Mark Karpeles, CEO of the pioneering but troubled Bitcoin exchange MtGox, has resigned his seat on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, the organization that standardizes and promotes the cryptocurrency.
While some are calling this a potential blow to Bitcoin, it may be quite the opposite. MtGox is hardly a great ambassador for Bitcoin right now, and recent events have led to clashes between the company and the Foundation.
MtGox, which handled the bulk of Bitcoin transactions until fraudulent hacking forced it to freeze withdrawals earlier this month, has had serious liquidity problems since last year. Though others were subsequently hit too, Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen blamed the exchange rather than the core protocol for the episode, and MtGox’s systems have struggled to recover.
The Tokyo-based company has repeatedly promised a fix but failed to deliver. Its most recent communication was on Thursday, claiming that “security problems” had forced it to relocate, slowing down its progress in fixing its records after the attack. It’s not clear whether this is a reference to the couple of angry bitcoiners who were camped outside the MtGox offices, demanding their money.
In a statement on Sunday, the Bitcoin Foundation said it was “grateful for [MtGox's] early and valuable contributions as a founding member in launching the Bitcoin Foundation.” A request for comment from MtGox itself had gone unanswered at the time of writing, though as many have noted the company has deleted its entire tweet history, so take from that what you will.