As the Bitcoin Foundation prepares its yearly meet on Friday, the association at the fore front of push for adoption of the digital currency has hit turbulence lately.
The nonprofit group has lost at least 10 members in resignations after bitcoin entrepreneur and financier Brock Pierce was elected as new director last week, officials at the organization said.
Some members cited a troubled past for the onetime Disney child star. The reasons include accusations in lawsuits brought against Pierce by three employees of his collapsed Digital Entertainment Network. It’s alleged he offered the employees drugs and pressured them for sex when they were children.
Pierce has dismissed the allegations which first emerged in 2000.
“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 told Reuters.
According to documents held by court, 33-year-old Pierce gave one employee $21,000 in settlement. Pierce said the others dropped their charges despite not receiving any compensation.
Bitcoin Foundation officials suggested the resignations are insignificant but several members who quit took issue with the group’s governance record.
“The track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members has been abysmal,” said one of the resigning members Patrick Alexander. He said he wanted no association with the people.
Bitcoin is highly unstable, but its value has soared substantially into billions of dollars as its business environment thrives and investors devise new avenues to use it.
Development of bitcoin software is spearheaded by Gavin Andresen, who is employed by the foundation as its chief scientist. The group is also a valued backer of the virtual currency in various jurisdictions, especially in the face of regulatory obstacles.
As ZDNet reports, the Foundation’s leadership is accused by some members of lacking transparency. The resigning members say the organization records no minutes for its meetings and keeps no financials.
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