Author’s note: The following article has been edited by the author to reflect an unbiased view of Yishan Wong’s personal feelings toward bitcoin. The original article accused Wong of being “Anti-Bitcoin,” an assumption that is incorrect according to outside sources. Wong is not anti-bitcoin, and the author apologizes for his original use of words.
Yishan Wong, the previous CEO of Reddit, resigned from his position following two and a half years of work. Shortly following the announcement, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian returned to the company as executive chairman.
While Wong steered Reddit through a strong growth period, he ran into a few bumps along the way recently. After Reddit had raised investments for their platform, they announced that all employees needed to relocate to San Francisco in order to keep their jobs. Wong claimed the decision was independent of fundraising, but the timing of the announcement came under major scrutiny.
Wong is also known for being outspoken at one point toward the bitcoin userbase. Earlier this year, Wong blasted Bitcoin users with a slew of stereotypes while answering a question about Dogecoin on Quora .
“Without being too inflammatory, the userbase for bitcoin is basically crazy libertarians who are increasingly poorly-informed about currency systems and macroeconomics. I say “increasingly” because at one time it was fairly well-informed libertarians but as the currency has become mainstream, it’s attracted more poorly-informed individuals and the conversation have become more polarized and less knowledge-based, driving the well-informed and balanced people away, or at least prompting them to recede into the background.”
Conversely, Alexis Ohanian was quoted in 2013 with a positive take on Bitcoin and its future. He said he is cautiously optimistic about bitcoin, but is overall intrigued.
“If it can get to the point where my Dad is like, ‘Hey, tell me about this Bitcoin thing, I’m really intrigued by it’ – then I’ll be like, ‘OK, all right.’ That’ll be the moment.”
According to Reddit, Wong resigned of his accord and the company did not pressure him to leave. Following the announcement, Wong took to Quora to answer the questions surrounding his departure.
“The job as CEO of reddit is incredibly stressful and draining. After two and a half years, I’m basically completely worn out, and it was having significantly detrimental effects on my personal life.”
Prior to his resignation, Wong was the figure of much controversy when he explained in detail on the site why an employee was fired. The employee hosted an AMA where he answered questions about the inner workings of Reddit and claimed ignorance on his termination. Wong then responded viscerally, spiraling the discussion of his decision to discuss termination of employees on the public forum.
While Wong expressed negative sentiment toward the bitcoin userbase sentiment earlier, he did announce that Reddit is considering creating a cryptocurrency to give back to the community in the form of “shares.” He seemed quite open to the idea and receptive to feedback.
“The investors have explicitly agreed to this in their investment terms.”
“Nothing like this has ever been done before. Basically we have to nail down how to do each step correctly (it is technically, legally, and financially complex), though in our brief consultation with an ex-SEC lawyer, he stated he could find nothing illegal about this plan.”
Now that Wong is leaving the company, the fate of the cryptocurrency idea is still up in the air. With Ohanian open to the idea of bitcoin though, the future looks bright.
What do you think of the management change at Reddit? Comment below!
Images from Reddit and Shutterstock.