updated 07:10 pm EDT, Fri May 16, 2014
Child star Brock Pierce slammed for heavy debt, sexual misconduct allegations
The Bitcoin Foundation is seeing an exodus of members in the wake of the appointment of heavy Bitcoin investor and former Disney child star Brock Pierce as the new director of the foundation. The departures, on the eve of the cryptocurrency's annual conference, are based on a variety of allegations, including misconduct allegations against Pierce from as early as 2000, in addition to other allegations of misconduct among foundation members.
The election was held to fill two vacant spots on the board. The first was opened up by the resignation of Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpeles, and the other by the departure of online drug purchasing venue Silk Road's operator Charlie Shrem.
One of the abdicators, Patrick Alexander said of his departure that "this is not the direction this foundation needs to take. The foundation members need to emulate very high moral values and ethics in business and in personal dealings, especially as it involves money. So far, the track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members has been abysmal. I know that most foundation members are probably swell people and are not like this. However, the acts of a few have overshadowed us all."
Brock Pierce is alleged to have provided drugs and made inappropriate sexual advances towards co-workers when operating the Digital Entertainment Network, a now-defunct online content generator. Pierce denies the claims, saying that "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." One case was settled for $21,000, and the others dropped claims. Pierce also is responsible for a $120,000 unpaid credit card bill, with the note held by UBS Bank.
"Democracy is messy sometimes," said Bitcoin Foundation general counsel Patrick Murck of the departures. "If in the future members decide they want to have a vetting process, that's great."