The director of Tendermint, developers of the Cosmos blockchain, today accused Cosmos’s founder and CEO Jae Kwon of evading his responsibility to the project.

“What Jae is doing isn’t decentralization, it’s a transparent attempt to evade responsibility for Jae’s neglect and negligence to the Cosmos project,” said Tendermint Director Zaki Manian in a Twitter thread.

Manian started his critique by referring to Kwon’s new project—for which he is said to be stepping aside from Cosmos—as “a huge lie.”


He further said that his goal now was to remove Kwon from work on the forthcoming Cosmos release, the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. IBC links the Cosmos ecosystem together, and ensures that value can be transferred to Ethereum or Bitcoin networks. An IBC launch has been expected imminently. 

However Manian vowed to “ensure IBC is launched without [Kwon].” He called on the community to support this objective.

The extraordinary announcement comes after news outlets including Decrypt, reported that Kwon was stepping down as CEO of Tendermint, taking a backseat in the Cosmos project, and starting a new one called “Virgo.” 

Kwon later denied that he was stepping down


Manian nevertheless accused Kwon of being “obsessively focused on Virgo,” and alienating engineers, adding that Kwon’s “behavior has become an untenable distraction.”

Manian added that the core team’s passion for the Cosmos project is undiminished.

“We need only to move past this short term distraction to set Cosmos up for long-term sustainable success,” he said.

Tendermint Director of Product, Jack Zampolin, later endorsed Manian's comments, on Twitter.

However, Jessy Irwin, Director of Security at Tendermint, said that the issue was greater than neglect. "The core engineers working on Tendermint, SDK + IBC have faced repeated episodes of retaliation, harassment, bullying, and discriminatory behavior. The abuse stems from the very top," she said.

Manian and others may be steering the ship. But the question is: Is everyone on board?

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