The Bitcoin Foundation’s new executive director Patrick Murck has outlined his priorities for the organization’s “new direction” and its relationship with stakeholders.
His statement follows yesterday’s resignation of former executive director Jon Matonis both from the post and his position on foundation’s board.
Notably, former general counsel Murck acknowledged a need to repair the foundation’s relationship with the bitcoin community, even if that meant sometimes adopting unpopular or controversial positions on some issues, and taking risks with communication and transparency to demonstrate honest engagement.
“That means we may not always say exactly the right thing and we might not always be on message, but we will be authentic in how we interact with the community in the future and I hope that you all get to know the people who work hard to make the foundation go.”
There will be an ‘ask me anything’ (AMA) session for the new executive director on Reddit on 5th November, at which the community is invited to join in with their own questions about the foundation’s future role.
Murck stated his first priority is to “cut out distractions” to better serve the bitcoin cause, which means a sharp focus on standardization through the bitcoin core reference implementation and doing more to support those building the bitcoin infrastructure.
Additionally he promised to run the non-profit foundation more like a business – finding new ways to generate funding, rather than simply relying on membership dues and hopes of bitcoin price appreciation.
Murck indicated he will continue the foundation’s lobbying efforts with policymakers, defending the community’s “right to open innovation and participation” and working with other recently formed bitcoin policy-focused groups.
On the software front, he expressed admiration for open protocols against centralized and proprietary systems, saying they would always win in the marketplace and attract more talent.
Murck thanked his outgoing predecessor for his work, saying he looked forward to seeing Matonis’ contributions to bitcoin in future.
Some of the Bitcoin Foundation’s future role is already in evidence with its drive to expand internationally. An official campaign to sign international affiliate groups has produced at least 10 chapters outside the US, and one foundation board seat is now reserved for an international representative.
Experience and education
Patrick Murck, an attorney, graduated from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in 2006, and has since worked for law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth and a number of companies in the technology and virtual economy spheres, including Engage Legal, Engage Strategy, and bitcoin startup CoinLab.
As the Bitcoin Foundation’s general counsel, Murck met with representatives from several US government agencies in 2013 to discuss first steps towards appropriate regulation of digital currencies.
He also helped produce an official response to the earlier cease-and-desist letter sent to the foundation by California’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), and last November testified before the US Senate during its landmark hearings into the legitimacy and challenges of digital currencies.