Bitcoin Foundation members walk out over election of Brock Pierce

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Bitcoin Foundation is likely losing a part of its backbone due to the controversy following last week’s election of Brock Pierce as new director.

The Foundation is facing several cancellations of memberships with Patrick Alexander leading a wave of resignations of around 10 members who claim that they simply wish to distance themselves from the Foundation.

The news of resignations follows the election results for two new board members – Bobby Lee, head of BTC China with 79 percent approval, and Brock Pierce, current Bitcoin entrepreneur and financier with 65 percent approval, to replace Charlie Schrem and Mark Karpeles.

The Election of Brock Pierce seems to have caused a rift within the community and the Foundation, with members publicly renouncing their current membership with the Foundation.

Patrick Alexander started a thread on the Bitcoin Foundation forums stating “Unfortunately I must resign as an individual member of the Bitcoin Foundation.”

Alexander points to Charlie Shrem (former BitInstant CEO who is accused of money laundering), Mark Karpeles (former Mt. Gox CEO), and Brock Pierce (newly-elected board member with some past legal issues) and remarks that the Foundation to be heading in the wrong way as such attention is not what the Foundation needs. He claims that the board should rather be comprised of individuals having high morals.

Following Alexander, Oliver Janssens, Stephen Sunderlin, Pierre Rochard, Patrick Levell, Michael Goldstein, Stephen Angelil, Dan Plante and Christian Antkow have also parted ways with the Foundation.

Lifetime member Oliver Janssens also announced that he was quitting the Foundation, citing Brock Pierce’s troubled past including allegations in lawsuits on corporate fraud and child porn from employees of his first company, Digital Entertainment Network. Pierce has clearly denied the accusations.

“The allegations against me are not true, and I have never had intimate or sexual contact with any of the people who made those allegations,” Pierce said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Bitcoin Foundation General Counsel Patrick Murck said that with more than 1,500 members the Foundation would bounce back from the latest controversy soon.

“Democracy is messy sometimes,” Murck said. “If in the future members decide they want to have a vetting process, that’s great.”

Bitcoin Foundation forum admin Brad Wheeler has also responded to Alexander’s post, outlining why there was little to no vetting of members during selection and has urged the members to read the Bitcoin Foundation’s bylaws.