Satoshi Labs, which was the sponsor of Hackers’ Congress Paralelni Polis (HCPP) recently withdrew their support, both in sense of provision of valuable resources and financial support. The reason was termed to be a physical conflict in the Bitcoin Cafe. They recently tweeted,
Unfortunately, you won’t see us at HCPP18 this year. We won’t attend, nor will we sponsor the event.
Satoshi Labs has been one of the prime supporters of Paralelni Polis, and has been supporting their initiatives like the Bitcoin Cafe and many other projects such as HCPP. The staff members of SL have been particularly happy attending the meetups and holding presentations or assisting with project planning an execution of the plans of Paralelni Polis.
Satoshi Labs decided to withdraw their support when the reputation of PP started to deteriorate with increasing amount of conflicts and adverse incidents. Most of these events were more serious than the others, the consequence of which was reputation damage. Recently, a founding member of Paralelni Polis engaged in a physical conflict himself. According to SL, he was “exerting his power and influence, both psychologically and physically.”
Since the sentiment that Paralelni Polis holds and respects their own values is hurt, a large number of people from the community of Bitcoin Cafe have lost their interest. Paralelni Polis was portrayed to be a place where like minded people could gather and enjoy their time in peace together where conversations could be held without any fear of repercussions. With the unfortunate event that happened, Paralelni Polis lost an amount of their talented and interested people from the community.
Although there had been events before but according to Satoshi Labs,
For us, the last straw was the physical conflict which occurred last week.
The disturbing fact was that Paralelni Polis tried to hide the incident insted of facing it head on, applying the policies on the founding members as they are applied on any other employees. Satoshi Labs frowned upon the fact that instead of facing the issue head on, they simply apologized on a facebook comment saying,
In Parallel Polis, we condemn any manifestations of aggression, and that is why we are very sorry for the situation. We want to publicly emphasize that it was the culmination of a long-term specific conflict that does not threaten the safety of our visitors.
It was brought to attention in the post made by SL that the founding member is also a member of the board who’s using his influence to move the attention away from the incident and hence, the expectation that the board would be impartial is worthless. Seeing that the incidents are increasing and the board members are not being held responsible for their actions. Satoshi Labs gave out an official statement saying that they would be withdrawing their support from the upcoming event HCPP as main sponsor. They stated,
SatoshiLabs will no longer sponsor or officially attend any related events unless this situation will be rectified. We hope that this will serve as strong feedback to Paralelni Polis and manifest our disagreement with what Polis has become.
Seeing the repercussions of the unfortunate event that happened, Polis issued an official apology which stated that they would be looking into the matter and would avoid such incidents happening in the future.