There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Bitcoin Foundation over the past few days, and all the facts are slowly coming into perspective. From the information I have gathered, it has become quite clear the Bitcoin Foundation has lost track of its original purpose and as a result of mismanagement, was forced to fire most of the people making up the Bitcoin Foundation.
The Bitcoin Foundation: Original Goals & Ideology
When Bitcoin started gaining more traction around the world, it became apparent that its growing community needed something to “embody” Bitcoin and the technology behind it. A group of like-minded people — Bitcoin core developers, lobbyists and company representatives — came together and formed the Bitcoin Foundation.
The goal for the Bitcoin Foundation was quite simple: promote the usage and technology of Bitcoin, while remaining true to the decentralized and transparent nature of this digital currency. In order to maintain and advance the Bitcoin technology, the Bitcoin Foundation would also pay the Bitcoin core developers.
As soon as the Bitcoin Foundation was announced, many Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world rejoiced, as there was finally an “entity” of sorts that would represent everything they loved about this new and disruptive technology.
Poor Decisions and Lots of Expenses Led to a Lack of Trust
Although the Bitcoin Foundation has labored to represent the community since its inception, it has a track record of making unpopular decisions and spending large amounts of money. In fact, most of its decisions have been severely criticized by the Bitcoin community.
A few days ago, Foundation board member Olivier Janssens alerted the Reddit community of the organization’s recent troubles in a post titled, “The truth about the Bitcoin Foundation.” This message was posted on the Bitcoin Foundation forum as well. His message was quite transparent, abundantly clear, and may have been unsurprising to many Bitcoiners. Janssens alleged that the Foundation was in dire straits, saying that the Foundation was completely bankrupt, it had fired 90% of its employees, and that other board members vehemently opposed his and Jim Harper’s pushes for transparency.
Special Trust Fund
Patrick Murck, the current Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, is attempting to create a new Bitcoin Foundation with the sole purpose of funding Bitcoin Core development. Janssens opined that this new organization would be no better than the Bitcoin Foundation, and it should not be trusted.
To combat the prospect of a second Bitcoin Foundation, Janssens is creating a special trust fund — to which he will personally donate several hundreds of thousands of US Dollars — to fund Bitcoin Core developers for the next year. The developers themselves will be in control of this trust fund, and they can decide who can become a part of the Bitcoin Core developer team.
But that is not all, as Olivier Janssens will organize crowdfunding campaigns and do everything he possibly can to make the public aware of this special trust fund. Mr. Janssens also wants to make it crystal clear that he does not want any control over this trust fund at any given time.
The Road Ahead is Long, But The Community is Optimistic
One thing has to be said about the Bitcoin community: no matter how bad the news is, we always suck it up and come out of it even stronger. The Bitcoin Foundation’s news is not a deal breaker for Bitcoin’s future in any way, as the organization strayed from the right path a long time ago.
It is important to remember the Bitcoin Foundation is not synonymous with Bitcoin by any means. Bitcoin will live on without the Bitcoin Foundation, and the future of this technology and the currency will be returned to the right hands.
And with the current plans set in motion by Olivier Janssens and other members of the Bitcoin community, the future of Bitcoin can finally be shaped in the way it should have been done by the Bitcoin Foundation. Transparency and decentralization will prevail, and the only way to make it happen is by all of us doing so.
This author’s opinions are not necessarily those of Bitcoinist.net
All images courtesy of ShutterStock.