Ethereum Foundation Being Investigated by 'State Authority'



The Ethereum Foundation received a “voluntary enquiry from a state authority that included a requirement for confidentiality,” according to a commit message posted to GitHub last month.

The foundation didn’t name the “state authority” in its GitHub commit message and did not immediately respond to a request from Decrypt for comment.

The news, which was first reported by Coindesk on Wednesday, appears to have flown under the radar since February 26, 2024. That’s when Ethereum Foundation frontend developer Pablo Pettinari added it to the Ethereum Foundation website’s code repository.

The Ethereum Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to support the Ethereum ecosystem. But, critically, has always maintained that it does not own or control the network.

“We are part of a larger community of organizations and individuals that fund protocol development, grow the ecosystem, and advocate for Ethereum,” the organization says on its website.

The foundation’s website used to say that the nonprofit had never been contacted by an agency that requires the contact to be kept secret. Stiftung Ethereum will publicly disclose any sort of inquiry from government agencies that falls outside the scope of regular business operations,” it said.

The footer message was removed the same day the commit message said the foundation has been contacted by the unnamed state agency along with the website’s warrant canary.

A warrant canary is usually a string of text or image—the Ethereum Foudation’s used to be a colorful bird. It stays on the website as long as the company hasn’t been served with a secret government subpoena or document request.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story and will be updated.



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