Joel Dietz has no connection to MetaMask despite lawsuit, Consensys says

Joel Dietz was allegedly working with Aaron Davis on Vapor, a browser-based crypto wallet, back in 2015


sdx15/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


In a new lawsuit filed Tuesday, Joel Dietz is accusing Consensys of concealing his role in the creation of MetaMask.

The lawsuit claims Dietz was not given proper credit for his contribution to the development of MetaMask. He alleges that Aaron Davis, one of the founders of MetaMask, was actually working together with Dietz on a browser-based crypto wallet that was dubbed Vapor back in 2014. 

Vitalik Buterin was behind Vapor, the suit claims, after Dietz brought the idea up to Buterin. He also suggested that Dietz make a formal request to the Ethereum Foundation.

“The understanding was that the grant size would be $30,000, as that was the appropriate amount for work proposed in the pitch for initial software development,” the lawsuit says.

However, in 2015, Davis “stopped updating the other two partners on his progress, seemingly because of the suspension of the project.”

However, according to the lawsuit, Davis continued to work on the project and eventually rebranded it as MetaMask.

Prior to the stall out in 2015, the team reportedly managed to develop a functional prototype. However, they encountered issues as third-party funding failed to materialize. It was at this point that Davis allegedly stopped communicating with Dietz.

Dietz currently serves as a metaverse adviser at Digital Dubai and is a founding board member at OMA3, according to his LinkedIn. He also serves as a Connection Science Fellow at MIT, with a focus on “research on fueling innovation with decentralized networks.”

According to a July blog post posted last year, Davis met Dan Finlay in 2013, and created MetaMask in 2016. 

There is no mention of Vapor or Dietz in the 2022 blog post. 

Davis “was interested in crowdfunding a project on Ethereum and worked backwards from there. He spent a while making a sophisticated account manager that was like a browser within a browser, and then, [Finlay] came in.”

Though the lawsuit claims that the timeline doesn’t add up. 

“Davis would have had to ‘conjure up’ the idea for MetaMask during the time when he was actively working on the Vapor project alongside Dietz and Becze—the same time period during which he informed Dietz that he had coworkers at Apple who would be interested in joining the Vapor project,” it said. 

A Consensys spokesperson told Blockworks: “Joel Dietz is an individual we understand to have been falsely marketing himself as the founder of MetaMask in an attempt to sell tokens or gain investment from unsuspecting investors globally. Joel Dietz is not a founder of MetaMask, has no relation to MetaMask or any of its technology and we look forward to the court promptly disposing of these frivolous claims.”

Dietz claims that the lack of acknowledgment from Davis “damaged Dietz in that Dietz was not given any opportunity to exercise his ownership rights over the browser-based cryptocurrency wallet that he and Davis had developed.”

“I’m confident that the case will show the substantial evidence that proves my role as a founding partner of MetaMask, and I know several colleagues in our community will verify that,” Dietz said in a statement to Blockworks.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit