game of catfish. If that is so, it would have serious implications for the individual doing so.

So, if these legal matters you mention are true, I feel it’s the communities right to see said evidence. We would not be entitled to said proof if you did not mention it and then pull it away. It’s like saying “Someone told me something about you that’s really disturbing, but I can’t and won’t tell you who or what it was they said”.

That being said, I do get the emotional response. Been there. However, I am/ have been spending weeks/ months now learning Motoko and slowly developing/ learning. I’d rather not continue spending years on a project that is what you say. Others have mentioned this as well. If this is true… Developers and students alike deserve to know that our suspicions are true and we should switch to web 3 tech where we know the devil, and at the least are not being manipulated by an autocratic leader who hides their intentions (if that is really what is occurring because again I am 50/50 with serious unanswered questions).

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Arthur is a seed investor and one of the earliest adopters of Internet Computer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Foundation and its members are doing these things.


@Arthur Release the letter. We need proof. It would only substantiate your point, which is: the IC needs more decentralization.

I would not be either. However, I would also not be surprised by the other. To me, one does not just post/ share actual legal matters very forwardly like this without the intention of disclosing it eventually. Or at the very least having some type of formal mediation or hearing.

I’m not doubting his seniority or the legitimacy of his claims. I’m just saying it is abundantly obvious that you can be “Dom” and still be absolutely nothing and no one in the courts.

Even if his legal team did slap him with a number of “papers”, Dom needed said lawyers to do so. He is a chief scientist not a senior partner at the next top law firm. Do they mean anything beyond legal jargon/ fancy legalese that basically says hello Arthur you are a seed investor and early adopter of the ic. We simply do not know, without any proof.
Honestly, I am emotional in saying this yes, but I’m just done “buying into” anything that any one person says anymore. There are so many opinions and voices that I feel like I’m sitting here learning law not code.
I want valid proof, facts, transparency, actual progress, and significantly improved communications/deliberations from the foundation tbh. There are people just flying in and out of here that even if dom himself were to give the deliberations I would also need it in writing (aka he writes the proposals himself/ themselves at this point). I mean no offense to you or any “Original seed investors” However, I’m just over this whole trusting some dude on the internet just because “they say they are x, y, z”.

This is why I stopped investing as much and do not plan on investing much more. I’ll learn and develop something for fun, but never a serious actual project that I myself want my entire soul going into for years. There is way to much not being discussed that should be which leads me to believe the community was right all along in screaming for transparency. The further I got in my journey the further I realized this is why the collective is screaming all of this and not able to have forward thinking as a group and honestly very little gets done. They (the foundation) are buying time and waiting for the wider community to forget and use others’ failure to sweep it under the rug long enough for them to grab hold of the narrative they want. Sound familiar? I just think the letter needs to be shared at this point. Even if he has his own attorney/ council read it and possibly redact any sensitive information.

I don’t think the wider “crypto” community will touch the IC until this among other things take place. Why would they? The FUD is being created by the ones trying to stop it. It’s putting out a grease fire with water, not baking soda.


We can’t be 100% sure. we can only choose which of them we trust: dom & the dfinity foundation, or the OP. Either way, the OP’s point regarding the need for increased decentralization over the NNS is still valid.

Well see, I have a small issue with that though. Right now, that means Arthur a Known named neuron who has been around. Is saying one thing against the foundation. If all of these claims are true, then the community should be able to change their following on the NNS off the foundation. OR if it is invalid and or made up then there is some validity in trusting them moving forward as a named neuron is there not? One way or another, Two parties are supposably involved both significant players on the NNS. People (newer users specifically) follow these people according to x, y, z, it would further prove the point that their does in fact need to be a form of guiding principles on the IC. For this exact reason. How do we know? We do not. There are no guiding principles.

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Avoiding the critique. I will say that I have deep conviction in the IC as a platform all web 3 developers should look to as the be-all and end-all of blockchain development. The DFINITY Foundation is amazing and political scraps should be ignored. They only happen around fringe decisions of an amazing platform that comes along once in a generation.


This is not meant to offend you. My tone is very uhm direct and or curious-minded. Not as a direct attack. I genuinely do not know. None of us do obviously. I was just stating it as I saw it before me. Personally, this response sounds like a heavily redacted version of what you were just saying in previous posts though. So, now unfortunately I’m concerned that,

it was a real order and you were concerned about the legal repercussion of doing a whoopsie and disclosing it publicly so are backtracking your comments and opinions on the foundation in the hope it doesn’t fall back on you worse,

or it wasn’t real was it just an emotional outburst and the letter was self-manifested to prove a point (which is still fine I think this proves the point and need for guiding principles job well done/ touche) either of which has left me stepping further away. I can also see why things are dwindling as are the people putting up effort. I have no clue who would want to enter such a toxic governance environment when you can get paid to do it/ sell your soul in US politics.

Doesn’t it seem suspicious to you that all these information stuffing appeared after the release of many useful features?

Do you know how to put out a rapidly spreading forest fire (InternetComputer)?

  1. At first they try to limit it.
    • what the Psychedelic did when they tried to limit the scope of the Dfinity.
    • now they are trying to limit it with a set of principles.
  2. In the strongest fire direction, an artificial fire is created and directed towards a strong fire. (hello Psychedelic again)
  3. It is divided into parts.
  4. Smaller fires are then controlled and redirected towards each other where possible.
  5. Fire self-destructs.

Dfinity are the main driving force. Why stop her?
The Fund selects the most promising areas and creates hotbeds for new areas there. That’s when it all lights up, the role of the fund will be much less. And we will be watching an incredible spectacle.

p.s New green trees appear at the site of the fire, but not immediately.

I would like to clarify again (as I did in the prior thread) that the above statement is not correct. I directly raised my feedback & concerns in the working group and summarized these points directly after the meeting on Nov 10 in the minutes shared in the forum. I also tagged the proposers in that post.

In the minutes I wrote: “With respect to turning Ethos into a proposal: In my opinion we should try to clarify beforehand what is in scope of being a NNS proposal. I am personally in favour of a narrow scope, where NNS proposals are about concrete changes to the NNS protocol (or at least motion-like intentions on introducing certain features). From that perspective, guiding principles would not be in scope of NNS voting.”

Of course, back then this was my personal feedback, which I shared in the forum with the community and also within DFINITY. However, I believe I was very transparent about my concerns and also the merits of the proposal.


Thank you (again) for helping us chalk that particular statement up to emotion. Who hasn’t said something based on emotion? I’m sure we are all guilty of this at some point. So, this is not to diminish anyone. However, I think, while yes, this answer helped clarify that single issue raised. It still is not answering or clarifying the several other red flags brought up. I genuinely appreciate @bjoernek and all of his wonderful deliberations. However, @bjoernek if you’ll allow me to play “devils advocate”, I still would argue that the remaining issues brought up here should be clarified to the wider community.

I truly believe this is the type of thing that makes developers and students feel like we are standing on a ticking timebomb. We go into hibernation learning and coding, then re-surface to see serious red flags. How many times does this need to happen before an immediate resolution is taken place? I’m just building for fun and when things like this occur my stomach literally drops. It’s like right after we get over the last “thing” the next hits us right when we set back into developer mode and honestly it is unbelievably frustrating and is invoking serious emotional responses because of this.

Developers indeed need the stability and group cohesion not yet offered on the IC. The foundation is “saying” let your voice be heard, and those putting in the hard work are being trampled by those with ideas more closely aligning with larger vote holders. So, while yes, @bjoernek you are and have been an amazing voice for the people. I 100% agree and will never say anything but that. However, even you are just one person. You can raise concerns to the moon and like others in your spot before you, never be heard. Just like those who are frustrated now.

For the sake of moving forward, I’ll agree the ethos decision can move into the next phase of development and be “dropped” from debate (for right now). However, this still only answers the one single issue raised in threads.

When I first entered the space, I was eager to learn and passionate about this community and project. I was head over heels for the IC. It has taken less than a year for these issues we speak of, to completely throw my feelings amuck. Simply because getting direct answers should not take this long.

At this point, I truly believe that the community was correct in stating “we need transparency”. I was 100% on the foundation’s side and was a huge fan of the foundation when I first joined the community (June/July 2021). After carefully listening and watching several discussions though, my opinions are changing drastically.

I would urge you to help shed light on all of the issues and concerns raised by the community, including but not limited to the NNS ethos discussion


Not more passive aggressive concern trolling? I thought I’d seen the end of that.

Think for yourself. Don’t fall victim to the snakes in the community that are trying to push their own narrative.

Stop flagging my post I’m bringing up a legitimate concern.

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Ask anyone who knows me. [Edit: I’m a] Total prick. Stay classy Adam :wink:

OMG did you just dox me? 7 day ban!

You’re not a special case. I’m rude to everyone equally.

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Seed club ??? is it seed club??

I don’t want to break the first rule

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Agreed. I think that there needs to be a path for Dfinity to own a small enough share of the tokens that their vote becomes just another (big) vote.

As a path to decentralization (with a deflationary cherry on top) what do you think about Dfinity paying new rewards until they reach 10% of total tokens maximum or until ICP becomes deflationary due to mass adoption, use and burn.