Bitcoin Foundation about to go belly-up, says board member

During the past year, a number of lawmakers, international government officials and venture capital moguls have placed a leap of faith in the technological developments which further the advancement of Bitcoin, with the consensus being that if development is encouraged, the virtual currency has a sustainable future in the mainstream markets.

High value venture capital investments and regulatory approval for many Bitcoin-related networks ensued en masse.

It has now become apparent that one of the very first organizations to be established to fund the development of virtual currency and bring a degree of order to its future is not faring so well, and, according to one of its board members, is “effectively bankrupt.”

Bitcoin Foundation was established in 2012, the very early days as far as organized Bitcoin businesses are concerned, by a series of Bitcoin proponents who have since departed from the world of virtual currencies.

Olivier Janssens, a new member of the Bitcoin Foundation, claimed on his blog on Satuday that the group has been hiding this financial distress from its membership.

Mr. Janssens’ statement contains the following claims:

“The Bitcoin Foundation hates transparency. If they would have been transparent then everyone would know there is no money left. Something I think the members have a right to know, wouldn’t you think? Members have a right to know that the current board failed to tell them the truth, and that their way of running the organization resulted in it going bankrupt. But instead of taking responsibility, they want to find the next executive director that will come up with another magic plan. Ironically, being transparent from the start might have prevented this whole thing to begin with.”

– The Foundation has almost no money left, and just fired 90% of its people. Some will stay on as volunteers.

– Core dev can no longer be funded by it, and Patrick Murck is trying to re-create a new Foundation just for core dev, because the current name is tarnished. Do not fall for this.

– The current Executive Director (Patrick Murck), will be gone in 2 weeks, and they are trying to find the next person to blame everything on.

– Jim Harper was threatened for doing a press release which was (barely) critical of the Foundation after he got elected. The Foundation tries to make sure we hide the truth by subtly threatening us on a regular basis.

– If I get asked to leave the Foundation for telling the truth, so be it. The truth is being told.

“My big issue was that they did not tell the membership about the real financial status,” Janssens told Ars via an encrypted chat on the Telegraph app. “You can’t be a member-run non-profit and still try to get money from your corporate or individual sponsors while hiding the fact that you’re near-bankrupt. That’s the reason I came forward, I could not live with that. That’s up to the members to decide.”

Bitcoin Foundation is funded by membership subscriptions, with individual memberships starting at $25, while corporate memberships start at $1,000 annually. The non-profit organization’s own tax 2013 filings, according to a report by Arstechnica, show that it ended that year with over $4.7 million in total assets, which is nearly five times as much as it had at the same time the previous year, and the organization has not yet released financial details for 2014.

To read Olivier Janssens’ blog post on Bitcoin Foundation in full, click here.

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