Juno blockchain community members have voted to seize all but 50,000 of a 24-year-old member’s supposedly ill-gotten JUNO tokens in a move that could have lasting ramifications for decentralized governance.
Members of a Cosmos-based online blockchain community have voted to seize the JUNO tokens of one of its users, Takumi Asano.
Asano, 24, has been accused of manipulating an airdrop to receive more JUNO tokens than he was entitled to, leading to 72% of the community voting to confiscate the tokens that he claims to have belonged to a co-investor group.
The decision to seize the tokens marks a landmark moment in the realm of on-chain governance, making it the first major incident where a community can change a user’s balance.
Proposal 16, essentially a proposal to gauge user sentiment regarding Asano’s situation, was drafted in mid-March. It attracted public opposition out of fear that it would damage the system’s immutability or trust. When members of the Juno community voted on Proposal 16, it had no power to revoke tokens.
However, this new vote garnering a 72% majority, would see tokens revoked.
How Asano accumulated his $JUNO
Juno, a public blockchain in the Cosmos ecosystem, provides a sandbox environment for implementing interoperable smart contracts. As a layer one smart contract network, it eliminates the bottlenecks of first-generation smart contracts, such as limited scalability and high implementation and execution costs.
Upon Juno’s launch, the creators awarded $JUNO tokens to those who staked ATOM tokens on the Cosmos Hub blockchain. According to its whitepaper, $JUNO’s tokenomics are designed to stimulate and promote a self-sustaining economy of developers, validators, and delegators.
ATOM tokens, on the other hand, are governance tokens responsible for community engagement development decisions in Cosmos. Asano’s group of investors each staked ATOM tokens, resulting in him exceeding the maximum quota of 50,000 JUNO, a limit imposed to prevent any user from having too much voting power.
Asano’s group of investors amassed 10% of the supply of JUNO across 50 wallets via the airdrop, which Asano consolidated into one.
Nevertheless, Proposal 16’s wording didn’t include nuances recognizing Asano’s role as someone investing on others’ behalf.
“The facts are that the Juno genesis staked airdrop was gamed by a single entity. Whether Asano intentionally looked to game the airdrop was considered irrelevant,” the proposal read.
In a desperate attempt to boycott the revocation, Asano claimed that the developers were manipulating the price of the JUNO token and hence could not be trusted to continue working in the community.
He was largely ignored, and the vote to adjust his token balance occurred in his disfavor yesterday, prompting a threat of legal action.
“If this lock is based on the assumption that the asset will be returned to our clients, we do not intend to do any legal action. On the other hand, if it is based on the premise of a burn or permanent lock, we are considering taking legal action against each validator,” he said.
The vote to seize the funds shone a light on the community’s sentiments regarding a blockchain’s immutability.
According to Jack Zampolin, one of the founders of Juno, it seemed like the airdrop rules represented the values of the community, holding a more significant way than the widely accepted libertarian views on the value of immutability in blockchains.
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