Olivier Janssens, an internet entrepreneur, investor and newly elected Bitcoin Foundation board member, released a scathing review of the organization on a bitcoin forum post today. In his post, Janssens claims the board has broken its own protocol in meetings to squash his attempts to increase its transparency. He also claims the foundation is “effectively bankrupt”.
In January, Janssens outlined his platform in the board elections, “I am running for a board seat because I think having the Bitcoin Foundation in control of core development is dangerous. Core development should be without any political influence.” He described himself as a “libertarian and voluntaryist at heart.” He closed his appeal with the following promise, “I’m the type of guy that normally works in the background and exerts my positive influence from there. You can expect me to protect your interests and, most importantly, the interests of Bitcoin.”
Janssens seems to be sticking to his promise here. Whether or not you agree with his interpretation of what is in the best interest of Bitcoin, he has stuck his neck out for his beliefs. The gloves are clearly off. Here’s an excerpt from his complaint, which mentions the word ‘truth’ 9 times, including the title, “The Truth About the Bitcoin Foundation”:
Everyone has the right to know the truth:
– 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.
We have yet to hear a reply from Executive Director Patrick Murck or any of the other board members to Janssens post. Murck, an attorney from Seattle, said in November he would make it a priority “to cut out distractions and focus the Bitcoin Foundation on the areas where we can add the most value for the bitcoin community.”
The language and tone of Janssens post seems to suggest he has no interest on working to change the Foundation from the inside out. “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,” he writes.
Is he one of the “distractions” that Murck wants to cut out or is he a champion for Bitcoin’s core values?
Janssens’s full post can be read here.