Swiss Crypto Valley Association Leadership Steps Down After Governance Review
More than half of the members of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley Association (CVA) board have announced their decision to step down in January. The news comes after reports about governance issues and allegations of conflicts of interest in the leadership of the growing organization.
Four CVA Board Members to Step Down
In a joint statement sent to CVA members, the board’s president Oliver Bussmann and three other members – vice-president Vasiliy Suvorov, the board’s secretary and treasurer René Hüssler, and Nicolas Schobinger – announced they will not be standing for re-election next month, Swissinfo reported. All of them have been in the governing body since the establishment of the association in January of last year. The statement reads:
After a rewarding two years, we feel it is best that the Association’s next phase of development is led with a renewed perspective. Having that in mind, we have made a decision several weeks ago not to seek re-election for our seats in the upcoming board elections scheduled for January 2019.
The announcement comes amid concerns about the future direction of development of the crypto sector in Switzerland. According to Swissinfo, the main challenge is to find the right balance between promoting the potential social impact of crypto and blockchain technology and its commercial exploitation.
The CVA board will be reshuffled after it was recently expanded to seven members. In September, the association elected two female board members in order to diversify its male-dominated leadership. The decision came in response to accusations that it had become an “old boys’ club.” The two women, María Gomez and Jenna Zenk, are not stepping down.
Independent Governance Review Conducted
The now sole remaining male member of the current board, Soren Fog, raised questions about the governance of the association during the CVA General Assembly meeting in June. He warned about what he described as a “conflict of interest in the leadership”, calling for more accountability and an independent audit.
The CVA enlisted Hans Kuhn, a lawyer and former general counsel at the Swiss National Bank, to conduct a review of the association’s articles. He told Swissinfo they were no longer adequate. “This type of housekeeping is done in any kind of association with this growth and scope,” Kuhn commented.
According to the CVA board president, the independent governance review was proposed to address a need to adapt the structure of the association. CVA, which was established in January of 2017, has seen a rapid growth and now has over 1,200 members, Oliver Bussmann noted.
“The CVA has recently consulted the association members regarding the governance review report. We will present the result and proposed changes in the General Assembly at the end of January 2019,” the official added.
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