Olivier Janssens: The Truth About The Bitcoin Foundation

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Olivier Janssens: The Truth About The Bitcoin Foundation
Photo: Olivier Janssens/Twitter

Olivier Janssens revealed the truth about the Bitcoin Foundation, stating the organization is now bankrupt.

The Bitcoin Foundation board member, Olivier Janssens, has published a blog post saying the organization is “effectively bankrupt.” In his post, Janssens stated that the organization went bankrupt in November, 2014, which was a result of bad management and irrational fund spending.

At that time, the foundation elected a new director, the decision, which, according to Janssens, was too late to undertake. In an attempt to still get funding, the new executive director decided to concentrate on core development. However, the idea has not received enough support from people, who lost their trust in the Foundation.

“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.

He noted that the Foundation, which has fired about 90% of its people, can no longer finance the core development. Besides, the investor warned that the current director Patrick Murck, who will be gone in 14 days, intends to create a new organization for core development, just because the existing name has been maligned.

“The lesson for all of us in Bitcoin is to never put any trust in a centralized org again that wanted to represent Bitcoin or the Core Development of Bitcoin,” Janssens concluded. “I totally expect the current Board members to try to place blame on me for whatever reason. They are very bad at taking personal responsibility. I have had several threats, but I’m releasing this anyway.”

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.

The news attracted a lot of attention in the community and has been actively discussed on Reddit website.

“Despite the many obvious problems with the Foundation, they did (for a time) solve the problem of raising money for core development and apportioning it between a couple of developers. Bashing the Foundation is easy and well deserved, but ultimately they are self-destructing. We need to be thinking about what happens next,” wrote one of the users.

Some commenters have not been surprised by the news, saying there has always been lack of transparency within the organization.

“This type of stuff was pretty obvious from the beginning. Patrick Murck has always been against transparency and he fought the idea of releasing meeting minutes when I brought up the issue in early 2013 so I never joined.”

“This guy is the Bitcoin Snowden. The hero the Blockchain deserves,” one of the users said.

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Polina Chernykh

Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.

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