Haven Protocol (XHV) is one project that attracted attention from the privacy-oriented part of the crypto community in 2018. However, this community project for offshore banking with untraceable payments has recently become embroiled in a scandal. Namely, the project’s lead developer has been accused of running an exit scam.
This news came as a shock for those following Haven Protocol’s development. After all, no stakeholder wants to see news headlines with the infamous phrase “exit scam” alongside the project’s name. The lead developer promptly denied the allegations, but also announced his withdrawal from the leadership position.
Haven Protocol is essentially open-source, since it operates on Monero — one of the most popular privacy cryptocurrencies. The team of volunteer developers completed several roadmap tasks, including Android and iOS wallets, and Testnet for offshore storage. The next goal was to submit the entire offshore storage code for review to other experienced developers.
The lead developer — known as “Havendev” — was the only person who could access this code. However, it looked as if he abandoned the project since developers were not able to reach him for a couple of weeks. So, they decided to call him out on Discord on January 21, 2019. A developer known as “News.cutter” warned that the project should be considered dead unless other developers take it over.
As well as not submitting the code for review, Havendev was also accused of not making the development fee more transparent. Another developer — who goes by the name “Donjor” — agreed and proposed to fork the repository.
The lead developer promptly responded in a bid to calm the situation. Apparently, he decided to step down from running social media a couple of months ago, dedicating all his time to the offshore storage coding. He also promised to hand down the code to the team.
After a period of FUD, the dust seems to have settled. Havendev passed the code to other members of the development team for review and further handling.
Nonetheless, the community is still looking at the whole situation with a degree of skepticism, and no one can blame them. Some have yet to forget a pump and dump scheme which was brought to light by ProofOfResearch in April 2018. Haven (XHV) was one of the coins which influencers — gathered in BravadoGroup‘s Telegram chat — wanted to pump by buying up a large portion of the supply, helping with the code, shilling, and even listing it on larger exchanges, before dumping.
Advanced pump and dump groups prefer to carry out these elaborate schemes on community coins with smaller market caps. There’s probably not much the dev teams behind those coins can do about it. However, they can at least be honest with the community if they notice it.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen all kinds of pump and dumps, exit scams, Ponzi schemes, and frauds. Making a code open-source is the small price developers pay to establish a stronger relationship with potential users and current investors. Yes, there is a risk that someone will copy the project. However, if there’s no transparency, it’s difficult for the community to decide whether the final product is worth waiting for.