The rivalry between privacy coin competitors Verge and Monero has been getting personal.

Among the VergeFam, Verge’s dedicated fanbase, there are widespread accusations that popular cryptocurrency commentator Doug Polk was paid by Monero to run a “hit piece” on Verge.  “Two hour podcast with lead developer of Monero, trashing of Verge just two days later without any actual facts and with arguments debunked multiple times,” said one, suggesting that you “draw your own conclusions.”

Another claimed that Polk is “a Monero muck just trying to get some fud going” and speculated that “they prob paid ol Polk in Monero to make that vid”.

And it’s not just the VergeFam who are making such claims. Fingers are being pointed from within the Verge Core Team itself. “Mihael”, Verge’s Community Manager, directly accused Monero head Riccardo Spagni of paying Doug Polk “because he can’t keep up with @justinvendetta [i.e. Sunerok, Verge’s Lead Developer]”.

Spagni responded to the accusation with an exasperated facepalm emoji.

Members of the VergeFam have even seized on one of Spagni’s jokes to make him look less reliable.

Spagni has repeatedly suggested — particularly to any tax officials who might be listening in — that he holds no cryptocurrency as he lost it all in a tragic boating accident. Elaborating on the story in an interview with Doug Polk he said that it “serves me right for firstly just using paper wallets, only having one copy, and taking them with me when I went on a boat called the Titanic 2”, adding that, “Alas I lost all of my crypto”.

Many in the VergeFam have taken Spagni’s joke as a confession of dangerous financial imprudence: “I don’t mind Monero but holy shit if someone whose supposed to lead a project is that careless…

Even lead developer Sunerok appears to believe the story.

To which Spagni noted, “You can’t make this stuff up”.

Litecoin’s Charlie Lee is taking Spagni’s side in the spat, reminding him that “half the people have below average IQ”.

Lee and Spagni have a mutual respect and have considered collaborating. Lee paid Monero the ultimate compliment by describing Litecoin and Monero as “2 of the top non-scam coins”.

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