Nearly a dozen members of the Bitcoin Foundation have resigned following last week’s election of Brock Pierce as its new director, casting an unwanted shadow over the annual Bitcoin conference which kicked off on Thursday.
Pierce, a former Disney child star and Bitcoin entrepreneur, has a checkered past. Three of Pierce’s former employees – minors at the time – claim he offered them drugs and pressured them for sex while working at now-bankrupt web video company Digital Entertainment Network.
The accusations first surfaced nearly 15 years ago and have since been resolved. As Reuters points out, court documents show he settled with one of his accusers for $21,000. The other two suits were also dropped although no money exchanged hands, Pierce claims.
In an e-mailed statement to the publication, Pierce said the allegations against him aren’t true and that he has never had intimate or sexual contact with any of those involved in the lawsuits.
Others, like Patrick Alexander, pointed to the track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members in general. Alexander said in a post on its discussion pages that he no longer wanted to be associated with such people.
The 10 people that have resigned thus far represent a small fraction of the overall membership. According to Bitcoin Foundation General Counsel Patrick Murck, the foundation has over 1,500 members and will rebound from the controversy.
The Bitcoin conference is being held in Amsterdam and runs through Saturday. More than 1,000 investors, enthusiasts and business people are expected to attend.