Poloniex announced plans to delist DigiByte from its exchange within hours of a public Twitter spat between DGB founder Jared Tate and one of the exchange’s new owners Justin Sun.
Tate blasted TRON, which Sun founded, in an 8-part tweetstorm beginning with:
1/8 Im disgusted by all these #TRON trolls/bots attacking me & hyping a 100% premined & completely centralized network like its the most decentralized gift from god. Now #Poloniex has turned into a $TRX shill factory after making off w/ US customers sensitive data. Fact time:
— Jared Tate (@jaredctate) December 4, 2019
Hours later, Poloniex tweeted its intention to delist DGB for failure to meet the exchange’s ‘listing standard’. The exchange’s ‘careful review’ was a quick undertaking, leaving many to wonder if Justin Sun was using Poloniex as a weapon against attacks on his person.
— Poloniex Exchange (@Poloniex) December 5, 2019
Tate left few wondering what his views of TRON and Sun were, with his tweets including reference to TRON’s use of ‘delighted proof of shenanigans’ as its consensus algorithm:
5/8 Chen said this: “Token distribution is centralized, Super Representatives are centralized, code development is centralized. Even the community is organized under centralization.” This is typical for DPoS projects, we call it "delighted proof of shenanigans" in the book.
— Jared Tate (@jaredctate) December 4, 2019
Poloniex Important to DigiByte, But Not Critical
DigiByte is the 55th ranked cryptocurrency by market cap. Its 6th and 42nd most important trading markets were on Poloniex, for DGB/BTC and DGB/USDT, respectively. Combined, Poloniex’s DGB trading volumes amounted to a little over $100,000 a day. ZBG Global is easily DigitByte’s most important exchange by trading volume.
Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, noted that “exchanges are privately owned companies and are under no obligation to list or trade any asset.”
While that may be true, as important custodians of the industry, exchanges should be held to high standards of conduct if the digital asset economy is to mature. Poloniex’s delisting of DigiByte was, by any measure, a malevolent and personal act of sabotage.
Jared Tate was under no illusions about Poloniex’s aims. In an exclusive discussion with Crypto Briefing, the DigiByte founder described the Poloniex-DigiByte relationship as having been a mutually healthy one:
“DigiByte is a completely decentralized blockchain project with no company or centralized organization behind it and I am not the CEO. Any exchange is free to list or delist DGB anytime they want. Just like anyone in the community is free to speak any valid concerns any time they wish. Poloniex has supported DGB for well over 5 years and quite often DGB was the most traded asset on their platform.”
Under its new ownership structure, however, Tate outlined his concerns about Poloniex and the industry as a whole:
“Its quite apparent the new Tron loving owners do not hold the same values for true decentralization that [the] previous Poloniex owners did. I personally referred hundreds of people to Poloniex including close friends and family as well [as] DGB supporters who trusted my judgement over the years. All my questions about the handling of sensitive customer data fell on deaf ears and after holding my tongue on Tron for months I spoke the truth to call out the obvious things everyone was witnessing.”
Tate rued the loss of Satoshi’s original vision in the crypto ecosystem:
“We are entering a dark era for crypto. One that I never would of seen coming 6 years ago. Listing fees, paid market makers, 100% premines and blatant pump and dump scams have been normalized. The industry has lost Satoshi’s original vision in pursuit of a quick buck and monopolistic control.”
DigiByte Community Will Move On And Grow
With Tate’s tweetstorm having subsided, the team behind DigiByte has taken the decision in its stride. Crypto Briefing reached out to the DigiByte community, and Josiah Spackman responded by saying, “It’s been such a shame to see Poloniex going downhill over the last two years, and although they only accounted for 1% of DigiByte trading volume, I personally want to wish them the best in future. I sincerely hope they can turn things around and make the required structural changes to undo their own self harm. They had supported DigiByte since the early days in 2014, but we’ve seen exchanges come and go, it’s a shame it seems it’s Poloniex’ time.”
It was a diplomatic response from the team, with a sprinkling of deserved spite. As DigiByte moves on from the high-profile spat, they may be better off without Poloniex. The exchange has taken a credibility hit as a result of the actions of today. Its conduct is certainly unbecoming of former owner, Circle’s Jeremy Allaire.
The response we received from Poloniex support about the DGB delisting failed to answer the specific question surrounding DigiByte:
“We consider listing or delisting assets based on whether the asset has sufficient trading volume, whether it aligns with the core tenets of the crypto community, whether it is backed by robust technology, whether it creates real value for a meaningful number of customers, and whether it’s backed by a strong, experienced team. In addition, we also consider other factors such as new guidance from regulators.”
This article was updated with additional commentary from Jared Tate and Poloniex. Crypto Briefing also reached out to Circle’s Jeremy Allaire, but did not receive a response.