Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of discussion about the company Ripple Labs and the digital token XRP. A recently published report on the market valuation of XRP, authored by the cryptocurrency data startup Messari, has caused quite a stir among the community. After Messari’s founder Ryan Selkis shared an article concerning the XRP study, he claims someone called his phone and harassed him.
High up Ripple Community Members and Executives Asked to Denounce Harassment
If you’ve been involved in the cryptocurrency scene on social media or forums, you probably noticed the intense debate between XRP proponents and other digital currency communities. There have been many fierce arguments in regard to Ripple Labs and XRP’s relationship, the billions of tokens held in escrow, and whether or not the network even deserves to be called a “blockchain.” Moreover, XRP has done well, as far as fiat value is concerned and has garnered a lot of attention and supporters over the last two years. More recently, however, there have been talks about a group of proponents the community has dubbed the “XRP army” and if someone makes a negative statement about the token, then a swarm of supporters will rebuke the statement and say very negative things about the individual. On Jan. 24, Messari founder Ryan Selkis shared the story about how the cryptocurrency data startup had contested XRP’s market capitalization and he received a lot of backlash on social media.
Many XRP supporters called Messari’s study “FUD” and a Ripple spokesperson said the report had “several inaccurate assumptions.” Selkis says his team sent the entire report to well known Ripple community members and executives in advance and also highlighted things they needed clarity on. Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse also dismissed Messari’s study and asked: “When will media coverage of this industry mature?” However, soon after that, things went from a simple discussion to alleged harassment. According to Selkis, someone called him after the Messari study was published and intimidated him.
“Someone just called me from a Nashville number and recited my wife’s birthday to me — Then hung up — [Brad Garlinghouse] these are the type of animals you and your fucking company enable,” explained Selkis on Twitter.
After Selkis made the statement, a person responded by saying: “FYI Ryan bro, you took the first shots.” Selkis continued by saying he will be getting the FBI involved if there are a total of three harassment calls. Messari’s founder stated:
I want Ripple, [Brad Garlinghouse, Monica Long, Cory Johnson, Joel Katz, and Warren Anderson] to denounce any XRP community threats against my family. I’m going to the FBI and local police after three calls — Ensuring our family doesn’t get swatted.
Community Members Discuss Past Memories of Crypto-Harassment and Threats
The harassment has brought back memories of other cryptocurrency industry members and developers who have also been harassed in the past. The well known bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik had a similar experience when he was the lead maintainer of the Segwit2x project. “This is what happened to me and my family during Segwit2x brouhaha and local police and the FBI were called then, too — There are some sick parts of this community,” Garzik explained on Twitter in response to the statements Selkis made.
In response to Garzik’s tweet, Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp asked him: “On a scale of 0 to 10 how helpful did you find law enforcement to be?” Lopp was also harassed last year allegedly because of the Segwit2x scaling debate as well. In fact, the developer was “swatted,” an act when someone calls the local swat police to barge down on someone’s home when they haven’t committed a crime. During the early morning hours, Durham, North Carolina police were dispatched to Lopp’s home as they were told there was a hostage situation.
So far there’s been a lot of community response on forums and social media in regard to Selkis telling Ripple executives and developers they should denounce this behavior.
What do you think about the so-called “XRP army” on forums and social media? What do you think about the experience Selkis has had with Ripple’s most faithful proponents? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, and Twitter.
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