Bitcoin Foundation Elections: Can We Actually Vote?

The Bitcoin Foundation elections are set to 19th February. However, there have been some issues with members not registering themselves to vote.

Photo: European Parliament/Flickr

Photo: European Parliament/Flickr

The Bitcoin Foundation elections have started on February 13th and are set to 19th February. Bitcoin Foundation individual members can vote for two new Individual Directors who will be elected to represent the individual members.

In October, Jon Matonis resigned from the Board of Directors effective December 31, 2014 and Gavin Andresen’s term is coming to a close. The election will be for those two individual seats.

The Foundation Members should now have received instructions on how to vote via email. However, according to the relevant Bitcoin Foundation forum, there have been some issues with members not registering themselves to vote. It appears that members want to vote, but are unable to due to this issue.

Brian Goss, the member of the Foundation, has opened the thread:

“I want to know (publicly) if anyone is having trouble voting. It is best to keep a public list of all possible voting irregularities so at the very least the potential impact of these problems can be measured. Please post in this thread of you are having difficulty with voting.”

It turned out that was a good idea to start a discussion, since several members have troubles while trying to vote. Some members said that they have not even received instructions via email.

Bruce Fenton, the candidate, the founder of Atlantic Financial, president of nonprofit industry organisation the Bitcoin Association, and an advisory board member of Bitcoin Shop, said:

“I was not aware of the requirement to “activate” the account.  I’m active in the forums and a candidate so definitely would do everything possible to make sure I could vote.”

He added that according to comments on Reddit post, many people were not aware of this and that whoever wins should try to prevent this type of thing in the future.

Apparently, there is a new requirement that members should “activate” their accounts in order to vote, even if they are candidates, current board members, regularly participate in the foundation message boards or are actively involved with the foundation. Bruce Fenton discussed the case on Reddit:

“The requirement to activate accounts was not announced on the Bitcoin Foundation home page (nor was the election itself!) or on Reddit or on Bitcoin Talk, two of the most popular industry news sources. As far as I can see, no press release was issued. It was only announced on the proprietary Bitcoin Foundation message board which typically has roughly a dozen active members and a few posts a day and by email which is easily missed or filtered as spam and on GitHub which had 4 or so comments. I don’t think the announcement of this was done in a fair manner and therefor the election results will not reflect what actual members wishes.”

About the Foundation

The Bitcoin Foundation, founded in September 2012 and headquarted in Washington, D.C., has a stated mission to “standardize, protect and promote the use of Bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide.” The nonprofit organization was modeled on the Linux Foundation and is funded mainly through grants made by for-profit companies that depend on the Bitcoin technology.

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