Ethereum Foundation removes warrant canary after ‘voluntary enquiry from a state authority’

The Ethereum Foundation’s disclosure of the probe went unnoticed for weeks

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Mia Stendal/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit supporting the Ethereum ecosystem, removed the warrant canary indicating it’s never been served a government subpoena from its website on Feb. 26. 

“[W]e have received a voluntary enquiry from a state authority that included a requirement for confidentiality,” Ethereum web developer Pablo Pettinari wrote alongside a code commit removing the canary. 

The Ethereum Foundation performs functions such as handling grants and providing research for the Ethereum ecosystem. It emphasizes that it does not control or lead Ethereum. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin serves on its executive board. 

The Ethereum Foundation erroneously removed its warrant canary in 2019 — though this time seems to be for real. 

The price of ether (ETH) fell more than 2% immediately after the news broke, furthering a bearish week for the token. 

Industry watchers were quick to point out that the Ethereum Foundation’s “voluntary enquiry” could be no big deal. 

“It’s extremely common for crypto protocol foundations to receive voluntary requests for information from federal and state regulators. And subpoenas are about as sure as the sunrise for a crypto entity,” Mike Selig, partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, said on X. 

The Ethereum Foundation did not immediately return a request for comment.


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