At least 10 members of a major Bitcoin trade group have walked out after the appointment of former Disney star Brock Pierce as the body's new director.
The cryptocurrency entrepreneur's election to the top of Bitcoin Foundation has sparked controversy ahead of the organisation's annual conference, which begins today.
Members took to the Foundation's forum to protest against Pierce's selection, following his chequered past including lawsuits from previous employees in his first company that he pressured them for sex while they were underage.
Pierce, who starred in the Disney film 'First Kid', denies the allegations, which date back to 2000.
Reuters quoted an email response from him saying: The allegations against me are not true, and I have never had intimate or sexual contact with any of the people who made those allegations."
Reuters added that one claim was settled out of court, while Pierce told the news wire that the two others dropped their claims without receiving any money.
However, Foundation member Patrick Alexander wrote on the group website: "This is not the direction this foundation needs to take," referring to Pierce, as well as former board member Mark Karpeles, whose now-bankrupt exchange, Mt. Gox, lost 650,000 bitcoins in February.
Alexander added: "So far, the track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members has been abysmal. I no longer want to be associated with these people."
Foundation admin Brad Wheeler defended the group, calling it "a young organization in a young field", but others called the latest development "too much" and announced their resignations.
The Foundation is set to move its headquarters from the US to the UK, likely London, this year.
CBR has approached the group for comment.