The Bitcoin Foundation is now conducting elections to fill the two open industry seats on its Board of Directors.

The seats have been empty since the arrest of Charlie Shrem and the subsequent resignation of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, whose Japan-based bitcoin exchange filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Nominations began in February, with voting officially starting on 21st April. Voting is expected to last one week, and all Bitcoin Foundation industry members are eligible to vote.

Campaigning is now taking place via forums on the organization’s website.

Current board members

The two winners of this week’s election will join the five existing members of the group’s Board of Directors. The only industry seat currently filled is held by Micky Malka, founder of Ribbit Capital.

Brian Goss, chair of the organization’s election committee, explained to CoinDesk that the board was originally expanded from five members to seven last July, due in part to difficulties that resulted from a small number of members.

“The way the board is set up, having five people on the board is tough to get a majority when you need it. It made it tough to pass anything when people were there, except the motion to adjourn.”

As such, these latest elections could be welcome to the current board, though no operating issues at the Foundation have been reported in the absence of Shrem or Karpeles.

Other members of the board include executive director and CoinDesk contributor Jon Matonis, chief scientist Gavin Andresen, Coinlab CEO Peter Vessenes and Bitcoin Magazine communications manager Elizabeth Ploshay.

Technical issues

So far, the elections have had a few technical hitches, resulting in the polling being briefly suspended until the problems were resolved. Goss took to the Bitcoin Foundation’s forums today to address the matter.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Goss indicated the issues stemmed from how the system was reading the names of companies, which in turn led to issues with ballot deployment. A separate, earlier issue involving the use of the wrong mailing list was another cause for delay.

Goss wrote on the forum:

“Sorry for the rough start, but, remember, we are shooting for as transparent an election as possible.”

Goss said that the voting system bug had been discovered and resolved within a short time, and that no further issues are anticipated.

Seeking strong candidates

Earlier this year, members of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Board of Directors spoke with CoinDesk about the types of candidates they hope to attract in this election.

At the time, Matonis remarked that a new board member should know how to make the argument for bitcoin.

He said:

“A good candidate would understand bitcoin’s fundamental importance in the world and have a demonstrated capability of articulating that vision to a global audience.”

With voting underway for the rest of the week, it remains to be seen which two candidates will come out on top.

Each candidate has been asked to provide answers to questions from voters. To learn more about the candidates and their platforms, visit the Bitcoin Foundation’s forums here.

CoinDesk is continuing to monitor this developing story.

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