Arbitrum’s Foundation Caught in Dispute: Power Struggles and Token Returns on the Horizon

Disputes between the Arbitrum Foundation and its blockchain community are heating up following the organization’s proposal to fund its operations with 750 million ARB tokens— worth nearly $1 billion. The proposal has been met with disagreement from the ARB community, with 55% of voters opposing the plan and 42% abstaining.

The conflict between the two parties started when the Foundation transferred the funds without consultation, prompting ARB holders to propose a plan to return the tokens to the DAO Treasury.

In an attempt to patch up its relationship with its community, the Arbitrum Foundation offered two new improvement proposals, AIP-1.1, which put the Foundation’s budget, transparency and spending under community government oversight and AIP-1.2, lowering the proposal threshold from 5 million ARB tokens to 1 million ARB, to make governance more accessible.

The move comes at a time when major exchanges are trading the token, but with some members of the community believing the deal to be in violation of United States security laws. A recent Discord post by a community member said that s/he was filing a securities fraud lawsuit against the Foundation in the coming days and advised them to cease trading immediately.

Analytics from the layer-2 analytics site L2Beat shows Arbitrum’s blockchain to hold 65% of the Ethereum layer 2 market share with hundreds of thousands of eligible users claiming ARB tokens during its launch on March 23. An overwhelming user demand led to the crashed of the airdrop claim page shortly after the launch.

In response to the standoff, the Arbitrum Foundation submitted two additional proposals, AIP-1.1 and AIP-1.2, in an effort to quell the unrest. AIP-1.1 proposes to place the foundation’s remaining 700 million ARB tokens in a “smart contract-controlled lockup” and unlocking them over time, until the community approves a budget for the tokens. Meanwhile, AIP-1.2 amends the current governance documents to enable token holders to post an improvement proposal with only 1 million ARB tokens.

Arbitrum Foundation community lead, eli_defi, stressed that the organization will not move the funds until it has received approval for an acceptable budget from the token holders.

In the aftermath of the crypto governance meltdown, the community members now have to face the possibility that the tokens distributed by the airdrop have been traded in violation of United States securities law. Meanwhile, the two proposals put forward by the Arbitrum Foundation will be subject to discussions and a vote in the coming days, which will likely determine its future relationship with the ARB community. It is yet unclear how these recent development will affect the market’s sentiment towards the token and whether the proposal to return 700 million ARB tokens will be passed.