© Reuters. Does JPMorgan own MetaMask? New reporting points to connect businesses
The commonly used online wallet MetaMask is one of the biggest players in the cryptocurrency and non-fungible token markets and is used by millions of people. A new report shows that MetaMask could be owned by a major US and global banking firm.
What happened: The shareholders of ConsenSys AG demanded an independent audit of the transactions involving MetaMask and Infura. The request was filed by 35 former employees representing 50% of ConsenSys shareholders, according to a CoinDesk report.
ConsenSys is a development company (CRYPTO: ETH) that transferred control of MetaMask and Infura. The transfer of assets took place in August 2020.
“We have asked a court to assess the transaction, and if the court deems it necessary, it will appoint an independent auditor to perform a further review,” Arthur Falls, a former ConsenSys AG employee, told Coindesk.
ConsenSys was founded by Joe Lubin, one of the many co-founders of Ethereum. The lawsuit alleges Lubin profited because he retained ownership of the earning assets and transferred the debt to the previous company. Lubin is the majority shareholder of ConsenSys CAG (CAG) and ConsenSys Software (CSI).
The former employees invoke the Swiss Code of Obligations, which could cancel previous transactions. Lubin and board member Frithjof Weinert were both directors of CAG and CSI, which is not permitted as dual representation under Swiss and US law.
The report also alleges that shareholder meetings did not take place and that all parties were not present during votes and asset transactions discussed and approved.
ConsenSys “refutes the allegations” of former shareholders, said Diana Richter, the company’s chief marketing and brand officer.
“The business fundamentals and operating environment are completely different today than at the time of the transaction, although the group wishes to apply a valuation that could be achieved today to a set of projects that have been pre-determined. -monetized during the darkest days of COVID when the transaction took place,” Richter said.
A ConsenSys spokesperson estimated that the 35 shareholders held 12% of the outstanding shares, much less than the claimed 50%.
Related Link: What is Metamask?
Why it matters: MetaMask was valued at $4.4 million during the transaction according to documents seen by CoinDesk.
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:NYSE:) took a 10% stake in CSI as part of the deal, according to the report.
ConsenSys spin-off CSI raised $200 million at a $3 billion valuation in November 2021. Coinbase (NASDAQ:) Global Inc (: COIN) was among the company’s investors in November. The company could be valued at $7 billion in a new round according to Protos.
MetaMask and Infura, a network of nodes, are considered valuable parts of the Ethereum infrastructure.
Many in the cryptocurrency community are now questioning ownership and are no doubt upset that a major banking corporation could own significant infrastructure for a decentralized world.
If the lawsuit moves forward, it could cast a negative light on JPMorgan by those in the cryptocurrency space.
Photo: analogicus from Pixabay
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