Since we have made transparency a priority, the board wanted to briefly discuss today’s board meeting. Today the Bitcoin Foundation board accepted the resignation of one board member and voted to remove another. The remaining board members unanimously support continuing to work to have the foundation succeed and contribute in a positive way to Bitcoin.
We don’t take board member changes lightly but believe this to be in the best interests of the organization going forward. As has been reported and show in our public documents such as meeting minutes, our board has had some disagreements in recent months and our organization has also faced it’s fair share of ups and downs. It’s key to have a board that works well together and is effective.
In today’s meeting we discussed our funding and our future. I noted that it is important for us to move forward and that it is key to see where the members stand on the future of the organization.
After some discussion on direction and planning, Board Chairman Brock Pierce called for a vote on whether we should continue the organization or dissolve it.
Brock, Elizabeth Ploshay, Meyer Malka (via email vote) and I voted to continue support of the organization and to move forward. Jim Harper and Olivier Jansens voted to shut down the organization. When casting his vote, Olivier noted that he supports the idea of continuing but not as is without a more detailed plan. Given the difference of opinion, I respectfully requested the resignation of Jim and Olivier so that the remaining board members are unified in a plan to stay and improve the organization. Jim agreed to resign and the board accepted. We wished him well in future endeavors. After some further discussion with Olivier, who indicated that he would support a plan but wanted to have a plan in place before supporting the organization, I made the motion that the board remove Olivier from his seat. This motion was seconded and voted affirmatively by me, Brock, Elizabeth and Meyer. We wish Olivier the best in the future and we appreciate the efforts by both Olivier and Jim.
One challenge in a large and diverse organization is that differences of opinion are more common. In some cases, this leads to more variety and higher quality decisions, in other cases members may have such different opinions that it can be counterproductive. The first priority should be to have a board that interacts effectively and efficiently. We all worked hard to make this particular board composition work and each of us has a different opinion about what could have worked better. No one is right or wrong, we simply have different ideas. At the end of the day, we all care about Bitcoin and want to help it in whatever way possible. Jim and Olivier served as volunteers and we appreciate their time and work. Aside from the foundation they have both done a great deal for Bitcoin and no doubt will continue to.
Differences of opinion are a part of any organization. In our case, our discussions are public and our minutes released, this offers more transparency but also brings any disagreements into the public eye.
The board and the Executive Director are all volunteers because we all share the belief that this organization should exist and can be a positive asset to Bitcoin. In recent months the ED has cut costs to a very minimal rate while our foundation also been able to add value to the ecosystem with events like DevCore, the launch of media and speaker engagement programs and other initiatives.
This foundation belongs to the members, the individuals, corporations and community as much as it belongs to us board members. We want to see this organization work and we are open to any volunteers and ideas on how to make the organization as beneficial as possible, provided those ideas come from a premise that the existence of the organization itself can be a positive force. In the past, we have convened some of the most successful meetings in the industry, funded core development, sponsored the bitnodes project, Bitcoin.org, grants and other initiatives. We have many dedicated volunteers such as the members of the Education, Regulatory and Election committees and our membership covers the entire globe with a roster that is far larger and more comprehensive than any other organization in Bitcoin. The board looks forward to moving ahead with a unified and positive vision. We appreciate your support.
Bobby Lee, BTCC
Vice Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation