One on One | Ethereum Commonwealth Founder Dexaran

A talented developer referred to as Dexaran funded and formed the Ethereum Commonwealth, the third Ethereum Classic (ETC) development team. Dexaran has been accused of being the DAO attacker. Here are Dexaran’s answers to some questions

Tell us a little about yourself.

I prefer to stay a pseudonymous person, thus, I can only tell [you] that I live in Russia. I could say that my main direction is “information security and cryptography”. I came into the crypto space seeking the opportunity to protect myself from the influence of “uncontrollable centralized authorities” (such as Russian government) and the opportunity to resist censorship since this is extremely relevant in my country.

Why do you support and believe in ETC?

I have two main reasons to be here, in the ETC community

The first and the most important one is my ideology. Each blockchain project consists of two core parts: a protocol and a history of transactions. Ethereum is a good protocol but Ethereum’s history of transactions was violated by TheDAO hardfork. Ethereum Classic is exactly the same protocol but with a clean history of transactions. I’m not against hardforks and I’m not against Ethereum. I am against a violation of someone’s rights after they were given. The DAO hardfork was exactly the result of the “the influence of centralized authorities” which I do not support. As the result, I’m in the Classic camp. I can not say that the Ethereum Foundation was wrong. I will say that we think differently. Let people who believe in the Ethereum Foundation join Ethereum and people who believe in decentralization and censorship resistance join Classic.

The second reason is that I had some ideas of how to improve Ethereum. I thought that it would be easier to realize these ideas for ETC, but now I see that I was wrong. I was told, “Go propose a new token standard on Ethereum and if they decide that it is a good idea then we will follow” when I came with a proposal to fix a bug in the ERC20 token standard, which has caused millions of dollars of loss already. The ETC community is smaller, but it is much more conservative, and it is harder to achieve an agreement about new features compared to Ethereum.

Why do you wish to remain anonymous?

Some might consider my views radical enough. I’d like to remain anonymous for now, but I think that someday I will deanonymize myself.

Why did you feel it was necessary to create a new ETC development team?

There was a slight discrepancy between my vision of what should be done and what the existing teams were offering.

The main one is financial transparency. I believe that it is one of the most important issues for any organization especially in the crypto space. We are the only Ethereum Classic development team that adheres to a policy of complete financial transparency.

There was a proposal to establish a treasury for Ethereum Classic. It could solve the problems of financial transparency and the lack of a governance system. Unfortunately, it was rejected.

The second reason to create a separate team was that none of the existing teams were working on solving already-existing problems. Both of our teams are working on moving forwards but no one tends to learn from Ethereum’s mistakes and solve any of the already-existing problems or prevent the emergence of Ethereum’s problems. Someone had to solve [the] existing problems, for example the loss of money due to the token standard flaw or the lack of a browser extension for accessing Ethereum Classic enabled distributed applications. There was MetaMask for Ethereum, but there was no analog that supports the Classic chain. MetaMask is a key point for most dapps that require user interaction with them. For example, you cannot create a fully decentralized exchange and let someone use it without MetaMask. That’s why I decided to work in this direction. There are still many problems that have to be solved yet.

What are your main goals for the ETC Commonwealth?

The main goal is to develop solutions for those problems of the ETC network that no one is willing to solve.

Currently, the most important problems of ETC are:

  • Lack of a governance system.
  • Lack of an address-to-address messaging system.
  • Scalability problems.Lack of an address checksum that can prevent transactions to a non-existent address.
  • ETC testnets and testnet explorer.
    There is no alternative to the Gastracker block explorer.
  • Address-to-address messaging seems to be the most relevant for me because no one else is working in this direction. It is a great problem of the whole Ethereum ecosystem. I’m planning to create a global smart-contract based messaging service which will allow you to contact the owner of any address directly. This will liquidate the problem of “I sent my ETC to some ETH address and I don’t know who owns it and how to contact him”.

What is the size of the team currently?

There are four developers in the Ethereum Commonwealth currently. Me and Yohan Graterol are public. The other two are private. Their Github profiles are available in the Ethereum Commonwealth financial report and their contributions are available in the Ethereum Commonwealth projects commit history. I don’t know their real names.

Can you describe your management style and how the system works?

It is difficult to manage a large team of developers. As a result, I decided that we will work as a small group, each working on a separate task. I’m coordinating everything through our separate Ethereum Commonwealth Github organization. We communicate through Discord or e-mails. Each task requirement is described at the corresponding issue in the Ethereum Commonwealth Roadmap repository. It serves as an analog of the ECIPs repository for the Ethereum Commonwealth.

Unfortunately, I have not raised enough funding to hire a professional manager to form a separate group to work on more tasks simultaneously.

Ethereum Commonwealth is now open for contributions. Ideally, I see it as a “local treasury” where everyone can define a task and anyone else can propose a solution and receive payment from the ETC Commonwealth fund if the solution is accepted.

We have a decision making process based on token voting. This utilizes blockchain advantages to resolve conflicts of [interest] transparently.

Some have suspected that you are the DAO attacker. Would you mind addressing these accusations?

I can only say that I never hacked TheDAO. If I were theDAO hacker then why do I need an ICO to fund my own team?

via Christian seberino -


Thank you, Dexaran and Chriistian, for this look into the Ethereum Commonwealth and the reasoning behind its formation. This article showcases how each you are valued members of the ETC community.

I had not heard any rumor that Dexaran was suspected to be involved in TheDAO “hack” prior to reading it in this interview. It came to mind as I read it however, first, that he just might be the one. Then that thought evolved into “but so might several other highly visible members of our community.” After a brief mental “sleuthing” I concluded there were likely a dozen or so recognizable names in the ETC “cryptosphere” with the necessary skillset; dozens more in the broader “cryptospace”.

What is not addressed in the above interview is what has prompted suspicions to be placed on Dexaran. If someone has a reason to suspect him beyond his obvious and considerable skills with smart contracts, that has yet to surface. Let the accusers come forth.

I would like to add that in my opinion there is no hacker of TheDAO contract. It is true that there was a member of the DAO that knew much more about how that contract worked than I did and was able to use that knowledge to gain an economic advantage. It is also true that the original coding of that contract contained the phrase “Code is Law”. Therefore the “unlawful” act was the undoing of that which was done inside the contract by means of actions taken outside the contract. Which leads to my ultimate conclusion: “So what?”

So what if Dexaran is the “hacker”? So what if its Cody or Elaine or Vitalik? So what if its me? Or you? Nothing, that’s what. Absolutely nothing can (nor should) change. The debacle that was TheDAO is over. Those for whom money was the only concern got what they wanted with Ethereum The Forked. Those of us that found immutability and statements of contract to be more important have Ethereum The Classic. Its past time to let it all go. I am glad events went as they did. What money I lost in TheDAO I have more than made up since. The EF can never change its “unlawful” acts nor deny that it is willing to take such actions. Because TheDAO happened, I am better equipped to be involved in cryptospace. And so are you.

So thank you “hacker”, Dexaran or not.


Great interview ! Muchas gracious amigo’s ; ) I know I’ll probably never get to meet Dexaran in person or Satoshi for that matter but know need to dig up the past !!! We have love for the Imutables and Dex is captain etc and sstoshi the incredible BC who is super cryptoman - maybe Charles lol