Smart Stake has become the latest to announce that it would no longer be supporting Secret Network, the privacy-focused layer-1 solution.
This news comes after details of an internal conflict that involved Tor Bair, the co-founder of the project, became public.
The announcement from Smart Stake came on Sunday via Twitter, but the staking service provider said recent events were not the only reason behind its decision.
The company said that the ratio of cost and effort and Secret Network’s stressful/complex validator operations were also reasons that resulted in this decision.
It further said that it would shut down its operations on February 21st and it would do it gracefully, which means no delegates would be slashed.
Slashing is a kind of penalty used in proof-of-stake (PoS) networks for ensuring the accountability of validators as well as responsible behavior.
While the slashing mechanism varies for every protocol, the end result is usually the same; if a validator does not follow the staking rules, they lose a percentage of their staked tokens.
With just under 1,200 delegates, Smart Stakes is Secret Network’s 45th largest validator and its voting power is about 0.61%.
It should also be noted that it is not the only validator of Secret Network to have made this decision.
A spokesperson for the developer team of Secret Network known as Secret Labs said that they understood why this particular validator had decided to leave.
They said that they wanted to avoid dealing with the complexities involved in validating a network focused on privacy, as opposed to validating public PoS blockchains.
They also added that the departure of these validators had not had any impact on the network and they wished them success in their future endeavors.
Other than leadership issues, stricter operating requirements were also a reason that was cited by other validators that were involved in validating the Secret Network.
Last month, Domerium Labs and Azul Collection also announced their departure from the list of validators of the Secret Network.
According to Azul, their focus would now be on the protocol’s application layer, while Domerium stated that the concerns about the 1.6 Omega update were quite real.
Kingnodes is also another validator, which announced that it would discontinue its operations on January 14th.
The latest developments come at a time when a conflict has emerged between Tor Bair and Guy Zyskind, the chief executive and founder of SCRT Labs.
The latter had revealed on a public forum that a substantial number of SCRT tokens had been sold by the Foundation in the previous year.
He said that the co-founder of the project i.e. Bair had cashed out a part of the proceeds as dividends for himself.
Zyskind had asserted that this action had not been disclosed in the financial reports that had been shared with the community.
Moreover, it appears that the foundation that had been introduced as a non-profit organization by Tor was actually a for-profit one.