If 12 Years a Slave doesn’t win Best Picture, I’m going to hang up my cleats as a blogger. It’s the most powerful movie I’ve seen in my entire life. Go see it.
With respect to Bitcoin: I have learned that leadership changes are now imminent at the Bitcoin Foundation. Chairman Peter Vessenes and Executive Director Jon Matonis will be stepping down from their board seats prior to the scheduled end of their terms. Although an exact timetable for their resignations remains unclear, I believe these two seats will be filled during the already-planned special elections to replace founding board members Charlie Shrem and Mark Karpeles this April.
It does not appear that Vessenes or Matonis are accused or suspected of any improprieties related to their relationship with Mark Karpeles and Mt. Gox. Instead, they seem to have both recognized the need for the Foundation to clean house in order to revitalize its image in the coming months. If this is the case, Vessenes and Matonis should be applauded for their services to Bitcoin to date and for their humble decision to help the industry overcome the serious damage that has been done with the failure of Mt. Gox. New professional leadership is needed to rebuild confidence and focus on the future.
At this time, it remains unclear whether Matonis will also step down as the Foundation’s Executive Director, or remain committed to that role for the time being.
This marks a watershed moment for the industry. Gox is dead. BTC-e remains a black hole. Four of the Bitcoin Foundation’s seven directors have or will soon resign their positions. Merchants and consumers are (and should be) skeptical of the consumer protections and financial and technical safeguards currently in place at cloud wallet companies, currency exchanges and other Bitcoin services providers.
There are enormously talented individuals who will be vetted and nominated for the new board of directors in the weeks to come. I for one look forward to electing the next crop. After a horrific week, Bitcoin’s future is finally looking a little bit brighter.
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