What the hell is going on over at the Bitcoin Foundation? I've been making an attempt to avoid the topic, but seriously, this is getting out of hand. 

Last week they state they have no money, similar statements made earlier in the year, controversy, bickering, social media blasts, Reddit posts, and now one board member has been booted and another has walked (resigned). 

This is not the kind of publicity bitcoin needs. Maybe they should take Bitcoin out of their name.

Broken And Broke 

Jim Harper and Olivier Janssens are no longer with the Bitcoin Foundation. According to Janssens, he was "forcibly removed" stating that Harper resigned.

This is what Janssens stated in a Reddit post:

  1. There was a discussion on our future, because the Foundation only has a couple of Bitcoins left. They've been running on a skeleton crew for the last half year, but even that money has ran out. 
  2. Someone (not me) started a vote on shutting down the Foundation. During the vote, I said that I'm not comfortable continuing the Foundation without a plan and direction. Jim and me have been asking for a plan and direction for many months. The voting result was 2 for (Jim and myself), 3 against. We were one vote short to shut it down.
  3. Jim resigned after this vote
  4. We then had a discussion about the future of the Foundation. They wanted everyone to start raising money, so they could come up with a plan. I said I'm not comfortable to raise money UNTIL we have a plan.
  5. They then proceeded to vote me off the board, because they did not like that (I guess it's bad intent on my behalf to ask to come up with a business plan before you decide to raise money).

All of this coming just days after the foundation announced that they were running out of money. They reportedly have only enough money to keep afloat until March at which point we can only assume they will have already been bailed out or will close all-together.

None of this is exactly shocking news. Back in April he said the following:

First of all, the Bitcoin Foundation is effectively bankrupt. As a result of 2 years of ridiculous spending and poorly thought out decisions, they almost ran out of money in November of last year. In extremis, but way too late, they decided to select a new executive director during that time. That new director decided that the only way to still get funds at that point, was to focus solely on funding core development, in the hope that people would see that as a good cause. But people were smart enough not to trust the Foundation anymore. Despite it’s intentions, they failed to collect the necessary funds to support this idea. With the election in February-March, it became clear that people did not want the Foundation meddling with core development. The truth is that the Foundation’s plan was to hire even more core devs + to start a Bitcoin Standards Body. No organization should have this much control over Bitcoin, and a disaster was avoided.

What Does This All Mean?

Other than it could be misinterpreted and a problem with bitcoin itself, which it is not, likely not much (although some would disagree). The group has done allot of positive things and it would be a loss to the industry if they were to dissolve, however, not the end of the world. 

This would not harm bitcoin or the blockchain (with the exception of the aforementioned misinterpretation) which have a life of their own above and beyond the control or influence of any single organization, government, individual, or corporate interest.

For example despite the core developers and their ability to fork (create new version of the software), it still has to be adopted by miners globally that make up the blockchain network. Recently, the block size debate took center stage with a proposed fork (better known as BitcoinXT), however, without the commanding acceptance of 75% of the miner population adoption, it will go nowhere.

This lends to speculation that without the foundation, education and promotion of bitcoin/blockchain adoption will suffer and that may well be (probably not). However, it would more likely fall on the shoulders of the companies financed to support the technology and it's offspring since they have a vested interest in doing so. Which also means they will likely just bail the Bitcoin Foundation out in the upcoming months.

Less Is More

Just an outside opinion, but perhaps some more transparency with less controversy is needed at the foundation if they are further funded because without it, they may not fair so well in the future. Maybe that's why nobody is jumping across the table to throw money at them at the moment?

Story by dinbits
Image by dinbits staff

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