The Bitcoin Foundation has dismissed its global policy counsel who was hired less than a year ago, New York Times reported.
Jim Harper was appointed as the foundation’s global policy counsel in March in a move that The Times called “a sign that the advocacy group was taking digital currency regulation seriously.” The foundation didn’t reveal much about why Harper was dismissed from his position, only relaying from Foundation Executive Director Patrick Murck that the organization was changing direction from policy advocacy to Bitcoin technology and infrastructure development.
“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.”
Despite being cut from his counsel position, Harper said he’s still planning on running for a position on the foundation’s board. He’s also running against candidates like Cody Wilson who wants the Bitcoin Foundation dissolved.
“My experience at the foundation was that it wasn’t an organization that had a lot of focus and direction,” Harper told The Times. “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.”
Harper’s start at the Bitcoin Foundation came at a time where the digital currency was under fire with how it should be regulated. But the Bitcoin industry has since “shed its image as an outlaw currency.” Now the industry is shifting toward Bitcoin’s technology developments to increase adoption of the currency. That explains the shift in the foundation’s recent move.
“There’s little doubt that we added tremendous value to the community by properly framing the conversation and building bridges for the Bitcoin community to engage directly with the regulators,” the Bitcoin Foundation wrote in a blog post last month about its new focus. “Others have followed and established policy organizations with clear and focused missions, a development that gives us the opportunity to focus on supporting Bitcoin Core and building the technical infrastructure needed to grow the Bitcoin network.”