The blockchain industry appears to be a wonderful land, so much different from the shady world of corporations. Sometimes, however, they, unfortunately, have a lot in common.
Not so long ago, we wrote about the potential that blockchain brings to the corporate world. Today, we will again touch the matter of big companies – but this time, the tone won’t be as positive as the last time. Some entrepreneurs of the cryptocurrency industry appear to have quite a radical view of company management.
Justin Sun is a well-known person in the cryptocurrency industry. The founder and developer of TRON is a textbook example of a young blockchain entrepreneur who was able to build his own empire on the newly developed market. His cryptocurrency is widely recognized in the industry, as is Sun himself. But his popularity among crypto enthusiasts is on a par with his infamy.
We’ve already mentioned Justin Sun a few times before. He is known for his rather expansive approach to advertising his project – which didn’t make him popular in the cryptocurrency world. But recently his attitude has turned out to be much nastier than ever before.
Hostile work environment
Cases of abuses, labor law violations or harassment are, unfortunately, a common problem in many industries. Justin Sun has proved that the blockchain industry is no exception to this “trend,” when two of his former employees have sued him because of those reasons. Richard Hall and Lukasz Juraszek were working in BitTorrent – a popular file-sharing service that was bought by TRON two years ago. And it appears that Justin Sun’s management of their team wasn’t pleasant.
According to the 70-page lawsuit, both former employees faced various cases of harassment during his days in BitTorrent. Hall and Juraszek were appointed to work in hostile conditions. They constantly struggled with racial discrimination and the expectations of Justin Sun and Cong Li, chief of engineering at the Trona Foundation, to meet the constantly growing requirements for their work.
Hall and Juraszek didn’t want to remain silent and openly opposed their superiors. It led to their sustained harassment, and, in the end, to the unlawful termination of the contract in response to their disagreement to some practices in Sun’s company.
Copyright infringement and racism in the blockchain company
The details provided by plaintiffs show a disturbing picture of the situation in their former company. During their days in BitTorrent, Hall and Juraszek were expected to ignore many unethical practices. According to their lawsuit, some of the company’s actions constituted a serious violation of the law on copyright-infringing content and child pornography. Hall’s initial request for legal advice from a lawyer was ignored.
The other allegations concern the labor code violation under TRON’s administration. Both ex-employees stated that they had experienced racial discrimination practices since they didn’t fit the image of the ideal Sun’s employee: mainland Chinese, who won’t oppose working in “9-9-6” Chinese office standards, which goes for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, six days a week.
Such a schedule of work is a severe validation itself, but the list of allegations doesn’t end there. Lukasz Juraszek claimed to have witnessed the cases of physical violence, including Cong Li, who punched one of the managers, and Justin Sun, who in turn, slapped Li.
Both plaintiffs are seeking $15 million for emotional damage caused to them during their days in BitTorrent. The history itself is shocking: the cases of discrimination and harassment described in the lawsuit shouldn’t happen in any company. Moreover, alleged illegal content is a serious ethics violation. Blockchain technology never intended to be used for criminal purposes, and no wonder that cryptocurrency professionals with a proper ethical code had a problem with such a practice.
Of course, we can’t be sure if the allegations are true. But the massive resignations in BitTorrent after the TRON Foundation took over may suggest that there is a grain of truth in the words of Hall and Juraszek. Nevertheless, the lawsuit of former employees is just another example of Justin Sun’s doubtful management. The company, of course, denied all allegations.
In the meantime, Sun is doing his usual work, traveling to China to fight with coronavirus. Of course, he had to mention it on his Twitter account. Is this action an act of goodwill to the citizens of Wuhan, or just another reason for TRON’s founder to promote his project (and put aside the charges of former employees)? I will let this question up to you.
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