Board member Olivier Janssens recently wrote on the Foundation’s own forum and to Reddit that the outfit is “effectively bankrupt,” triggering a new wave of speculation. He annpunced that the organization has almost no money left and it was even forced to fire about 90% of the staff, while some employees decided to remain on board as volunteers.
Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation Patrick Murck posted, “The Foundation is not bankrupt, but a restructuring is needed. Olivier basically jumped in front of our announcements on that and our annual report on the 2014 finances to be released next week, and he spun it very, very negative.”
He went on, adding that 90% of the staff have not been fired, but instead there have been some attrition due to the upcoming restructuring.
In his forum post, Janssens predicted Murck’s response and claimed that Murck would leave his post within next two weeks.
Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation Gavin Andresen echoed the sentiment that the organisation has no money, but also doubled-down with a statement that “The Foundation isn’t bankrupt, but the Board needs to decide whether the responsible thing to do is to continue the organization with a much smaller organization and vision or to dissolve it.”
In his forum Janssens defended his coming out with the financial struggles of the Bitcoin Foundation with a call for transparency:
“Since the beginning, the Foundation has been sorely lacking any transparency of its actions,” writes Janssens. “I can no longer in good conscience hide the truth on what I have witnessed in the Bitcoin Foundation since I was elected last month.”
“With the election in February-March, it became clear that people did not want the Foundation meddling with core development. The truth is that the Foundation’s plan was to hire even more core devs + to start a Bitcoin Standards Body. No organization should have this much control over Bitcoin, and a disaster was avoided,” Janssens wrote.
The Bitcoin Foundation was established in 2012 as a non-profit organization and is committed to protect and promote the cryptocurrency use. It is financed by different for-profit companies, which depend on the bitcoin technology. The investor joined the Foundation’s board after the elections in February.
“A special trust fund is being created and I will donate several 100k to pre-pay Gavin’s, Wladimirs and some other core devs wage for the next year (if they choose to accept). The control of this trust fund will be handed over to the core devs, who can decide who can join it. Alternatively, we can give voting power to everyone who puts money in it (pro-rata). I will also organize crowdfunds and help make this fund public. At no point do I want to have any control whatsoever,” he also said.