It’s been a tough year for the once powerhouse trio ‘SoLunAvax’ – the often mentioned term to reference popular L2s Solana, Luna, and Avalanche. Luna, of course, saw its downfall in recent months and has crumbled to a fraction of what it once was. Solana has still yielded strong growth, but not without its challenges this year, as the blockchain has still faced criticisms around downtime, centralization, and utilization of its native blockchain explorer.
Over the past weekend, it was Avalanche with eyes set on it – specifically the operating Ava Labs team. Unknown reporters at Cryptoleaks released a report, filled with secretly-recorded videos of an apparent Ava Labs legal representative, Kyle Roche, which gained substantial traction – including amplification on Twitter from Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.
Our team has taken the time to review the Cryptoleaks report, and background around Cryptoleaks, Ava Labs, and more that can keep you informed on the latest developments in this bubbling story.
AVAX Under The Microscope
The Cryptoleaks report accuses Ava Labs of leveraging legal teams to file class action lawsuits against competing blockchains in an expose-style hit piece. Cryptoleaks reveals a series of ‘undercover’ videos of the Roche throughout the piece.
Emin Gün Sirer, CEO at Ava Labs, and Kyle Roche, founder of Roche Freedman, issued independent statements regarding the Cryptoleaks report. Sirer called the news outlet “disreputable” and their report a “fraud on us”.
In reference to the Roche videos, Sirer said that they were part of a strategy from the legal firm to “impress a potential business partner by making false claims about the nature of his work for Ava Labs”. In that sense, Sirer added:
The allegations on this site are categorically false. Ava Labs believes in transparency and facing the world head-on, not through behind-the-scenes dealing or activity. Neither I, nor anyone else at Ava Labs ever directed Roche in his selection of cases. We do not receive materials or information from him, and we do not entrust our legal affairs to him.
In his response, Roche concurred with Sirer and accused the Cryptoleaks report of containing “false statements”. About the videos where Kyle is shown making affirmation about a “secret” partnership with Ava Labs, Roche said that they have been “highly edited” and presented without “accurate context”.
According to Roche, the videos were recorded by Christen Ager-Hanssen, an individual linked to Dominic Williams, founder of the Dfinity Foundation and the ICP blockchain. Roche is currently in a legal battle against Williams.
Other details put the report in question, too. Cryptoleaks has only two existing published pieces, both advocating for ICP. Additionally, Brad Garlinghouse at Ripple released a statement that he had not met, spoken to, or invested in Kyle Roche – contradicting the Cryptoleaks report.
Therefore, the Cryptoleaks report seems to be part of a scheme to discredit the legal firm, according to Roche’s statement. The legal firm has had conflicts with Ava Labs due to certain actions brought against other projects, such as Solana, but the Sirer-led company has attempted to “debunk” the merits of the lawsuit.
Let me be absolutely clear: we do not engage in or support any underhanded tactics suggested in the article or the video clips. We believe in what we are building and do not need secret pacts or behind-the-scenes intrigue.
The market seems to have positively reacted to the statements, AVAX, the native token for the Avalanche network, has seen appreciation in the past 24 hours. Making its way back from a weekly low at around $15, AVAX’s price trades at $20 and records an 8% profit on low timeframes.