Celo startup cLabs alleges misconduct after top developer exits

cLabs — one of the companies behind the Celo blockchain network — has experienced a tech snafu, and the company is pointing fingers at a star developer who recently parted ways with the project.

In a forum post published Sunday, cLabs CEO Tim Moreton claimed that cLabs fired former Summa founder James Prestwich on the basis of misconduct.

Second, Moreton claimed that 15 minutes after Prestwich was fired, he activated a recovery mode on Optics — Celo's cross-chain swap protocol — that could have given Prestwich control over the whole protocol.


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"We do not believe funds in the bridge are currently at risk. Neither the Ethereum nor Celo networks are impacted. But this type of takeover has no place in the community," Moreton said.

In response, Prestwich said: "I have never been a keyholder on Optics recovery mode. I am disappointed that cLabs and Celo have chosen to bring their bullying into public spaces, and that they chose to lie about me to attack my reputation. On the advice of my lawyer, I have nothing else to say right now."

The Block has reached out to Prestwich and cLabs for comment and will update this article should we hear back.

Update: We have corrected Moreton's title from head of engineering to CEO.

About Author

Tim is the Editor-In-Chief of The Block. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a news editor at Decrypt. He has earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of York and studied news journalism at Press Association Training. Follow him on X @Timccopeland.