Sometimes I hate to be right, this is one of those times.
We love that Grin is not controlled by any company, foundation or individual, there are no dev fee, no VCs, nothing of that. That’s great, but what does this mean for Grin’s contributors? It means that governments will go directly after the individuals, instead of attacking an entity. Like they just did to Riccardo Spagni. Monero’s former maintainer and one of the most vocal Tari co-founders, was arrested in the US. It is worth saying that the allegations are unrelated to cryptocurrency.
Spagni was charged in the Western Cape Regional Court, Cape Town for fraud and other charges arising out of these facts. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the trial against him was commenced. Evidence was presented against him, but SPAGNI failed to appear in court. South African authorities attempted to locate SPAGNI at his home address and through contacts with his friends and family, but to no avail. Further investigation revealed that SPAGNI had fled South Africa. The trial court issued a warrant for his arrest on April 19, 2021.
According to the Court documents there can be a penalty up to 20 years. In summary we’re talking about Spagni gained the equivalent of roughly $99,000 USD as a result of his “fraudulent activity”.
Maybe Spagni committed those “crimes”, but it is completely irrelevant whether he is guilty or not. Usually these kind of things are resolved by paying the money back plus penalty fees and expenses, if they actually find the person guilty. What is happening here is that they are doing what they are used to do: showing off their power to intimidate and discredit everyone who dares to defy their domains.
Grin won’t be exempt of this. If we gain some traction, the life of Grin’s contributors could be at risk probably. I don’t know the future for sure, but history is a cycle, they will play the same strategy over and over again because it works.
Maybe it is better for all contributors to start thinking how will they protect themselves and their families in case Grin succeeds.