Updated: MetaMask Contributor Says Project Lacks Support From ConsenSys

A contributor of major Ethereum browser extension Metamask has reported that the MetaMask team is “totally overwhelmed” and not being prioritized by its parent company ConsenSys.

In a Dec. 25 Reddit post, Reddit user lazaridiscom3 alleges that the MetaMask team is not getting the support it needs from ConsenSys, and, consequently, the whole team of 24 employees is overwhelmed.

Redditor says the Ethereum’s “critical value-moving piece” isn’t decentralized

The post, titled “Help MetaMask out of its Activity-Trap,” goes on to say that the MetaMask team has a number of unsolved issues and its inner workflow structure is neither transparent nor decentralized. The post reads:

“One cannot follow development via the public issue-tracker, simply because the team uses an internal tracker and internal ‘meetings.’ This is not transparent. This is not decentralized. MetaMask is a critical value-moving piece of Ethereum. It is written in JavaScript, nearly completely untyped. The code is of low quality, full of technical debt (both, in terms of code and architecture).”

User Lazardiscom — who goes by Lazardis — told Cointelegraph that he is participating in the project as a contributor, citing his Lazardiscom account on GitHub. As part of suggested solutions to existing problems, the contributor urged that the MetaMask team needs to fully migrate over TypeScript immediately.

Lazardis further suggested that ConsenSys needs to implement “stricter evaluation of its ‘Spokes,’ a strict and binding set of rules for public projects.” The developer also argued that ConsenSys’ software project — referred to as Gitcoin — “needs to be far more uncontrolled, and needs to become attractive.”

MetaMask team allegedly has hierarchical structure despite Lubin’s claims

In the post, Lazardis specifically criticized the structural issues in the MetaMask team. According to the post, MetaMask actually maintains team leads despite Joe Lubin, ConsenSys founder and co-founder of Ethereum, trying to “convince everyone” that ConsenSys is a non-hierarchical company.

Specifically, the post mentions MetaMask’s employee Daniel Finlay as one of the leads who is “totally overwhelmed.” According to Finlay’s LinkedIn page, he currently serves as lead developer on MetaMask at ConsenSys, with his primary responsibilities focused on the browser extension. Cointelegraph contacted Finlay regarding the issue and had yet to receive a response upon initial publication, but received a response on Dec. 26 which has been included at the end of this article.

Additionally, the post also mentions “super-low bounties,” noting that some of those bounties equate to less than $1 per hour, after calculating how much time the tasks take.

In October, Lubin announced a goal to grow the number of developers on the Ethereum blockchain to as many as one million in 2020. Dubbed OneMillionDevs.com, the initiative was announced by Lubin at a major Ethereum-focused conference Devcon in October 2019. According to Lubin, there are 30 million software developers worldwide, while only a few tens of thousands are blockchain developers, the majority of whom are involved in Ethereum.

Meanwhile, another Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has recently triggered a wave of argument over decentralization in crypto on Twitter. Previously, Buterin argued that centralized crypto exchanges are poised to “burn in hell.”

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Update Dec. 27 

Finlay’s response: “I want to firmly reject the general thesis of alarm. We’re doing alright!”

Finlay responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by linking to his Reddit post from Dec. 26, which staunchly rejects Lazardis’ negativity. Finlay further said that Lazardis was guilty of “borderline representing himself as a MetaMask team member” when he is simply a contributor. As a result of these concerns, Finlay plans to block Lazardis from their GitHub organization. According to Finlay, the recent Reddit post by Lazardis feels like a “very frustrated job application,” while his “overall inflammatory and alarmist tone” forces the MetaMask team to not work with him anymore.

While admitting that a number of insights provided by Lazardis are fair, including one specific bounty and the urgency to migrate to TypeScript, Finlay still firmly rejected the general idea of alarm, emphasizing that the team is seeing solid progress. As such, the lead developer stressed that both ConsenSys and Lubin continue to contribute to the project. Finlay wrote:

“We love what we do, and ConsenSys is letting us continue doing it! Honestly, we’re incredibly grateful to ConsenSys and Joe for continuing to make ecosystem-enabling tools like MetaMask, Truffle, Infura, GitCoin, Bounties Network, and many more possible.”

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Update 03:45 PM UTC: This article was updated to specify Finlay’s counterclaim to Lazardis published on Reddit on Dec. 26.