Update : This article has been modified to reflect the open source quality of the Locha project, so development could continue in a decentralized manner.
A few days after announcing the success of its range tests for the transmission of bitcoin transactions offline, the Venezuelan Locha Mesh project has come to a halt. An email sent to the donors of the project this Monday, February 1, brought the “bad news” that Locha will not follow the development of their teams.
“Unfortunately, at this time no We will be able to continue advancing the development of the hardware and software necessary to achieve a consumer-ready version of the Turpial equipment, “says the statement, shared with CriptoNoticias by one of those affected donors.
The email sent by the CEO of Locha, Randy Brito, adds that in addition to Turpial, a team aimed at non-specialized consumers, they will not continue working on kits focused on developers.
For the Locha Mesh project, its creators made available a pre-order modality for the equipment that functioned as a «donation» mechanism to keep development going. Now, the organization offers its donors to return 56% of their contribution in dollars, despite having received funding in bitcoin.
The other option set forth in Brito’s text is to receive equipment that was already being assembled as part of future tests in batch. With regard to these teams, they insist on the fact that they are development kits, for advanced users and are not final versions.
If you prefer, those who have donated may choose not to receive a partial refund or test kits, while keeping the donation standing. In that case, Locha thanks those who wish to proceed in this way. The text alleges that they hope to continue working on the project “in the future”, without specifying a period of time to resume work.
Locha developers say goodbye
Luis Ruiz, CTO of Locha; and the developer Jean Dudey, announced this Sunday, January 31, hours before the email sent by Brito, their immediate exit from the project. Via Twitter, both shared practically identical messages stating that since January 28 their respective relationships with the startup had ended.
In the mail, Brito does not state the reasons behind the cessation of operations . However, there are those who consider it to be a scam. That is the case of tweeter and bitcoiner Ben Arc. “I sued you last year for overpromising and tricking people into collecting pre-orders, and you continued. Distance yourself from Locha now if you want, but your behavior has been totally unacceptable », he wrote on the network in response to the announcement of the former CTO of the company.
Among his arguments, the tweeter He considered that there is no palpable progress so far, in addition to the fact that the delivery of a first batch of equipment has not even begun, after having raised money from various sources. While Ruiz defends himself and rejects the position that there is a scam underway, Brito’s email does not clarify what led to the project’s termination.
In addition to individual donations and support from the bitcoiner environment, Locha also had the backing and financial support of the Monero (XMR) community , the cryptocurrency focused on privacy.
In fact, funding was approved for XMR 150, which was equal to about $ 13,000 at the time. As part of the agreement, Locha promised to have a DIY version (to assemble) of its Turpial and Harpía devices ready. On this, @arcbtc pointed out that “no one has run those DIY versions.”
At the time of publication of this article, CriptoNoticias has not received comments from those involved in the project Locha Mesh. However, efforts are being made to contact them to clarify details and obtain additional information about the case.
It should be clarified that, despite the fact that the manufacturing business effort stopped, both Locha hardware like software are open source projects. This means that anyone who so wishes and has the necessary knowledge will be able to continue contributing to the progress of the Locha project in a decentralized way and ad honorem .
Locha Mesh, a highly anticipated project for Bitcoin and Monero
At least since July last year, Locha has already claimed to have made important progress in his project. In contact with CriptoNoticias, Dudey assured at that time that by the end of the year they expected to have a definitive version of Turpial ready. But that did not happen.
Already in January of this year, Locha announced instead of the expected Turpial, a kit for developers, aimed at more advanced users. According to its announcement, a first batch of these devices were tested successfully in the middle of the previous month and anticipated future tests for the official launch of the product.
Then, a few days later, they released the results of a series of tests. According to those scans, the teams had proven good performance for data transmission over a range of at least 7 kilometers, although they would do more tests. Now, from Locha they would deliver to those who pre-ordered the Turpial at some point, that equipment for advanced users that required, in their own words, the execution of more experiments.