It wouldn’t be everyone’s favorite fake currency if there weren’t a cryptoanarchist around throwing a few bombs. And after two whole months of service to the organization, Olivier Janssens has some bombs to throw, like:
- The Bitcoin Foundation (BF) is flat broke and just canned 90% of its employees;
- The BF is just a tool of the powers that be who are trying to take our liberty lucre away;
- The BF is trying to take control of the development of bitcoin’s core software from the secretive five-member group that currently controls is, and this is a bad thing;
- The BF should not exist in its current form or maybe at all.
Mr. Janssens said he had been confronted with “certain truths” about the state of the Foundation after he joined the board and “felt obligated to share them with members….”
He wants to launch an independent, crowd-funded trust fund — and has vowed to commit $100,000 of his own money into it – for bitcoin Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen and his team to use as they see fit. This, he argued in his Saturday statement, was consistent with the wishes of the bitcoin community, which, via his election, had made it “clear that people did not want the Foundation meddling with core development.”
For its part, the BF says that just, like, his opinion, man. It’s not broke (although the collapse in bitcoin prices hasn’t exactly helped) and it hasn’t fired 90% of its employees (some “left voluntarily”). And, you know, shutting itself down would be bad optics, like having a convicted money-launderer serving as vice chairman.
Members’ responses to Mr. Janssens’ post were divided. Some applauded him for speaking out and vowed to help him force change at the institution, but others echoed the concerns of one Foundation member, Sebastian Jurk. He said dissolving the foundation would be a “bad advertisement” for bitcoin, generating harmful headlines such as “Bitcoin is bankrupt” or “Bitcoin is dead.”
BitBeat: Rebel Board Member Fuels Strife at Bitcoin Foundation [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]