Hi respectful community members,
I’m Ash Han, Hashtower validator, and I voted No on proposal #839 because I am deeply troubled by the indicators of ICF mismanagement, and their deviation from the given mandate.
My history with Cosmos and the ICF is deep-rooted. I am the founder of the Interchain Foundation.
This year, due to new South Korean regulations, I had to seek specific financial details and statements from the ICF concerning our historical relationship. To comply with these regulations, I asked for(the conversation began since June):
(a) Confirmation of my non-participation in board decisions.
(b) Financial reports from 2017-2022.
(c) A confirmation that there were no financial transactions between the ICF and myself, barring the initial endowment (I provided the initial capital to establish the foundation)
Despite being the founder, the response I received was alarming. It took the ICF a month to reply, and when they did, it was to challenge my rights as a founder and refuse my information request.
My request was neither adversarial nor beyond reasonable limits. My request is very simple and prompted by mandatory disclosures I must make to my government. The past five months, my experience with the ICF has been torturous and frustrating. While I’ve been able to have some concessions with respect to a) and c) (statements they promised over two months ago, which somehow I have still yet to receive), they remain strongly opposed to sharing any financial information with me. Their non-cooperation now has me facing a potential failure of my legal compliance with financial penalty in my country, South Korea.
In reconnecting with the foundation, I’ve observed:
- The ICF has shown a lack of coherent policy and identity, especially concerning its organizational awareness and obligations as a foundation under Swiss regulations.
- There appears to be opacity surrounding the foundation’s financial dealings and management.
- The foundation’s audacity or lack of legal mind to dismiss my contractual request raises questions about its integrity (I reserved the right to access and monitor activities as a part of a contract for establishing the foundation).
- Their consistent delay in addressing concerns is indicative of operational inefficiencies.
- The arbitrary and unilateral decision-making by the current foundation council without any concern for my documented and demonstrated rights is naive and irresponsible.
It was especially even harder for me to understand because it’s just a simple financial report that you have to submit to most institutions whenever requested anyways if not already released in public. It’s a waste and not worth fighting for not sharing this against its founder.
Similarly, my personal interactions with Brian and Ethan are not only disappointing but also felt dangerous for me and also for themselves and the employees. While I am certain that they are talented in many aspects which I deeply respect, they do not seem to possess the managerial skills for their rank and responsibility with lack of legal mind and poor communication skill for dealing with conflicts. Absence of legal mind can often lead to an existential risk as we witness frequently.
I have always heavily believed in ICF and its integrity regardless of many concerns around in the community, but my personal experience made me clear even the founder isn’t an exception and regret that I haven’t paid early attention to the foundation in relation to people who were frustrated before me. I have no personal ambition in ICF, nor any financial interest in its operations as it’s been for many years. However, I feel heavily responsible for how the foundation is legally compliant, using my capital properly, running according to the Notarial Deed I signed off on and making sure there’s no potential criminal activity for my own reputation and my own peace to sleep at night.
Until there’s clarification or financial reports, I can’t be sure if there’s any potential abnormal financial activity that might have been involved in the past or now. So, I can’t vote for “YES” to another major financial spending since I have no intention to become unintentional support for the potential co-responsibility in the future. I have no choice but to vote for “No” until the clarification.
Also, I now understand it’s essential for me and the ecosystem at large. I believe the community has the prerogative to exercise the vote “NO” to #839 to show the importance of procedural integrity and request for change. I regret that it took a new regulatory regime in my country to rediscover my responsibility of ensuring ethical operation for the foundation. But like many, I am just a simple man dreaming of a simple life. I prefer the convenience of hope over the inconvenience of suspicion.
To my respectful validator colleagues who voted YES: please re-evaluate your vote.
We can both correct the chronic distrust situation of ICF and also continue the software development of the Cosmos ecosystem by the best hands but in a fairer terms.