Unpacking Polkadot Treasury Issues as Manta Co-Founder Speaks Up

Manta Network co-founder Victor Ji called out the Polkadot (DOT) ecosystem for unprofessional conduct at work. Kicking the horse when it is down, the outburst comes as the community criticizes the network over futile marketing despite a bloated budget.

As the digital asset space evolves with a focus on decentralization, community participation in network governance becomes more vocal.

Polkadot Slammed for Workplace Toxicity

Victor Ji of Manta Network criticizes the Polkadot ecosystem, citing its toxicity. He argues that it lacks real value for Web3, and that the DOT network fails to prioritize users or drive adoption.

“A concrete example is the Polkadot Academy event held in Hong Kong this February, where less than a quarter of the participants were Asian, even though this was an event in Asia (costing over a million dollars). It was at this event that I first encountered Gavin Wood, and when I told him I was from Manta Network, he said he was looking forward to Manta launching its mainnet and using it. At that time Manta had just released its token and was gaining a lot of traction, yet he didn’t even know that one of the biggest projects in his ecosystem had launched its mainnet,” Ji expressed.

Notably, the Manta network started its journey as a Layer-1 blockchain built on Polkadot’s Substrate framework. It has since expanded its horizons to introduce a Layer-2 solution tailored for the Ethereum, effectively widening its scope and applicability.

Read More: What is Polkadot? Everything You Need To Know

According to Victor Ji, the Polkadot team is incapable, not truly decentralized, and does not support builders on its stack. The Manta executive joins the DOT community, which is also disappointed in the ecosystem after revenues declined during H1 of 2024. Per the reports, Polkadot’s treasury holds less than $245 million worth of assets, sparking longevity concerns.

“Polkadot’s Treasury has about 2 years of runway left at the current burn rate of $87m per 6 months,” wrote Ignus, co-founder at Pink Brains DeFi creating studio, echoing Polkadot head ambassador Tommi Enenkel in the June 28 treasury report.

The revenue report shared on the Polkadot governance forum on June 28 revealed that the project allocated $37 million to marketing in the first half of the year. This expenditure is part of the $87 million total spent during this period. The significant marketing investment has sparked backlash, as it failed to achieve its primary goals, including attracting new users, developers, and businesses to the Polkadot ecosystem.

DOT Ecosystem H1 Spendings. Source: Polkadot Treasury

Why Polkadot Treasury May Not Run Dry

Despite the community concerns, Polkadot’s treasury may not deplete funds even if it spends the $245 million worth of assets it still holds. This is because the network sends almost 7% of the total token inflation (staking rewards) to the treasury.

“It is slowly but steadily refilled with inflation that is split between staking and treasury,” Polkadot activist Giotto de Filippi wrote, challenging claims of a limited runway.

With continuous staking rewards flowing in, Polkadot’s treasury actively finances the network through this steady revenue stream. Moreover, funneled staking rewards allow for the alignment of incentives between users and the project itself. Polkadot Total Value Locked (TVL) has increased by 5% since June 30, DefiLlama data shows. This is likely as reports of the sustainable financial model continue to inspire optimism.

Also Read: 5 Best Polkadot (DOT) Wallets To Consider In 2024

Björn Wagner, co-founder of Parity Technologies, the company behind Polkadot, provided context to the ongoing debate. In a recent X (formerly Twitter) post, he shared that both Web3 Foundation and Parity have significant financial runway independent of the Polkadot on-chain treasury, which receives continuous inflows.

“While I personally too share the current vocal sentiment that some of the recent treasury spending will likely have inadequate ROI, it is worth remembering that Polkadot Governance is likely the largest and most sophisticated DAO out there and is evolving rapidly,” he wrote.

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