Dear NEM Community,
On behalf of the NEM Foundation, I want to personally thank everyone in our community for their participation in the 2018 EGM (Elections). I have done the best to my ability as Interim President to represent your voices and support the NEM Foundation the past eight months.
Today we have concluded our EGM to finalise the elections. Based on the vote the following people were elected:
President: Alexandra Tinsman
Vice President: Nelson Valero
Secretary: Jason Lee
Treasurer: Dona Rinon
I encourage the new Council and ExCo to collectively work together with all stakeholders in the ecosystem. This election has brought forth important governance issues that will need to be addressed in the future. Going forward it’s crucial that the NEM Foundation does not forget the importance of the community. The community plays a central role in a public blockchain project and that should be acknowledged by the Foundation.
Part of this change will require the new leadership to collectively focus on improvements to the Bylaws and Constitution of the Foundation.
I recognize there are opposing views regarding how this election was managed and executed. Due to various reasons, organising the elections took much longer than we had anticipated and as result, some areas in the election process suffered. I recognize that communication could have been dealt with much better, the poor communication had a negative impact on our teams, partners, and most importantly our community. I personally want to apologize for this.
Regrettably, the Council could not accept all membership applications. Only 202 accounts were able to be whitelisted to vote. The most common reasons for membership applications failing to get approved was due to either KYC issues or tainted memberships.
Anyone who did not meet the criteria for membership was sent a follow up email informing them that their membership was denied and that they could expect a full refund of 500 XEM in the following week. These applicants can reapply for membership starting January 1, 2019.
In full transparency, I do want to share some aspects of the election that are known issues to the Council:
1.) There are four applicants (from the USA and LATAM) that were mistakenly refused membership due to human error and therefore denied the opportunity to vote in this election. I assure you that it was an honest mistake that was partly caused by the tight deadlines. Since we were only made aware of this mistake after the deadline for the EGM notice it was legally not possible to allow their membership.
Over the past couple of days there was still some commotion around members that had paid their membership fee from a transaction that came from an exchange. Before final membership approval we had some conversations in the council to discuss the best way to deal with this situation.
Since there was no evidence that these transactions were linked together the Council decided that only people that paid from the transactions that were grouped would be requested to provide additional evidence to prove they did the withdrawal themselves. The payments that came from an exchange but were not suspicious were accepted by the council.
2.) The people that were linked to suspected transactions were asked for additional information but none of them was able to provide sufficient evidence to prove that they were owner of the exchange account that made the payment. As a result these people were rejected as members.
3.) There were issues with our registration site not being able to accept new membership application sign ups. We are aware of a few cases where this prevented applicants and partners to not be able to register. We attempted to mitigate this the best we could by providing an alternate registration link but it was not optimal.
4.) Some applicants had issues registering with Agrello and instead were asked to register manually. This was specifically an issue for some applicants in Japan and China. Unfortunately some of these applicants did not meet the criteria and despite applying for manual registration, were not approved. It should be mentioned however that the several members that had issues with Agrello were able to become accepted based on manual KYC verification.
5.) Midway through our voting process, our Medium account was unexpectedly suspended (and it still is suspended). This is where the bulk of our Election guides were housed. This caused a delay in communication until we could point the community to these same guides available on our Nem.io website blog.
6.) Some members had issues voting with the Nanowallet and had to vote manually. It is unknown how many members this may have impacted but the cases we were notified of were able to successfully vote using a list of provided candidate NEM addresses.
7.) All members were asked to upgrade the Nanowallet to version 2.4.2. Some members had issues migrating their wallets over. It is unknown if this has caused any members not to vote. We dedicated team members on Help Desk to work with members when this occurred.
8.) Of 202 eligible voters, at least 148 members voted in this election. It is not known why some members did not vote. We will investigate this further.
Again, I want to thank our community and teams for your support. As highlighted above, there have been problems with this election, but with reflection and improvements upon our system. Many of these issues arose from the tight deadlines. Knowing that and the lessons learned from this election I’m confident the next Council will be able to implement a better voting process. It should also be noted that this was one of the first ever blockchain elections of this kind including the KYC, on-chain enrollment and voting process, which is not an excuse but in part explains some of the growing pains we faced, but I would like to thank those that did bear with us and participate in it for their contribution.
I want to end this letter by congratulating the newly elected ExCo and Council members. Over the next two weeks I’ll work closely with them to make the transition go as smooth as possible. Over the course of my interim Presidency I have identified many issues and potential solutions.
I’m still dedicated to the success of NEM and I’ll share everything I have learned over the past eight months with the new Council, hoping this will help the Foundation to improve under this new regime.
If you have further questions, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment in the NEM Forum at: https://forum.nem.io/t/post-elections-note-on-behalf-of-kristof-van-de-reck/21172
Kristof Van de Reck
Interim President, NEM Foundation