Remove Satoshi as Founding Member, Says Bitcoin Foundation Director

Pete Rizzo
Apr 30, 2015 at 10:38 UTC
Updated May 1, 2015 at 00:18 UTC
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As part of a newly published roadmap for the Bitcoin Foundation, executive director Bruce Fenton has suggested removing bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto as a founding member.

Though he called for the removal of all founding members from the organisation, Fenton singled out Nakamoto’s inclusion as “not accurate”, arguing that he or she was never involved in the group’s creation.

Now a largely symbolic title, the move would also strip Gavin Andresen, Peter Vessenes, Charlie Shrem, Roger Ver, Patrick Murck and Mark Karpeles of the distinction.

Fenton’s remarks suggest the intent of the change would be to underscore that the Bitcoin Foundation is a decentralized network, one that he believes should work to avoid venerating individuals over collective goals.

He wrote:

“Overall, we should reduce power of individuals but work to remain effective using decentralization, crowdfunding and other means.”

Notably, the presentation marks the second time that Fenton has referred to bitcoin’s enigmatic creator during his tenure, following his first tweet in the position reminding Nakamoto that “she has a board seat per the bylaws, if she produces a PGP key”.

The remark received a warm reception given the frequent portrayal of the unknown founder as a male and recent criticisms in the media regarding bitcoin’s largely male following.

Move toward transparency

Fenton began the presentation by looking to set the record straight on the organisation, seeking to emphasize how it does not control or represent bitcoin as often portrayed in the media.

He sought to illustrate how he is seeking to make the foundation more transparent and democratic, having already released financial records for the nonprofit on 17th April and enabled a board chair to be appointed by election at the suggestion of a member.

Going forward, Fenton suggested he would seek to continue this emphasis on transparency, stating that IRS forms would be released along with items such as the organisation’s executive compensation and travel policy.

Additional proposals included plans to re-use Swarm to conduct blockchain-based voting in foundation elections and using Factom to secure foundation records to the bitcoin blockchain.

A full copy of the presentation can be found below:


Bitcoin Foundation Update from Bruce Fenton
Image via Pete Rizzo for CoinDesk