Polkadot accused of ‘lighting money on fire,’ spent $50K on CoinGecko logo

Polkadot’s CEO has refuted claims that the company has just two years of funds remaining after it spent $36.7 million on advertisers, influencers, and conferences at a rate that led one observer to claim that the firm was ‘lighting money on fire.’

Polkadot shared a June 28 treasury report revealing it has $245 million worth of assets left and spent $87 million in the first half of 2024. According to the report, over 42% of this year’s spending was on ‘outreach.’ 

This spending includes $4.8 million on influencers, $10 million on sponsorships, $4 million on digital ads, and $4.4 million on conferences. 

The report also noted its treasury revenue dropped from 414,291 DOT to 171,696 DOT during the second half of 2023 and the first half of 2024. 

According to Polkadot’s report, over 42% of this year’s spending was on outreach (via Polkadot).

Its author, head ambassador Tommi Enenkel, said, “At the current rate of spending, the Treasury has about two years of runway left, although the volatile nature of crypto-denominated treasuries makes it hard to predict with confidence.”

However, Polkadot CEO Fabian Gompf took to X (formerly Twitter) to dispute this, insisting that the treasury “is never going to run out of funds.”

“This is not @Web3foundation spending but on-chain treasury spending voted on by the community,” he wrote. “The foundation has a >>5-year runway without selling a single DOT.”

He added, “The whole notion of a ‘runway’ for the on-chain treasury is misleading. The treasury has continuous inflows. It’s never going to run out of funds.”

He concluded his tweet by acknowledging that “the on-chain treasury has spent too much on what are likely low ROI activities,’ and encouraged the Polkadot community to vote if it wants change.

Gompf’s final point is apparently backed up by an image of a Polkadot market bill shared by one X user. It appears to show the crypto firm’s $53,000 invoice for six months of work creating an animated logo on CoinGecko.

In response, users on X are offering their services as ‘key opinion leaders’ in exchange for $300,000 a month — the figure that the company allegedly pays some influencers.

Read more: Influencer ghosted Logan Paul NFT lawsuit to ‘save six figures’

Venture capitalist Adam Cochran described Polkadot’s outreach spending as ‘lighting money on fire,’ noting that he hasn’t seen a single advert from the firm.

Polkadot claims the influencer budget is split with $2.2 million, $1.3 million, and $490,000 going to agencies EVOX, Lunar Strategy, and Chainwire respectively.  

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Edit 18:40 UTC, Jul 2: Updated to include comment from Polkadot CEO refuting claims that the firm has only two years of funds remaining.