Tezos Hard Fork Possible After OCamlPro Fallout

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Tezos could be heading for an acrimonious hard fork due to a breakdown in relations with OCamlPro, a French software development firm currently working on projects for the token such as its block explorer, TzScan. Tezos’ managing foundation has threatened to withhold funding to OCamlPro, citing governance concerns after an email surfaced suggesting that OCamlPro is working with a new crypto fund, Starchain, to fork Tezos without informing them.

OCamlPro Accused of Orchestrating Pump and Dump Scheme

In a blog post uploaded on Monday, Tezos Commons Foundation Executive director Shaun Belcher states that a “breakdown of negotiations” between the Tezos Foundation and OCamlPro’s management has caused a rift between the two companies, with Tezos accusing the French outfit of going behind their backs to fork the project purely for financial gain. Belcher states that the concept of a fork is in itself not the issue, seeing as Tezos is open-source and anyone can fork it, but it is the unprofessional way that OCamlPro have been behaving since the companies began working together in October 2018 that has raised tensions. According to Belcher, this includes the plan for the fork itself, which he states will only benefit initial investors and the OCamlPro leadership; OCamlPro stoking fears that they will make the software they build a paid-for service, which is against Tezos’ rules; and convincing a minority segment of the community to join their “pump and dump” scheme. These are just a few of a number of issues Belcher raises with OCamlPro’s behavior over the past eight months.

War of Words Escalates to Actions

The war of words in-house has intensified over recent weeks, with OCamlPro publicly accusing the Tezos Foundation of blacklisting them. The Tezos Foundation in response made it known that OCamlPro’s funding, which expired in Q2 of this year, would be halted unless the latter met certain criteria that aligned them more with the values of the foundation and other developers in receipt of the foundation’s grants. The evidence Belcher provides in the blog post suggests that this point may already have passed however, and that an OCamlPro/Starchain fork may be inevitable, which could have a potentially damaging impact on the Tezos brand. Tezos itself is currently voting on potential radical changes to the staking system, which could see a reduction in the amount of XTZ needed to start staking it.