Discussion forum - [VSP-0], [VSP-1], [VSP-2], [VSP-3]

This topic exists to facilitate easier discussion. Many good points have been made during this conflict, but having them spread out over four different proposals complicates discussion.

These are the proposals whose discussion this topic seeks to unite for ease of access and higher quality discussion:

[VSP-0] with the goal to “ship in a more focused manner, mobilize the team to be culturally aligned, and strive to engage in fast product development cycles to reach product market fit.

  • Fully let go of the two founders immediately, decreasing yearly salary burn by 32% in this team of ten people. The responsibilities of the two members are fully covered
  • Buy back the two other founders’ shares at a reasonable price, which we shall discussed in the proposal
  • Vesta continues building to deliver V2 and build out the next big project: oracle-less lending”

[VSP-1] with the goal to facilitate the following:

  • "Founders Atum and Midnight “Rage quit” from their position at Vesta to ensure better future for all Vesta related members
  • Demand treasury value buyout of their vested shares
  • All unvested tokens will be returned to the treasury or burned
  • Vesta continues un-impacted with current assets and IPs”
  • All token holders will be given the same option to redeem their tokens

[VSP-2] aiming to dissolve the multisig:
“Given the non-innovation progress of Vesta in almost two years and no clear roadmap. We are proposing dissolving the Treasury Multisig.”
[VSP-3] aiming to:

  • "Burn every team unvested token and token that are not yet in circulation.
  • Return the amount of money to all angel investors. In total since the treasury is worth more then the initial investment.
  • Take the LPB snapshot and reimburse everyone the amount they invested in the LPB. LPB investors are like small angel investors that believe in the project.
  • Buy every token of the team at 0.14$ …
  • Buy the remaining token on the market at the fair market value. Create a Rage Quit page for everyone to get part of their money back”

These are the four options currently for discussion. We were already facing quite a difficult situation, now made even more so by the founding members accusing each other of various bad conduct, but no way for us, the community, to evaluate what actually happened.
Therefore I will firstly ask any team members, who might not be willing to speak out publicly for fear of their job to message me (paterbogdanoff on discord) with their side of the story, which I will then publish here in an adequate way. There might be a conflict of interest with some team members, this will be taken into account.

And secondly I ask Co-Founder Midnight to share his thoughts personally. His persona is an important part of this conflict, but his opinion has so far only been stated through Atum. Midnight, I hope to hear your opinion on this.

Once more the links to all current proposals here:

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Thank you Pater for consolidating the discussion, this is a far more productive way to put everything together. I have a couple points to make as I read all of this information:

  1. Whatever solutions are presented need to be fair to all parties and reflective of the norms in the space. To me this means that you cant pay someone out on unvested tokens hard stop. Tokens are vested to reflect working being put in so the tokens that havent been earned yet by people leaving should be burned. Secondly, we cannot and should not create arbitrary classes of tokenholders. This will expose everyone to a whole slew of risks that we dont want.

  2. Theres a huge overhang of accusations made on both sides of the founder war. Much of this is he said/she said but to the extent we can get facts on the table that would help everyone evaluate the viability of Vesta with either team moving forward. Maybe Pater’s approach will help here but it needs to be fact based and not unsubstantiated name calling.

  3. All founders need to agree to abide by the DAO vote. Very likely that people end up feeling slighted to some degree even as we search for a middle ground. Everyone needs to agree upfront to play by the rules regardless of outcome.

  4. My immediate idea with what I see and know now is to simply fork the DAO with two factions and let individual holders decide which faction to join. King solomon style split the baby

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If this is an internal issue,

Holders should be voting on who has the best plan. Holders vote, and the best plan stays. So current founders have #X of days to prepare and present such plan, and then the DAO votes and decides on the best strategy moving forward.

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Status: Member, one of two math people here

It is an unfortunate state. I haven’t been with Vesta long enough, less than 6 months. Just as other team members, I became aware of these proposals only when they came out on Discord. Because of the short term, I didn’t contribute much to the quote “non-innovation” in the Summary of VSP-2 Dissolve Proposal. Just the opposite. Mikey alluded to the upcoming oracleless lending and I can say with confidence: There is something bigger than that. Even there are some internal conflicts, it would be too hasty to shut down Vesta. I am against any proposal that uses the treasury to buy out.

Now I’m going to describe the progress from the research team for the last 6 months.

The first project is a partial liquidation mechanism. The second project is a deliquidation mechanism. These together can achieve what Curve’s LLAMMA does. These two features could have been added into the V2. I not only wrote the papers with a typical mathematical rigor (things are not only claimed but actually proved) but also provided pseudocode and python code for their simulation.

The third project is oracle-less lending, for which Mikey has shared a preliminary version. In my own opinion, even if projects 1 (liquidation) and 2 (deliquidation) weren’t made into V2, they helped in the creation of the oracleless lending.

I’m not going to blame anyone but it’s fair to say there has been constant progress in our work.


Good to hear from someone internally. This is useful and will be required when we are asked to make a choice between exiting or continuing! :wink:

Seeing a team member post made me think about something: will founders be allowed to vote on the proposal that could define the future of the project? My opinion is that this should be decided by the DAO but I would like others to give their opinion.

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Hi, I am a smart contract engineer for Vesta and think it would be good to give my opinion about Mikey and Atum. I consider myself pretty impartial to the situation as I do not have a personal grudge or favourite amongst Mikey and Atum/Midnight. I also do not have a huge stake in the current situation financially as I have earned less than a tenth of the tokens that founders own.

First, I don’t think any party is completely “wrong”. I respect both Mikey and Atum (don’t know much about midnight) in that when working with both of them seemed hard working, and wanted Vesta to succeed and be good at what you do respectively. I don’t know exactly what caused this departure but here are my observations of some things about Mikey and Atum to help shed light on the situation.

For Mikey, I think how he handled the staking module with constant changes back and forth was a real roadblock to us shipping on time. This was very frustrating and I think this could be alleviated if Mikey were a little more decisive. Perhaps Mikey was spread a bit thin and didn’t have as much time to dedicate to it, but he probably should have delegated it and trusted me to make a final decision on it. Whatever the reason is I think that was not handled very well.

Recently Mikey has hired a few researchers to collaborate with him in West Coast which I am very positive about. We have had some hires in the past for this but they have not been very good. I think this is a good step forward in trying to build new products since Vesta has not found a product market fit aside from a small amount of power users.

For Atum, most of our communication has been asynchronous for two reasons. I live in Australia so there is not much overlap in our time zones with North America and Atum prefers most communication to be asynchronous. Although I liked that at first(who doesn’t like fewer meetings) over time I started to feel like a lack of regular standup(we only had once a week) was a bit detrimental to how in sync we are about certain things and how much I can learn from him. I think Atum’s way of working is really good if we have a regular pipeline of work that is well-defined. But since we work at a startup requirements and product changes frequently so I think a more regular communication style Mikey proposed is necessary, especially for the early stages of product development.

There would also be times when I talk to Atum and Mikey separately and it would see they are not in sync in that I would hear different things from either of them. That was when I first suspected there might be a lack of communication between them which seems more detrimental since they are cofounders.

That being said I think everyone has flaws and shortcomings, I myself have a lot that I want to change personally. Despite their shortcomings, I think those two are very good at what they do and it’s a shame to see this conflict happen.

Atum is one of the best developers and software architects I’ve worked with. My overall impression is that he is an excellent individual contributor but he doesn’t seem to not enjoy being a manager. I think more frequent communication is pretty key for faster iteration of early-stage design in new products I can see why Mikey would think he is not a good culture fit for a startup like Vesta.

I think Mikey is a good leader who has identified problems with Vesta’s product and team and is proactive at fixing them. I firmly believe he has good intentions with his decision to continue building and wants Vesta to succeed. I think his objecting to the dissolution which I think profits him quite a bit says something. He and the new researchers have been working hard on a new product tangential to Vesta’s main protocol. However, since Vesta has only made incremental improvements to its protocol since inception and has not reached a large market product fit I can see why Atum and Midnight no longer believe in Mikey’s vision for Vesta.

Ideologically I don’t think either Mikey’s or Atum’s proposals are unreasonable asks.

When it does get unreasonable is more in the details. With the ragequit or dissolve I think it is considered unfair to a lot of investors (angels and public) to see a founder who failed at a startup getting paid 650k from the treasury funded by them. Yes, founders put in their time and effort building and should be compensated. But (I’m assuming) they have been paid a salary/wage for their time and probably should get some back for their equity in the business but being able to profit that amount while investors are underwater by a lot is a bit unfair. I think a more reasonable way to dissolve is something like what this person wrote in VSP-3 proposal. I think a fixed amount should be allocated to the founders + team. And then the rest should be given to public token holders. Founders and team’s tokens should be burnt and the portion they sold should be accounted for in their compensation.

Mikey’s proposal of continuing without Atum and Midnight could also be unreasonable. If I was an investor and I knew two cofounders and exiting I should probably have a say on whether we want to continue or not. The investor invested in the cofounders as well as the project/product. I think if the whole community and investors reach a large consensus that they want to dissolve, it is a bit unreasonable to say fuck you I have the power I will continue bleeding the treasury for my pet project(it is now a pet project if no one other than you and maybe a few teammates want to do it while investors deem it unimportant/unprofitable).

Personally, I am okay with either outcome with a slight preference for continuing building for at least a little longer to see Mikey’s work with the researchers come to fruition. I have already booked a flight to West Coast in the next two weeks(before knowing about this conflict) for two reasons. I think being in the same timezone as Atum will alleviate some communication issues with him. I can also work with Mikey in person since more frequent communication is better for early-stage product iteration. We have also begun hiring as Mikey has instructed me to help with the process in case of a situation where Atum and Midnight leave.

However, I would prefer a dissolve over working on Vesta if we don’t get somewhat off a fresh start. If we are working on a new product and constantly interrupted by baggage from either old cofounders, investors or problems with the majority of the community then I think it’s better to dissolve. Because at that point no one is getting what they want. Investors don’t like it they want whatever is left of their money back, The team don’t like it if you can’t work on a new product/project properly.

In the event of a 50/50ish divide on dissolve or continue, I’m not sure what to do. I don’t see myself as an authority, so I will just give my perspective and allow others to decide.


Writing my thoughts as a Vesta employee.

I joined Vesta in April 2022 as Community & Awareness Lead, so not a founder. Since then, I have been involved in a wide range of responsibilities, encompassing community management, marketing, content creation, governance, and more. My commitment to Vesta has been total, and I’ve consistently been available seven days a week, every day of the year.

Due to the nature of my role, I haven’t talked much with Atum and Midnight, only when needed and during our biweekly all hands. I’ve been more in relation with Mikey, we had one to two meetings a week and we quite work well together. I’ve never had any personal issues or fights with anyone within the team.

In terms of our work ethic, we’ve consistently put in a lot of effort, even though the visible results have been limited. This is partly due to the fact that our roadmap has changed a few times, leading us to restart projects without actually releasing anything. Sometimes, it was frustrating because I spent a lot of time on projects that didn’t go live. However, I’ve come to understand that pivoting is quite common for startups.

The most disappointing part is that we’re almost done with Vesta v2. We’ve finished or almost finished most of the marketing assets. I was really excited to see my work finally go live. So, you can imagine how sad I felt when I saw the messages on Discord on my Saturday morning.

Overall, Vesta has had some problems with communication and organization. From my own perspective, it was even worse when I first joined, but it’s gotten better since then on my side. However, I’m not part of the founding team, so I didn’t know everything.

While I understand the urgency from token holders, angels, and founders to resolve these issues quickly, I also ask for a bit of time and not rushing the process. As I mentioned in another discussion, we’re dealing with real people and real jobs here. Just imagine losing everything in a week and having to wait for a snapshot vote that will determine your near future, all without a clear explanation of the situation and what might come next…

I’m feeling quite stressed right now, and honestly, it’s a situation of uncertainty I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.


The first project is a partial liquidation mechanism. The second project is a deliquidation mechanism. These together can achieve what Curve’s LLAMMA does. These two features could have been added into the V2. I not only wrote the papers with a typical mathematical rigor (things are not only claimed but actually proved) but also provided pseudocode and python code for their simulation.

I don’t mean to tear down the research work that is being done. But given that I am a VSTA holder (i.e. governor of the treasury) I believe it is my place to criticise when things don’t quite add up.

So let me get this right, based on your comment both projects which Vesta is still ‘researching’ and ideating on are … a fork of Curve’s crvUSD LLAMMA which has already been deployed on main-net and has garnered +$100M TVL. If I were to concede that it is not an outright fork, it is at the very least a fork-adjacent of a product that has already been shipped. At least that is how the market will perceive it.

There is a very clear difference between doing research in an academic setting, where funding is near unlimited and one can to a large extent conduct research for the sake of it, and a start-up environment in a cyclical industry admist a bear market where the team has token-holders to answer to. The vision needs to be much much more clearly defined.

So when you say there is constant progress in your work - I’m afraid i beg to differ and based on the token price it seems that the vast majority of (prior) holders agree.

I’m not going to discuss the difference between academia and industry.

You are certainly right that if project 1 and project 2 had been implemented, the result would look like a Curve. For that reason alone, the product should not be implemented. These two projects were part of the effort to make a better stablecoin, that is resilient to a death-spiral when ETH price drops significantly. They definitely were not conducted for mimicking LLAMMA. I realized how my language was misleading others to think that way. There could be various reasons why stablecoin research might not work out, US new legislation alone being a factor, the contradicting nature of making stable things out of volatile things another; and maybe yet another (I prefer not to say). But I believe if these two were added into V2, it would cause less bad perception than just an interest model update. And they aren’t hard to implement.

What is important is: Oracleless lending needs as its components liquidation and possibly deliquidation (deliquidation is always an add-on). It turned out that the liquidation system for oracleless lending is much more involved than the project 1. For example, various attacks/hacks need to be taken into consideration.

As Paul said, there used to be other researchers. And as a non governance token holder (joined 6 months ago), there are at least three people in the team having, or supposed to have, more obligation to set the quote “vision” and to bring innovation, rather quote “non-innovation” for the past 2 years. But it’s never useful to blame anyone for “non-innovation”. For the past 6 months, these quoted problems were solved, or at least significantly improved.