UK Digital Currency Association Elects Inaugural Board

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Oct 2, 2014 at 16:24 UTC
Updated Oct 2, 2014 at 22:49 UTC

The UK Digital Currency Association (UKDCA) has announced the results of its inaugural board elections, which were held during the association’s first annual general meeting last Friday.

The meeting was opened by Paul Ferris, the head of the UKDCA’s communications working group, who delivered a rundown of the association’s activities over the last few months. Following the introduction, eight out of the 10 candidates took to the floor to address the meeting.

Five-member board elected

The majority of the ballots were cast by proxy, with a total of 54 out of the 76 eligible members taking part in the vote. Candidates needed to win more than 50% of the vote to get elected – 28 votes or more.

The results were announced shortly after the vote took place. The new board replaces an interim board, which has steered the UKDCA since its formation.

The five newly elected members are:

Diverse cryptocurrency expertise

Paul Gordon carried the day with a clear majority. Best known for launching Coinscrum’s educational and networking events in London, he also played an instrumental role in the establishment of the UKDCA and has served as an interim board member since its creation.

Tom Robinson is a prominent member of the UK cryptocurrency community, a founding member of the UKDCA and a co-founder of bitcoin storage service Elliptic. Like Jankelewitz, Robinson has also discussed bitcoin with government officials and his efforts led to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) reclassification of bitcoin for VAT purposes.

“Now the hard work begins,” he said in reaction to the news. Citing banking as a priority area for the organisation, he added that “slow and steady progress is being made”.

Adam Vaziri, the second lawyer on the board, specialises in FinTech compliance services with his company Diacle and is currently a consultant for compliance solutions provider Neopay. He expressed a desire to build alliances with other associations around the world, and to introduce new technologies and currencies to the UKDCA, including what he described as a “self-regulatory framework”.

Adam Cleary of gold-to-bitcoin exchange Bullion Bitcoin had also been an interim board member and was actively involved in the creation of the association. Cleary is also the chief executive of Coin Capital Ltd and an executive director at cryptocurrency gift voucher provider pock.io.

Intellectual property lawyer Eitan Jankelewitz has been involved in a number of bitcoin projects and has worked with mining hardware manufacturers, bitcoin exchanges, developers and bitcoin-accepting retailers. A regular speaker at bitcoin events, Jankelewitz has been a member of a number of delegations engaging UK government officials in discussions about bitcoin.

“A few months and a load of new members later, I’m delighted to be a part of the first elected board,” he said, adding:

“There is still a lot to be done in the UK in order to make it a welcoming place for digital currency businesses. I think it’s important that regulators and government hear a consistent message and the UKDCA should help ensure that this message takes the wider UK digital currency community’s goals into account.”

Brief biographies of all 10 candidates are available on UKDCA’s website and CoinDesk’s coverage of the run-up to the election can be found here.

The vision for the future

The UKDCA was officially launched on 24th March with the aim of promoting bitcoin adoption through public debate and helping shape growth-friendly policy and regulation for digital currency in the UK. The association is registered as a non-profit organization.

At the time, Cleary described the association as a UK-centric organisation, although the UKDCA has been in touch with the Bitcoin Foundation to discuss future cooperation. However, the UKDCA is not a branch of the Bitcoin Foundation and, in some respects, is similar to the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and other regional bitcoin associations.

The UKDCA currently has four working groups that specialise in different areas of digital currency. Despite their different backgrounds, its new members have no designated roles at board-level, instead choosing to discuss matters raised by each committee as a group.

Gordon said contact has already been made with Innovate Finance, a group that aims to promotes the interests of the UK FinTech industry, adding that the UKDCA is open to working with any organisation that can help its goal of promoting digital currency.

“We are currently trying to schedule a meeting for further conversations, but we definitely would like to be part of that initiative,” he added.

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