Update (5/19/2023 14:25 UTC): This article has been corrected to reflect that Thomas Schmidt and Jay Yao are (or were) consultants of ParaSpace NFT. A previous publication of this article erroneously named the two individuals as co-founders. Cointelegraph regrets this error.
The Paraspace NFT protocol saga over the whereabouts of the protocol’s fund took another turn on May 19 as the project’s consultant Jay Yao resigned from his position in the company. Last Week, the NFT protocol made headlines over the missing funds and a barrage of accusations by chief executives and CEO against each other. In a statement to Cointelegraph, a spokesperson for ParaSpace wrote:
“Yubo has never done any embezzlement. The whole issue is a setup. Jay & Thomas are neither shareholders nor co-founders of ParaSpace. Their action have no relation with ParaSpace.”
The spokesperson also claimed that “Jay & Thomas are illegally using multi-sig and Twitter account to threaten Yubo as they collude to take over ParaSpace.” The same day, blockchain analytics firm Secure3 published a report stating “all funds are repaid” and “we didn’t see any evidence of fund embezzlement.”
We noticed a debate on @ParaSpace_NFT user fund.
We tracked down the transactions related to the address. Our findings:
1. All funds are repaid
2. There’s a clear repayment schedule. The process started from 2023/03 to 2023/05
3. We didn’t see any evidence of fund embezzlement pic.twitter.com/Jz7lL3qOA8
— Secure3 (@secure3io) May 19, 2023
The decision by Yao to leave the firm came a week after the Parapace team clashed with the CEO Yubo Ruan about the missing funds. Ruan at the time maintained that he was innocent and being framed by the likes of Yao to step down as CEO. Ruan also alleged that Yao and another Paraspace consultant Thomas Schmidt illegally obtained access to the protocol’s multisig accounts and social media platforms.
Contributors at @ParaSpace_NFT ,
I write to make you aware of a pressing matter concerning our company. Two former consultants, Thomas Schmidt, and Jay Yao, have illegally obtained control of one of the protocol’s multisig and social media accounts. They did so by contacting key…
— Yubo Ruan (@yuboruan) May 10, 2023
Yao took to Twitter to announce his departure from the firm a week later and apologized to the community for letting internal matters affect users. He added that the whole saga was never “intended to be a public matter, and it should have been resolved internally.”
Earlier today, I, along with other team members, resigned from my position at ParaSpace.
I am incredibly thankful and fortunate to have been able to work with so many talented individuals. Without them, ParaSpace wouldn’t have achieved the success we had.
While we are still…
— Jay (@MrFryR) May 19, 2023
The whole Paraspace saga revolves around the mismanagement of 2,909 Ether (ETH) estimated to be worth $5.4 million. It all started with a price slippage attack on the NFT protocol on March 18. The attack was immediately intercepted by crypto security firm BlockSec. In order to prevent hostile actors from gaining access to the money, the security firm removed 2,909 ETH from the protocol and then gave the assets back to ParaSpace.
The Paraspace team claimed that out of 2,909 ETH, only 50% of it was added back to the protocol’s treasury. The team accused Ruan of mismanagement of funds as he had exclusive access to the muti-sig wallet. The team comprising Schimidit and Yao demanded Ruan be forcefully removed from his position as CEO. However, in the end, Yao resigned from his position along with his team.
Update (5/19/2023 14:45 UTC): This article has been updated to reflect a statement from ParaSpace, along with a novel tweet from Secure3.
Cointelegraph editor and journalist Zhiyuan Sun contributed to this story.