• Delegates and members of the Ethereum Name Service foundation are weighing a draft proposal to terminate Millegan
  • The development is dividing ENS’ community, with some defending the director’s right to religious views, while others decry discrimination

Controversy has erupted within the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) community after a more than 5-year-old tweet by the foundation’s director of operations, Brantly Millegan, resurfaced on Friday.

Delegate members from the Decentralized Autonomous Organization protocol are weighing up whether to terminate Millegan’s directorship for comments made in 2016 about his views regarding homosexuality, transgender people and abortions, among other topics.

Brantly Millegan’s tweet from 2016

A draft proposal has been put forth to DAO delegates — those with voting rights making decisions affecting the protocol — to weigh in. The draft is not an active proposal, but a consideration for delegates to bring forward a vote on whether he should remain in a director role.

ENS is a domain name service designed to turn Ethereum machine-readable addresses into human-readable ones.

The controversy has called into question the nature of DAOs and the relationships they possess with voting delegates. Millegan is ENS’ largest and most powerful delegate with 377.68K votes. Coinbase comes in at number two, only slightly behind Millegan with 333K of the DAO’s total voting share, after the director’s power gap narrowed following the resurfaced tweet.

Millegan has since been removed from his role as community steward following a “simple indicative majority vote” on Sunday, after the director defended his views in a Twitter Space discussion on Friday.

“After listening carefully to the concerns of the stewards, delegates, and many other community members, I believe it is in the best interest of ENS and the communality to remove Brantly from his role as a Community Steward,” said community steward member Kevin “validator.eth” on Sunday.

While the 2016 tweet has since been removed for violating Twitter’s rules, a debate has opened up within social circles as to how the director’s views should be dealt with, if at all.

“You are accusing Brantly of misconduct but failed to produce evidence of such actions in this proposal. Right now, I see that the DAO has power to remov[e] him, but that’s all,” said one delegate going by the name “irreverent.”

“I would suggest clearly stating the relevant information (ie, the tweets, spaces, etc.) as well as any guidelines or specific clauses that he has violated. If the current proposal is submitted, I will vote NO because I see no clear misconduct being displayed given the current information within the draft and it feels like an angry mob vote.”

“This vibe is definitely something I do not want the DAO to give off.”

Those within the community defending Millegan’s right to free speech point to examples that the director has not acted upon his beliefs to de-platform minorities within the protocol. Others still call into question his public views and their effect on the protocol’s market health.

“He is bad for ENS because he creates segregation of users by his words and actions, said “Healing Visions,” another ENS delegate weighing in on the draft proposal. “Many have removed their .eth name, the price is down and will abandon the platform. If you can’t get behind it from a human perspective, which would be very sad, then from a business perspective it doesn’t make sense to keep him.”

The lead developer of ENS, Nick Johnson, announced Monday morning that Millegan would no longer be working with True Names Limited, the nonprofit company that funds ENS development.

Blockworks attempted to contact Millegan to discuss the draft proposal but did not receive a reply by press time.


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  • Blockworks
    Senior Reporter, Asia News Desk
    Sebastian Sinclair is a senior news reporter for Blockworks operating in South East Asia. He has experience covering the crypto market as well as certain developments affecting the industry including regulation, business and M&As. He currently holds no cryptocurrencies. Contact Sebastian via email at [email protected]