The appointment of South Africa’s Llew Claasen as the new Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation has been announced at the Blockchain Training Conference / DEVCORE in Canada. Claasen is a venture capitalist and Managing Partner at Newtown Partners in Cape Town, and takes over from Bruce Fenton effective July 1.

Llew Claasen is a technology startup go-to-market strategist with expertise in designing, building, merchandising and marketing online and mobile software products and services (B2B, B2C, B2B2C).

Fenton says:

“After an extensive search, I'm happy to say that the Bitcoin Foundation has appointed a serious and qualified person as the new Executive Director, venture capitalist Llew Claasen.”

Bruce Fenton

Fenton leaving the foundation

According to Fenton, he came in to the foundation to turn it around, and he thinks he has accomplished that as well as anyone could under the circumstances. As an unpaid, volunteer position the role was never intended to be permanent, he notes.

Fenton says:

“I'm proud of what the Bitcoin Foundation accomplished during my leadership. When I came aboard the organization had been through some very tough times with its very future in doubt. It was perhaps it's darkest hour. Today as I leave, the foundation is the best it's been in years, possibly ever.”

Fenton said they think Claasen’s skill set is exactly what is needed now to move the Foundation forward with a promise to support it in any way he can.

Claasen says about the appointment:

“I’m looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation. There is an amazing opportunity for the organization 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 possible plan for success.”

Moving Bitcoin into adulthood

The Bitcoin Foundation is a 501c6 organization and the oldest and largest industry group focussed on Bitcoin with a variety of corporate members, individuals and international chapters. Its primary focus areas are on increasing adoption, fostering more Bitcoin development such as through the DevCore event series and encouraging global decision makers to seek technical over regulatory solutions for Bitcoin related matters.

The Foundation's focus is on the necessities of any technology in its infancy: standardization, protection, promotion and decentralization. These areas ensure the growth and maturation of Bitcoin, it says on its website - from a vulnerable platform, susceptible to parties whose work undermines the potential for good, to an independent source of freedom and promise.

When he begins the role, Claasen said he looks forward to speaking with individual members, corporations, developers and the community.