Home / Capital & Crypto / The Bitcoin Foundation Gets a New Executive Director

The Bitcoin Foundation Gets a New Executive Director

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:49 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:49 PM

 Over a year after being voted in as the executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Bruce Fenton is closing his term, with a relatively unknown South African venture capitalist, Llew Claasen, primed to take over.

llew Claasen
Llew Claasen

As a bitcoin advocacy group and trade organization, the Bitcoin Foundation will see a new executive director in Llew Claasen, a Cape Town-based venture capitalist.

The South African is a managing partner at Newton Partners, a venture capital firm and investor with a focus on internet and mobile technology. Claasen will commence duties as executive director on July 1, after being elected in by the board of directors at the Bitcoin Foundation on June 14.

While details of the new director are scarce, foundation board member and Lyft co-founder recused himself from the vote, having had a business relationship with Classen in the past. Classen’s appointment was voted for unanimously by the remainder of the board.

In statements, Classen said:

I’m looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation going forward. There is an amazing opportunity for the organization to help the Bitcoin ecosystem. In the coming weeks, I’ll be working closely with the board, membership, transition team and various stakeholders to create the best plan for success possible.

Success would bring welcome respite for the advocacy body that has run into significant monetary issues, to the point where its very existence was at stake. In a board meeting in December 2015, outgoing executive director Bruce Fenton revealed that additional funding was required to retain employees at the foundation. As of November 30, 2015 the foundation’s total assets stood at $12, 553.06. In 2014, the foundation had blown through 5800 bitcoins, resulting in $4.6 million loss the same year.

In a post on Reddit , Fenton underlines his tenure as director as a success, stating that the foundation had “been through some very tough times with its very future in doubt” when he took on the job. He added:

It was perhaps it’s darkest hour. Today, as I leave, the foundation is a the best it’s been in years, possibly ever.

He cites certain factors behind the implied change in fortunes since he took over. Chief among them was the call to cut expenses by 94% from peak spending every month. He also pointed to increased transparency with the foundation, along with a new mission statement that sought to foster bitcoin core development.

Images from Shutterstock and the Bitcoin Foundation.