David Sønstebø will no longer be a part of the Iota Foundation, a non-profit which he helped co-found and most recently co-chaired.
According to an announcement from the Iota Foundation, the organization has “parted ways” with Sønstebø. It said it was a "unanimous decision, made by the Supervisory Board in the best interest of Iota and its ecosystem."
The announcement stated the project’s interests have “diverged significantly” with the co-founder’s. His photo and bio have already been removed from the Iota website and his email address bounces back. “The decision to part ways, while difficult, had to be made,” said the Foundation, adding:
“There were several instances where David's actions were not aligned with what the Foundation stands for and who we aspire to be.”
The board members added that : “While this may come as a shock to many, you should recognize that the Foundation is willing to make difficult decisions to protect the interests of our community.”
Sønstebø founded Iota in 2015, a project designed for the Internet of Things, and acted as co-founder and co-chair of the Iota Foundation since 2017. The board was unclear as to whether Sønstebø would stay involved in the project in any capacity, but added he would “forever be a founder of Iota.”
The foundation has had its share of drama when it comes to organizational structure. In 2018, a series of messages leaked from the firm’s internal Slack channels discussed two of the foundation’s founders not being included on the board and suggested that current members step down to make room.
Reaction to the news on social media today was generally supportive of the Foundation's announcement.
“I sold out of Iota a long time ago primarily because of how poor the leadership was,” said Redditor CalculatedLuck. “Some of the communication that came from [Sønstebø] was very unprofessional. This probably doesn’t instill much confidence in people still HODLing.”
Sønstebø has something of a reputation in the crypto space for outbursts over any number of topics surrounding Iota and otherwise. He has even sarcastically admitted that his behavior is “deeply alarming and unprofessional” in a response to a Twitter user calling him out on social media:
Noted. My behaviour is deeply alarming and unprofessional, including this: fuck your pretentious elitist mentality.— David Sønstebø (@DavidSonstebo) January 5, 2018
The Iota network is currently going through a three-phase plan to remove its Coordinator, a strategy referred to as the “Coordicide.” The fully decentralized Iota mainnet, Iota 2.0, is expected to be completed in Q1 2021.
At the time of publication, Iota (MIOTA) is $0.28, having fallen 16.9% in the last 24 hours.
Cointelegraph reached out to the Iota Foundation for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.