Friday, January 2, 2015

Bitcoin Foundation dismisses policy counsel

Bitcoin Foundation Parts Ways With Its Global Policy Counsel - - Sydney Ember:

January 2, 2015 - "Jim Harper, whose appointment as the Bitcoin Foundation’s global policy counsel last March was viewed as a sign that the advocacy group was taking digital currency regulation seriously, has been dismissed from the foundation.

"Mr. Harper’s last day was Wednesday, though he received notice of the foundation’s decision shortly after Thanksgiving.

"Mr. Harper’s dismissal comes as the Bitcoin Foundation is shifting its focus, from policy advocacy to Bitcoin technology and infrastructure development.

"'We’re changing direction a little bit here,' said Patrick Murck, the foundation’s executive director. 'The policy aspect was more of a distraction and a drain on resources that we could handle at the moment,' he added. 'Without having that work to be done, there really wasn’t a huge role for Jim to do.'

"Before joining the Bitcoin Foundation, Mr. Harper served as director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research group. He will remain at Cato as a senior fellow, a reduced role he took when he moved to the Bitcoin Foundation.

"For his part, Mr. Harper said he wasn’t quite ready to cut all ties to the Bitcoin Foundation, despite a difference of opinion on the foundation’s direction. In an interview, Mr. Harper said he was still running for a position on the foundation’s board.... The board election will take place in mid-February.

"'My experience at the foundation was that it wasn’t an organization that had a lot of focus and direction,' Mr. Harper said in an interview. 'Part of the reason I’m running for the board is because, whether I work there or not, I think the Bitcoin Foundation should have solid leadership and management from the top all the way down.'"

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