The Bitcoin Foundation board of directors has issued a new statement on the controversy surrounding its current financial situation and proposed restructuring.
Though attributed to the Bitcoin Foundation board of directors, the statement does not seem to represent the board in its entirety. Both board members representing the individual members of the foundation, Olivier Janssens and Jim Harper, state that the release was prepared and distributed without their knowledge.
Perhaps most notably, the post alleges that a measure to split up the foundation into two entities, one focused on promotion, the other on core development, has been approved by the board of directors, stating:
The statements have been questioned by Janssens and Harper, though the latter called the release “a fair correction of some details” relating to the organisation's financial situation.
The post suggests the foundation's financial troubles are purely tied to the decline in the price of bitcoin, not the result of its spending as suggested, and explains that interim executive director Patrick Murck will continue in his current position without pay.
Both Harper and Janssens told CoinDesk that while a formal vote was taken at the last board meeting, they are not satisfied that the proposal was approved as suggested.
Janssens took his criticism of the statement to the Bitcoin Foundation forum, suggesting that the vote was limited to a decision on how the organization should proceed with regards to its obligations to its staff.
“We only voted on firing staff,” Janssens wrote. “No plan was approved. The board minutes will back that up. To quote Patrick ‘the only thing that we’re voting on in this vote is to reduce cost by cutting headcount’.”
Janssens also hit back at the language used by the post, suggesting that any issues with specific numbers or phrases he used were secondary to the overall message, that staff has been laid off and the group’s financial future is currently in question.
"It does not address my main point of hiding the real financial status from its members for so long," Janssens told CoinDesk.
In separate remarks, Harper attempted to categorize the proposal as one that lacks sufficient depth, especially in contrast to one he suggested to the board.
“[The proposal] didn’t have a list of employees, near-term activities, long-term activities. Taking the parts of the document about the foundation and what it should do, ask yourself if you could run a foundation on that,” he said.
Brock Pierce and Mickey Malka reported that they agree with the document’s version of events, and expressed their disappointment that the continued debate may erode the public image of the organisation.
The Bitcoin Foundation did not respond to requests for further comment at press time.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.