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Crypto Finance Conference Gevers plans to reboot embattled Tezos Foundation

Johann Gevers smiles behind a desk

Gevers has been embroiled in a fierce and personal battle with the Breitmans


Tezos Foundation president Johann Gevers has tweeted plans to rebuild the Tezos Foundation as a “heavily weighted” Swiss project. This follows a months-long ongoing feud with the French-American Tezos creators Arthur and Kathleen Breitman.

“After months of incapacitating interference, obstruction, and attacks, the Tezos Foundation has regained the ability to act,” Gevers tweeted on Friday.

“To be clear: the Tezos Foundation is a Swiss foundation, based in Crypto Valley, Switzerland, and its top leadership teams will be heavily Swiss-weighted. Physical proximity and cultural fit is especially important initially, to build trust and productive working relationships.”

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Gevers tweet

He said the foundation is recruiting “proven achievers” to fill board, advisory and executive positions.

“For those seeking to understand what happened at Tezos — both its successes and its failures: ‘In a high-trust environment, the impossible becomes possible. In a low-trust environment, even the possible becomes impossible,’” Gevers said in a series of tweets.

Damaging accusations

The Tezos Foundationexternal link, a cryptocurrency startup located in Switzerland’s so-called “Crypto Valley” near Zug, has been embroiled in a months-long conflict between Gevers and the Breitmans over accusations that Gevers mismanaged its funds, which he has denied.

Several key Tezosexternal link and Tezos Foundation figures are also the subject of pending lawsuits in the United States where investors are seeking to recoup assets they argue were mismanaged. 

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Gevers tweet

Gevers tweeted his plans to reboot the foundation just after delivering a thinly-veiled attack on the Breitmans’ leadership at this week’s Crypto Finance Conferenceexternal link in St Moritz. While he did not name anyone specifically, Gevers left little to the imagination with his message as shown on slides of his presentation obtained by

Maturity needed

“In its focus on creating a technology for governance the project overlooked the critical importance of people,” read one of his presentation slides, which went on to attack “all approaches that ignore the fundamentally complex, dynamic, holistic nature of reality, and use simplistic, static, reductionist methods”.

“Without maturity and impulse control, we cannot act wisely,” read another slogan.

Arthur Breitman told that he had no comment on the development. Gevers did not add any more detail or name anyone involved in his plans for the Tezos Foundation, but he said more information would be revealed shortly. 

Foundation director Diego Pons did not respond to a request for comments while Kathleen Breitman made no mention of any changes during her speech at the Crypto Finance Conference on Thursday.

Tezos and Tezos Foundation

Tezos launched with much fanfare last summer, promising to build a new system of democratic blockchain governance that would solve differences of opinion without the need for opposing sides to shear off into separate factions.

The idea persuaded people to contribute $232 million ($243 million) in the form of cryptocurrencies in the space of a few days. These funds were then transferred to the Tezos Foundation, set up in July to continue funding the project whilst creating some distance between the Breitmans, their company Dynamic Ledger Solutions, and the assets raised from the public.

The dramatic rise in the value of cryptocurrencies since than swelled that pot to more than $1 billion.

One of the three original Tezos Foundation directors, Guido Schmitz-Krummacher, walked away in December. The Swiss Foundation Supervisory Authority has given the foundation until the end of the month to find a successor.

In theory, the supervisory authority has the power to revoke board decisions, issue criminal complaints, or in extreme cases, remove board members.

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