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The Bitcoin Foundation has appointed Cape Town venture capitalist Llew Claasen as its executive director. The appointment was announced during the Blockchain Training Conference in Toronto, Canada, on 20 June.
Claasen was elected by a board of directors on 14 June.
“I’m looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation going forward. There is an amazing opportunity for the organisation 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,” wrote Claasen in a press release on the Bitcoin Foundation website.
Claasen is managing partner at Newton Partners, a startup angel investment firm based in Cape Town, SA.
“I’ve known Llew for many years and have worked with him in several capacities. I think he will be a perfect fit for the organisation as we build on the significant progress we have made,” said board member of the Bitcoin Foundation and general partner at Newton Partners, Vinny Lingham.
Lingham recused himself from the vote due to his relationship with Claasen. The remainder of the board voted unanimously on 14 June and approved Claasen’s appointment.
“Llew’s project management skills, geographic location and emerging markets experience are all huge advantages and we are all very happy that he has accepted this position,” wrote board chair Brock Pierce.
The Bitcoin Foundation’s previous executive director, Bruce Fenton, will remain on as a board member. He has been instrumental in adding transparency to the organisation and implementing the likes of DevCore.
“I came in to the foundation to turn it around. I think I accomplished that as well as anyone could have under the circumstances. As an unpaid, volunteer position the role was never intended to be permanent,” wrote Fenton in a post on Reddit.
“I’m proud of what the Bitcoin Foundation accomplished during my leadership. When I came aboard, the organisation had been through some very tough times with its very future in doubt. It was perhaps its darkest hour. Today as I leave, the foundation is the best it’s been in years, possibly ever,” said Fenton.
Claasen will begin his appointment from 1 July.