Paradigm, a leading crypto venture capital firm, openly criticized the marketing and execution strategy of Blast, a startup in which the former is a seed investor.
Dan Robinson, Paradigm’s Head of Research, voiced his concerns over Blast’s approach, stating it sets a troubling precedent for other projects in the blockchain space.
Dan Robinson’s Critique of Blast
In a statement released on X, Robinson expressed Paradigm’s disagreement with Blast’s decision to launch a bridge before its Layer-2 (L2) network and the choice to restrict withdrawals for three months.
There are a lot of components of Blast that I’m excited about and would be interested in engaging with people on. That said, we at Paradigm think the announcement this week crossed lines in both messaging and execution. For example, we don’t agree with the decision to launch the…
— Dan Robinson (@danrobinson) November 26, 2023
“We think it sets a bad precedent for other projects,” Robinson remarked, highlighting concerns over how these decisions could influence the broader crypto ecosystem. Robinson also critiqued the startup’s marketing approach, noting, “much of the marketing cheapens the work of a serious team.”
Despite the criticism, Robinson acknowledged the expertise of Blast’s team, referring to them as “world-class builders” with a history of developing exceptional products. This recognition is rooted in Blast’s founders’ past successes, including projects like Namebase and the NFT marketplace Blur.
However, while acknowledging Blast’s team’s capabilities, it is essential to note that this does not imply an endorsement of their recent strategies. Robinson added, “We invest in strong, independent founders who we don’t always agree with… We don’t endorse these kinds of tactics and take our responsibility in the ecosystem seriously.”
Jarrod Watts’s Critique of Blast
Blast’s recent actions have not only drawn criticism from Paradigm. Jarrod Watts, a developer relations engineer at Polygon Labs, has expressed concerns about the centralization of the network, citing it as a threat to security.
Watts further elaborated that Blast operates as a “3/5 multisig.” This means that if an attacker obtains access to the keys of three out of the five team members, the security of all cryptocurrency in Blast’s contracts will be compromised.
“Blast is just a 3/5 multisig…”
I spent the past few days diving into the source code to see if this statement is actually true.
Here’s everything I learned:
— Jarrod Watts (@jarrodWattsDev) November 23, 2023
Watt also disagreed with Blast being classified as a layer 2, claiming it simply collects funds from users and deposits them into protocols like LIDO without utilizing bridges or testnets.
He also raised concerns about the lack of a withdrawal feature, suggesting that the developers’ commitment to implementing a withdrawal function will determine users’ ability to retrieve their funds in the future. Blast has also caught the attention of scammers, with a victim losing $130K in a recent phishing incident.
Amidst these concerns, Blast has secured over $567 million in total value locked (TVL) since its launch. The protocol has also planned an airdrop for January, which continues to attract the crypto community’s attention.
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