I wasn't originally planning to reveal more information at this point and I would still like to keep the majority of reasons that led to this in private conversations, but there are a few major points I'd like to clarify since there's misinformation floating around them.
I also understand that the announcement had negative effects and I apologize for those. It has impacted a large number of people who believe in this project and the risk of that made the decision to say something publicly very difficult. I still believe it was necessary for this project to continue forward, and I’d like to shed some light on why I ended up taking that risk after weeks of consideration.
- This has been an ongoing issue for the past ~2.5 months. We made a public statement now because:
– Increasing anxiety in the community about the halted development. We wanted to reassure the community that development will continue
– We lost any faith that our side and concerns over past months were being taken seriously in the negotiations and that the situation would be amicably as quickly as possible
— Notably due to Karel making public comments and announcements (even prior to our first public announcement) about his offers from our private negotiations that we have not agreed upon or that weren't communicated to us at all. We asked Karel a number of times for these to be kept private while they’re being discussed and until a mutual agreement was made. For example the formation of a US company and hiring of ProbablePrime and Geenz - neither of which were reached out to confirm that they’d be interested in this proposition. Another notable example is us explaining (in a private meeting) that open-sourcing such a large project is a much more complicated process than he claims it to be, just a few days prior to Karel making a public statement on how simple it is.
— We also explained our concerns and reasoning to Karel a number of times in private meetings over the past two months, but he doesn’t seem to acknowledge them, either in public or in private. However we still believe they should be kept private at this point.
- Our main concern isn't about pay itself. A good chunk of Patreon money went to the team over the course of the years and helped improve this project as a result. There are a number of issues related to pay, but they’re not the core of the dispute
– None of the team have contracts
– None of the developers - specifically meaning code contributors and not the entire team, were paid for their contributions. Some of them previously requested pay and were insulted and berated in private over it and accused of “financial blackmail” for asking for compensation, despite now being offered pay publicly
– Some team members received or were offered gifts (e.g. new CPU, Lip Tracker, VR headset, computer screen and other hardware)
- I have been not receiving any actual salary from any of the Solirax companies, although I did receive some money from them in the past
– Solirax LTD is inactive, majority of the VC funds were moved to Solirax CoreDev s.r.o.
– I am not employed by Solirax CoreDev s.r.o. (and I do not own this company), but I did send total of 4 invoices in the past, each for 1848 USD and 80 hours of work, for development of small standalone demos for events
– There is a contract with Solirax Education s.r.o. (I do not own this company either) from 2017 but I have not been receiving regular pay from this (I'd occasionally get small amount of cash, e.g. when going to the dentist)
– I do have contract with a Czech University for an educational project built on top of Neos (notably The Universe experience or the Circuit Simulator) since mid 2020, about ~830 USD a month, but this is not with any Solirax/Neos companies
– I had a place to live, food and some equipment, so my expenses were almost non-existent. This was considered “salary” a number of times by Karel, but with finances controlled by him (original VC funding, Patreon and other invoices go to Solirax CoreDev s.r.o.), I was dependent on him.
– I did request actual salary in the past so I could live on my own, but this was met with hostility, accusations and unreasonable expectations
– To reiterate, pay itself is NOT the main source of the dispute for me or the rest of the team as this has been a passion project for many of us and we were content with less. However treatment of team members and myself around pay for past several years has caused significant concern, anxiety and is part of the reason why currently none of the team wants to send any invoices, despite the offers
- Integration of NCR also isn’t the main source of the dispute with the rest of the team.
– I am not very well versed in crypto technologies myself, but I did believe that with Karel’s experience their integration could be beneficial with open communication and cooperation.
– Karel has been responsible for creating the contract, managing crypto and writing the whitepaper, as it is his area of expertise. I did provide some notes on the whitepaper when it was originally made.
I hope that this helps give a bit more context and clarify some misinformation, but, we would still currently prefer for the majority of our reasoning and concerns to remain a private matter rather than air them all out in public.
For any further announcements and clarifications, you can watch my Twitter account.