Categories: Bitcoin Politics

Cody Wilson’s War: Dark Wallet Co-Founder Plans to Infiltrate, Destroy Bitcoin Foundation

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While Americans were going to the polls Tuesday, Upstart Business Journal’s Michael del Castillo reported that Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed and Darkwallet was announcing his own candidacy for the Bitcoin Foundation’s board — and his motives for running were quite clear. Wilson told del Castillo:

"I will run on a platform of the complete dissolution of the Bitcoin Foundation and will begin and end every single one of my public statements with that message."

It’s nothing personal, Wilson told del Castillo; it’s just that Wilson feels the foundation’s entire existence runs counter to the idea of an unregulated, decentralized economy, which many believe Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies could allow to flourish.

Wilson’s next chance to run would be in early 2015, when Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis will both have individual seats up for election, according to the foundation’s website. Matonis resigned his position as the foundation’s executive director at the end of October, but he retains his seat on the board through the end of the year.

It is unclear how, in practice, Wilson would actually get elected. “Nominations, as well as voting for candidates, must be done by current Bitcoin Foundation members,” the organization’s website reads.

Bitcoin Foundation's Evolving Role

The foundation has grown this past year to include 10 affiliates around the world, but there have been notable instances where members of the Bitcoin community have expressed their dissatisfaction with the organization.

Perhaps Bitcoin’s most prominent spokesman, Andreas Antonopoulos resigned as a foundation member, citing what he called “a complete lack of transparency.”

New executive director Patrick Murck addressed that issue in his October 30 blog post on the foundation’s website introducing himself and his plans as the new executive director.

“First, we need to repair our relationship with the Bitcoin community,” Murck wrote. “To do that effectively we may have to take some risks around communications and transparency to show that we can be honestly engaged with the community. That means we may not always say exactly the right thing and we might not always be on message, but we will be authentic in how we interact with the community in the future and I hope that you all get to know the people who work hard to make the Foundation go.”

In the same post, Murck wrote that the foundation's new focus would be on “standardization through the bitcoin core reference implementation and actively supporting the people building the critical infrastructure that powers bitcoin.”

Darkwallet and Defense Distributed

The 26-year-old Wilson already has a noteworthy track record of developing tools that empower the decentralization of users’ lives, to put it as neutrally as possible.

These projects include Defense Distributed, a non-profit that makes the Ghost Gunner, a 3D printer that turns out a fully functional firearm; and Darkwallet, a Bitcoin wallet that is designed to improve upon the currency’s pseudonymity features and make transactions totally anonymous.

Both the Ghost Gunner and the Darkwallet are scheduled for public release by year’s end.

Wilson has had trouble recently with payment processor Stripe. Wilson said on Monday that Stripe had told him it would no longer support payments to any of his companies for breach of its terms of service.

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