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Bitcoin Foundation: Where did all the Money Go?
This week Charles Hoskinson posted a thoughtful post on the Bitcoin Foundation and his idea that an audit would help the organization break from the past. I'm happy to support an audit provided someone can lead it and do the work involved and/ or support the costs of one. I do remain skeptical of the value of an audit. We all know that a lot of money was wasted and lost - I detail the basics of the 2014 spending below -- it is unlikely worse than imagined as all the funds are essentially gone. I don't think much can be done about past mistakes, the people involved are no longer with the organization. Also this week, someone on an anti-Bitcoin sub posted this data from the 990 forms and was afraid it would be censored if posted on Bitcoin. I'm happy to post it for them, minus the color commentary and a couple of minor factual inaccuracies. They also implied that some people would want to not have this information brought to light. I'm more than glad to. I don't defend these financial decisions as I had nothing to do with them. I also had thought the 2014 990 form with this was posted once completed this summer. At that time we were going through a website and server change and I was also recovering from a car accident, so if it was posted it wasn't in the proper place. For not having the 990 form posted in the correct section a few months back , that's on me and I'm sorry. The bigger matter is the financials themselves. I don't defend these financials, I certainly don't apologize for them or attempt to justify them. I had nothing whatsoever to do with these decisions. As you can see the spending / loss was caused by: 1) a large drop in Bitcoin value costing millions of dollars - the peak foundation assets were calculated based on a Bitcoin price in the $800 range -- so, had they simply held those coins it would have seen the $6-7 million fall to $2 million or so 2) ridiculously wasteful and reckless spending 3) reasonable and legitimate expenses such as Gavin and dev salaries I have not been presented any evidence of any theft, criminal act or similar wrongdoing but would be happy to pay a bounty of at least 10% for anyone with information and evidence of any such act leading to recovery of any funds which were misappropriated or stolen. Those who imply that there is any wrongdoing at the foundation now or by those involved now should come forward with evidence or at least a solid and specific accusation. If presented with any such evidence I would work to have justice done. It seems strange that so many make an effort to tie those involved now to the sins of the past. This is the point of a turnaround; to take what an organization has and make it as useful as possible. Many people think that the change in management and new focus, combined with a new mission statement can help the organization to help Bitcoin more. I wish that the foundation hadn't had so many problems. I did think it was worthwhile to try to help the organization. Here are the finances: Salaries Gavin Andresen: $147k. Chief Scientist. Salary down from $209k (salary was higher in 2013 as it was pegged to BTCUSD) Jodie Brady: $141k. COO of the Foundation, who also served as CFO at CoinLab (Peter Vessenes' affiliate company). Jon Matonis: $137.5k through "THE HOLE OF ROY LLC". Salary up from $31k. Jon Matonis acted as Executive Director up to October 2014. Patrick Murck: $115k. Executive Director of the Foundation (as of November 2014). Salary up from $57k. Contractors: "LOCAL PRODUCER" was paid $790k to host Bitcoin 2014 in Amsterdam. Apple Fundraising Consultants were also paid $123k for activities related to the aforementioned conference. THEPOLICYCOUNCILCOM INC as the Foundation's 'Global Policy Counsel', paid $114k for about 9 months of work in 2014. And the breakdown of the functional expenses, oh, so many expenses: Office Expenses: $39k up from $8k in 2013. Information Technology: $158k up from $67k Travel: $159k up from $69k Occupancy: $18k up from $7k. Accounting: $50.5k up from $9.1k. Legal fees: $220k up from $161k. Other: $653k, consisting of: Professional services: $307k Public relations: $93k Executive Directory Compensation: $137.5k Professional event expenses: $115k Other salaries and wages: $471k up from $72k Revenues : Membership dues: $335k down from $358k Conference revenue: $584k up from $337k At the end of 2014 not much was left: $366k. 2015 The beginning of 2015 still had many expenses similar to the above. At the time I came aboard those costs reduced dramatically. There were still high outstanding legal and accounting bills as well as the bitnodes funding and Bitcoin.org funding and other previous obligations that were paid. Current spending is in the $8k / mo range Current expenses: Board salaries: $0 Executive Director salary: $0 All reimbursements for travel: in the range of $3000 - primarily for three speakers airfare and hotel (me, Gavin and Andreas) to DevCore, $600 in pizza for the attendees etc. Aside from one economy flight to DevCore and the hotel I have personally not been reimbursed for any travel. I have paid some costs from my own credit card for web hosting etc which were also reimbursed - this is also a small amount, perhaps in the $2000 range Current salaries include one part time bookkeeper and one almost full time ops director. I'd love any feedback about what the organization can do to break from the past. We could close, sure. I'm not convinced that is what's best for Bitcoin and 8/10 top voted candidates from the last four elections don't think that's what the members want. What else can an organization do to move forward? EDIT: BTW, here is the mission statement posted a couple weeks back by the new board - IMHO it's more productive to focus on this than the past https://github.com/BruceFenton/bitcoinfoundationplan
I am Francis Pouliot, full-time Bitcoin advocate and director at the Bitcoin Embassy. I'm running for a seat of the Bitcoin Foundation board. AMA
My name is Francis Pouliot and I am a full-time Bitcoin advocate, educator, and community organizer. You may have heard of me as Director of Public Affairs at the Bitcoin Embassy, the first physical space in the world dedicated to the promotion and development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Fellow Canadians will recognize me as the Chief Executive Officer at the Bitcoin Foundation Canada, a pan-Canadian membership-based advocacy group dedicated to ensuring a favorable environment for Canada's cryptocurrency ecosystem.
While I may not be a famous Bitcoin investor or entrepreneur, I consider myself a large stakeholder in Bitcoin since cryptocurrency (mostly Bitcoin) represents around 90% of my assets and is effectively my only source of income. I’m also a Bitcoin miner, integration consultation and certified Bitcoin professional with C4 (passed at 96%). The best decision of my life has been to re-orient my rapidly advancing and successful career as a policy analyst for free-market think tanks in order to dedicate myself full-time to being an active participant in the cryptocurrency revolution. I still remain to this day an active supporter of the libertarian movement through my involvement in various pro-liberty organizations - but I will never use the Foundation as a medium to promote my personal beliefs. My general assessment of the current state of the Bitcoin Foundation is that by pursuing too many goals, the Foundation has misallocated and mismanaged resources necessary to successfully fulfill the essential mandate of supporting technical development. It has not lived up to its potential and has disappointed many of its members, including myself. I truly believe in the Foundation’s mission to protect Bitcoin's technological infrastructure and that, in realizing this goal, it must remain an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem. I also believe that the only essential mission of the Bitcoin Foundation, that should take priority over all others, should become and always remain the protection and development of Bitcoin’s technological infrastructure. My platform With humility, I propose myself as to represent my fellow individual members on the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of directors. I have the skills, values, energy and time necessary to accomplish this task successfully. As CEO of the BFC, I have knowledge of the inner-workings of the Foundation and know exactly what its problems are and the best way to overcome them. On behalf of its Canadian members, I have attempted to act as a watchdog, being critical of its work and suggesting reforms directly to staff members. If I am elected, I pledge to continue this role on behalf of all individual members. I now ask for your support so that I may obtain the necessary powers to bring the Foundation to implement the following:
Technical development will become the Bitcoin Foundation’s only essential mission and main expenditure. Any other activities will be undertaken strictly with the rationale of obtaining resources and tools to protect and develop Bitcoin’s technological infrastructure. Resources dedicated to the training of core developers will increase and the Foundation will contribute financial and non-financial resources to other non-profit organizations involved in the development process.
Direct political lobbying will cease immediately. In doing so, the Foundation will greatly reduce resources spent on policy issues. No more internal staff members dedicated specifically to policy issues and no hiring of lobbyists in Washington. However, the Foundation will adopt an institutional policy position which strictly denounces any technology-specific regulation of Bitcoin or any form of barrier to entry whatsoever, even if such barriers to entry are being suggested by its corporate members.
Consumer adoption will not be a mandate of the Bitcoin Foundation and it will no longer attempt to produce educational material. It will instead support external Bitcoin education campaigns aimed at a global audience undertaken by other Bitcoin advocacy groups that have a track record of success by making available its non-financial resources such as intellectual capital, network, blog/website and public relations staff. If a void in such material is identified, it will provide small financial grants to other organizations for the production of such material. The decentralized nature of this approach is well aligned with the principles of cryptocurrency.
Expansion of the affiliate program will cease immediately and, after consultation with existing affiliate chapters, the Foundation will study the possibility of re-structuring the program from the current centralized “franchise-model” to a decentralized “partnership model”. It will continue to provide non-financial resources to local Bitcoin advocacy groups and may provide financial resources to local groups engaged in development of Bitcoin-related open-source software, including but not limited to Bitcoin Core.
Broad budget orientations and financial statements will be made available to the members and, by extension, to the general public. Such statements should at minimum include program expenses, administration expenses and fundraising expenses. The amount spent on technical development relative to all other expenses should also be transparent.
Community support and public perception will be increased not by traditional “marketing strategies” but rather with good old fashioned regular communications from Board members following meetings and from staff.
Standardization efforts will continue regarding the currency code and symbol.
Switch from a “top-down/corporate” to a “bottom-up/grassroots” organizational model. This is something that, I believe, Patrick Murck has already started. Broadly speaking, this means reducing the bureaucracy and relying more on membership and volunteers. The Foundation should act more as a coordination platform / forum rather than a government agency.
I will personally assume the unofficial role of watchdog, reporting to members my concerns over the management of the Foundation and personally receiving complaints directly. I will bring such complaints to the attention of the Board.
After having discussed with Patrick Murck, I believe that he is the most capable Executive Director that the Foundation could have at the moment. I also believe that we share the same broad vision as to where the Foundation should be heading and as your representative I will support him in his undertaking to bring the Foundation back to its roots. Nature and role of the Bitcoin Foundation – some thoughts (On this point I particularly oppose candidates Cody Wilson, Olivier Janseen and Colin Gallagher) The Bitcoin Foundations, as a private organization, is a platform through which individual and corporate members can voluntarily coordinate and implement their common interests. It does not, nor should it attempt to or claim to, represent the entire Bitcoin community. Although it provides a public service, it is only accountable to its members. That being said, there is no doubt that the (uninformed) general public’s perception of the Foundation will taint its perception of the entire Bitcoin community by proxy. In addition, the Foundation’s technical team has a large influence on the development process and its actions will have an effect on the entire Bitcoin community, whether they are members of the Foundation or not. As such, the Foundation has moral responsibilities that other private membership-based organizations do not and should act with this specificity in mind. The Bitcoin community and ecosystem are extremely diverse. In my opinion, there is only one common interest amongst all members of our community: the continued existence and expansion of a healthy technical development process which will ensure the continued decentralization and scalability of the Bitcoin network. I believe that this is also true within the Bitcoin Foundation membership. I think the idea that the existence of a “centralized institution” such as the Foundation is contradictory with the decentralized nature of Bitcoin is beyond ridiculous. Nor is it contradictory with the crypto-decentralization movement to which I personally identify myself with. In fact, there can be no decentralization movement if individuals and corporations do not coordinate their interests via some form of organization. While it is certainly likely that such associations and organizations will eventually take the form of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations, I do not believe the necessary technology has been developed to a degree which makes this option a logical choice for the Foundation (and probably won’t for the next couple of years). Let’s be clear: the Bitcoin Foundation should never, under any circumstance, attempt to impose any agenda or barrier to entry whatsoever on members and non-members alike via the coercive power of government. Also, the Bitcoin Foundation should not attempt to assert a monopoly over the technical development process. I am extremely happy to see private corporations such as Blockstream and Bitpay contribute to this process, and am even happier to see that individuals are still contributing their time on a voluntary basis. However, I think a large part of development should be undertaken by non-profit organizations in order to ensure some form of neutrality. Final thoughts – regulation
My views on cryptocurrency regulation
As a libertarian, I am naturally against regulation. I do not intend to idly stand by while arbitrary decrees are imposed upon us, and, as such, I believe that stakeholders such as individuals, private corporations or local Bitcoin advocacy groups should actively engage government officials and regulators to ensure that no discriminatory regulation or legislation concerning Bitcoin occurs. Under no circumstance should technology-specific regulation such as the BitLicenses be tolerated. Moreover, government decrees that are in effect discriminatory (such as the “double taxation” of bitcoins via sales taxes) should be fiercely opposed. Innovation does not require permission. However, as we lobby for government not to discriminate against Bitcoin, we must also realize that Bitcoin does not and should not operate in a legal vacuum. Bitcoin business models that mimic legacy business models (such as currency exchanges) should be regulated in the same way as their fiat counterparts. For example, a Bitcoin exchange should comply to financial regulation in the same way as a fiat exchange. If we demand not to be discriminated against, we must also acknowledge that we can’t have special treatment just because we do not believe in the validity of the laws that apply to us. I do realize that compliance requirements of the legacy fiat financial industry are often outdated and that the cryptocurrency ecosystem will come up with its own innovative solutions for KYC/AML. These solutions are to be encouraged and, ideally, they will become the standard not only for cryptocurrency businesses but for the entire financial industry. Bitcoin is like an economic trojan horse – if we really want the cryptocurrency revolution to happen, it is crucially important that there be an economic infrastructure with exchanges, payment processors, brokers, financial products, etc. This is the key to mainstream user adoption and this will only occur if we play by the rules. Government can’t stop Bitcoin but it can certainly greatly slow down progress by enforcing its power on the individuals and corporations that compose the Bitcoin economic ecosystem, something even the most anarchic members of the community should realize.
Why I think the Bitcoin Foundation should not be engaged in lobbying
(On this point I particularly oppose candidate Jim Harper) It seems to me that the Foundation has an “identity crisis” because its mandate is simply too broad. It cannot be at the same time a “Linux Foundation-style” organization and a lobby group such as the Digital Chamber of Commerce or think tank such as Coin Center. Because it has given itself too many goals, each goal has been inefficiently carried out. The Foundation’s involvement in lobbying has considerably contributed to its negative perception by the community, which means less membership and less revenue. This means that there are fewer and fewer financial resources available for technical development. I believe that retreating from active political lobbying may reverse this trend. The main reason is strictly based on pragmatism and resource allocation. There are various groups all over the world, including in the United States, who are actively involved in the fight against discriminatory or excessive Bitcoin regulation. The void that the Bitcoin Foundation had attempted to fill when it initially got into lobbying clearly does not exist anymore. However, there are no other non-profit organization involved in supporting technical development, so that in that area there is a very real void. Finally, policy is inherently local and jurisdictional while the Foundation aims to be a global organization. I don’t think non-US members appreciate that their contributions are being spent on lobbying in Washington while the Foundation does nothing to prevent their own governments from obstructing the progress of Bitcoin. 10 reasons you should vote for me
I have experience in managing Bitcoin-related non-profit organizations.
I have a proven track record as a Bitcoin advocate and community organizer.
I have time to fulfill my mandate and enjoy the full support of my employer the Bitcoin Embassy.
I am energetic and passionate.
I already have knowledge of the inner-workings of the Foundation and have a clear vision for the future.
I have no investment in any Bitcoin corporation thus no conflict of interest. 85% of my assets are bitcoins – it is in my self-interest to ensure Bitcoin’s success.
I am a good public speaker and present myself well in front of the media.
I genuinely believe in the Bitcoin Foundation’s mission and I truly wish its success.
I have never been involved in any scandal or controversy whatsoever.
You can reach me at [email protected] or at 1 855 922-3622. I'll be answering all day, at least until 6 PM EST, or however long this stays on the front page!
Happy New Year: Presenting the long overdue Bitcoin Foundation 2014 financial results!
Hi, Today we continue our coverage of the glorious Bitcoin Foundation by assisting them with their own transparency goals. Just like any tax-exempt non-profit the Foundation has to file Form 990 annually, and so they did on 2015-07-23. The website with transparency goals actually previously stated "2014 will become available once filed in the spring of 2015". Par for the course Bruce 'FENTON!' Fenton figured he may as well hide it after realizing the return may reflect poorly on the Foundation. Luckily our shills over at the Foundation Center are kind enough to provide us with a copy. Bear in mind this is the fiscal year dated 01-01-2014 ending 12-31-2014, the year Bitcoin took a massive hit. For context; the Bitcoin Foundation has one primary asset: BTC-coins. At the beginning of the year BTC-coins were still worth quite a bit (some $800), while shortly into the year they traded slightly closer to fair-value (ending the year at $316). Perhaps you would expect the Foundation to curb expenses, however that goes against the libertarian school of thought (fuck you, got mine!). Now on to the good stuff, here's how our favorite group of libertarians spent the majority of donated funbux in one year, knowing the Foundation's assets were depleting rapidly. As Reddit is known for bullshit doxxing rules we'll stick to what is written on the return, which is very much open to public inspection. Now, without further ado; As we discovered in 2013 the Foundation's primary goal is rewarding their board of directors & officers, as we all know they work very hard:
Gavin Andresen: $147k. Head scientist. Salary down from $209k (salary was higher in 2013 as it was pegged to BTCUSD)
Jodie Brady: $141k. COO of the Foundation, while also serving as CFO at CoinLab (Peter Vessenes' chop shop). Two full time jobs?
Jon Matonis: Still hiding his pay nicely under VII Section A, regardless he did pull $137.5k through "THE HOLE OF ROY LLC". Salary up from $31k. Jon acted as CEO up to October 2014.
Patrick Murck: $115k. CEO of the Foundation (as of November 2014). Salary up from $57k.
And there are some contractors:
"LOCAL PRODUCER" was paid $790k to host Bitcoin 2014 in Amsterdam. This for-profit 'company' is owned by a person who at the time had a board seat at the Dutch "Bitcoin Stichting" (non-profit advocate group).
Apple Fundraising Consultants were also paid $123k for activities related to the aforementioned conference.
THEPOLICYCOUNCILCOM INC is in fact the Foundation's 'Global Policy Counsel', paid $114k for about 9 months of work in 2014. In a press release from the Foundation on the 15th of December you'll read that (Global Policy Counsel) has bailed, Bobby Lee adds "(Global Policy Counsel) and Olivier served as volunteers and we appreciate their time and work". Odd way of volunteering.
And the breakdown of the functional expenses, oh, so many expenses:
Office Expenses: $39k up from $8k in 2013.
Information Technology: $158k up from $67k (?!).
Travel: $159k up from $69k (?!).
Occupancy: $18k up from $7k.
Accounting: $50.5k up from $9.1k. Really, for preparing a 990?
Legal fees: $220k up from $161k.
Other: $653k, consisting of:
Professional services: $307k
Public relations: $93k
Executive Directory Compensation: $137.5k (this probably is Matonis as mentioned above)
Professional event expenses: $115k
Other salaries and wages: $471k up from $72k (this includes coders, assistants, Mark Karpeles' cat, etc.)
The revenues improved a lot of course, as you would expect with the increased expenses:
Membership dues: $335k down from $358k
Conference revenue: $584k up from $337k
At the end of 2014 not much was left: $366k. Of course some membership fees were coming in early 2015 which allowed the board to continue their rampage a little longer. In the board meeting minutes of 7-21 you can read that the party is over ($59k left) and expenses have been cut to $14k/month. Meeting minutes of October show "Brock says that it looks like things were going well from a revenue standpoint until February and we've lost the remaining cash since then" (LOL). Desperation strikes near the end of the meeting with Bruce 'FENTON!' Fenton asking all participants to individually raise $10k before the next board meeting. Olivier Janssens doubts this is possible, and also states he isn't happy that financials haven't been published yet. Well now they are. In fairness to the Foundation there have been some roster changes and most (if not all) people mentioned above are no longer involved. Which may or may not have something to do with that fact they could no longer get paid by the Foundation (kidding, of course it has everything to do with that). tl;dr Libertarians are bad at managing finances.
The top ten movers and shakers from Inside Bitcoins in Vegas.
1) Bobby Lee: CEO of BTC China (now the largest bitcoin exchange in the world), Bobby gave a presentation on Bitcoin in China, perhaps the most important panel of the entire conference. He clarified what last week's Chinese government announcement meant for the future of Bitcoin as both a regulated investment and payment system in China. As an investment, it has been given the green light for now, which is important. But as a payment system, it is banned outright, which is very bad news...mostly for China. 2) Charlie Lee: All you need to know about Charlie, a Coinbase executive and creator of LiteCoin, is that he is the understated, non-anonymous founder of the leading alternative currency to Bitcoin. Which naturally meant that people were literally lining up to take pictures with him. Though he was taken by surprise, he smiled for every single one. Upon seeing this, I asked him to sign my chest, but unfortunately he thought I was kidding. He and his brother are as nice and humble as people say they are. I was disappointed that there wasn't a panel on "alt-currencies" with him and the founders of some of the other cryptos. 1a, 2a) "BitDad" (Bobby & Charlie's father): The Lees brought their father to Vegas, where he was affectionately referred to as BitDad for producing two of the industries most important pioneers. 3) Patrick Murck: Head of the Bitcoin Foundation, the industry's leading advocacy group, Murck just testified before the Senate re Bitcoin's potential. All week, I pitched the idea of insuring Bitcoin deposits to other attendees and received overwhelmingly positive reception. But when Murck told me "this needs to happen," I had to double back to my room to change my boxers. 4) David Johnston & Michael Terpin: These two are co-founders of BitAngels, the industry's leading Bitcoin investor network. That alone makes them important. But they are more than just Bitcoin enthusiasts, and BitAngels is about more than just money. Johnston and Terpin have built an entrepreneurial network that turns ideas into companies by syncing likeminded, specialized teammates with the appropriate engineering, finance, and/or legal complements to form a solid founding team. 5) Robert Cho: Today, if you are an investor that wants to own Bitcoin, but prefer to avoid direct investment in digital currency (like many less tech-savvy investors), the only game in town is SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust, which already raised over $65 million from accredited investors. Cho is the VP responsible for the trust, and has blazed the path for other Wall Streeters to follow in SecondMarket's footsteps. In fact, one major US hedge fund plans to announce a Bitcoin position in the next several weeks. (A long position, of course.) 6) Paige Freeman: My conversation with Paige was short and sweet, but she definitely deserves mention because of how quickly her team at BitPay is on-boarding new merchants. (She's VP of Sales.) They now have over 15,000 merchants on their platform and recently announced that they passed the $100mm transaction processing milestone. Bitcoin investments rely on underlying value in the payment system and $100mm is a big number. It shows people are doing more than mere speculating. 7) Vinny Lingham: I wish I had had more time to speak with Vinny. As the merchant complement to BitPay, his company Gyft, a mobile gift card company, is extremely valuable to the Bitcoin community. Very few major merchants accept Bitcoin today, but you can buy Gyft cards with Bitcoin. And those can be spent at retailers like Amazon, Target, Nike, etc. Ergo... 8) Brock Pierce: I am surprised that some enterprising attendee didn't go out and have "Brock Pierce 2016" t-shirts printed after his panel to wrap up Day 1 of the conference. Two of his best quotes, which were border-line shouted into the microphone because he was so excited: "Professional investors that invest in the currency as if it is an index fund have a moral obligation to invest in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Otherwise, the infrastructure won't get built." "Bitcoin will be the biggest area of VC investment in 2014. Just like VCs asked: "What is our social media strategy?" during the early Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter years, I guarantee you they asked: "What is our Bitcoin strategy?" at partner meetings after Jim Breyer's investment in Circle." Also, in case Brock's name sounds familiar, it's because you may remember him as the kid who played a young Emilio Estevez in the Mighty Duck movies. 9) Andreas Antonopoulos: The probable VP on Brock's Bitcoin Presidential ticket. He's too "fire-and-brimstone" to be at the top, but holy shit could he fire up the Bitcoin base. Andreas is a writer, speaker and Bitcoin entrepreneur. He was asked to respond to bankers and politicians who questioned whether Bitcoin was "legitimate" and delivered an exasperated soliloquy on the audacity of our "morally bankrupt, corrupt and illegitimate banks and governments" passing such judgment on Bitcoin. I think the crowd nearly gave him a standing ovation when he wrapped up. Follow him on twitter to spice up your feed. @aantonop 10) Stewart Quealy: Media Bistro did a phenomenal job with the conference, and much of the credit goes to Stewart, the primary organizer and emcee for the entire conference. Great guy, and you should look forward to meeting him at future events. Agree disagree with this list? Let me know who I missed. @twobitidiot; (You can also subscribe to my Daily Bit by emailing [email protected] best post to date was the now-prophetic thesis on how Coinbase was a $BN company)
Yep, I remember witcoin and actually use it way back in the day. It was never super popular, but the core idea was there. I had an idea for a different way to do this that would help with spam. Rather than actually spend money on upvoting, it could be based on simply proving that you have a certain amount of bitcoins buried in a certain number of blocks. That way you don't have to pay to upvote, but at the same time, it is not "free" exactly. Only people who actually have, say, at least 0.1 bitcoin buried under a bunch of blocks would be able to upvote. You couldn't create 1000 spam accounts for upvoting without locking up 100 bitcoins.
If we tried to cram a long-winded explanation in a single blog post I think it would tire everyone out. We'll have regular updates over the coming months. Please subscribe to the subreddit if you want to follow: /redditnotes
Every “reasonable” investor will tell you not to hold more bitcoins than you can afford to lose, since bitcoin is a risky gamble that may mysteriously and magically become worthless at any moment. Unfortunately this popular myth this is completely wrong, and it terrifies people about bitcoin for no good reason—even coming from the mouths of famous bitcoiners like Patrick Murck and Gavin Andresen. First of all, it is unlikely that bitcoin will become worthless, thanks to the forces that monetize bitcoin. These forces are, 1) The unique featureset of bitcoin, which provides a base value upon which bitcoin can grow. 2) The network effect, which encourages users of bitcoin to proselytize for bitcoin, increasing demand further. 3) The first-mover advantage, which makes it unlikely any competitors will catch up with or overtake bitcoin. 4) The rational self-interest of bitcoiners, which in the event of any problems, ensures that these problems will be quickly fixed. Instead of dropping to zero, bitcoin will probably continue to increase in value as more and more people adopt it, increasing demand, while the supply continues to remain limited.
Hey friends, reddit cryptocurrency engineer here. The post is deliberately vague about technology and legal. For one, we're holding back on committing to a particular technology just because the bitcoin world changes very fast, and we want to make sure we pick the right choice. However, almost certainly it will be either colored coins or sidechains. Legally, we originally announced we're issuing a "cryptocurrency" that will be "backed" by reddit shares. Issuing such a thing would be illegal since we are not a public company. We have mostly figured out a legal strategy that allows us to give something of actual value to the community, but we are not ready at this moment to announce it. This post was simply to update the community on our progress (i.e., it is called reddit notes), and to show you the subreddit you can follow to stay up-to-date if you wish: /redditnotes
When I think about things on my own, I often find myself arriving at conclusions that are outside the mainstream. And whenever this happens, explaining my thoughts to people seems fruitless, because 1) people are not very rational and do not respond well to rational arguments, and 2) even if they did respond to rational arguments, my arguments often have to be very long to unwind their misinformation and thus I do not have enough time to make my arguments. However, I’ve found that there is tremendous value in making arguments anyway, even though I seem to never convince anyone of anything. It helps me derive implications I may not have otherwise have thought of, correct mistakes I may not have otherwise realized I was making, and sometimes other people give me valuable feedback even if I didn’t change their mind about anything.
But the government is intrinsically violent (it has a monopoly on force which it uses only sometimes for moral reasons but mostly to retain its own power, manipulate people, and skim something off the top of economic activity) and funded by theft (taxes, which people are forced to pay, are indistinguishable from theft, and therefore are theft). If people merely follow the implications of their own morality, they will see that anarchy is the only moral choice.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network - New Regulations for BTC Exchanges
I thought this belonged here. Copied and Pasted from Wikipedia. This could be the easiest way for regulators to begin to crack the anonymity. March 18, 2013 TL:DR - In summary, FinCEN's decision would require Bitcoin exchanges where bitcoins are traded for traditional currencies to disclose large transactions and suspicious activity, comply with money laundering regulations, and collect information about their customers as traditional financial institutions are required to do. -Actual Wikipedia Article- On 18 March 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, issued a report regarding centralized and decentralized "virtual currencies" and their legal status within "money services business" (MSB) and Bank Secrecy Act regulations. It classified digital currencies and other digital payment systems such as bitcoin as "virtual currencies" because they are not legal tender under any sovereign jurisdiction. FinCEN cleared American users of bitcoin of legal obligations by saying, "A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations." However, it held that American entities who generate "virtual currency" such as bitcoins are money transmitters or MSBs if they sell their generated currency for national currency: "...a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter." This specifically extends to "miners" of the bitcoin network who may have to register as an MSB and abide by the respective requirements of being a money transmitter if they sell their generated bitcoins for national currency and are within the United States. Additionally, FinCEN claimed regulation over American entities that manage bitcoins in a payment processor setting or as an exchanger: "In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency." In summary, FinCEN's decision would require Bitcoin exchanges where bitcoins are traded for traditional currencies to disclose large transactions and suspicious activity, comply with money laundering regulations, and collect information about their customers as traditional financial institutions are required to do. Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation criticized FinCEN's testament as an "overreach" and claimed that FinCEN "cannot rely on this guidance in any enforcement action".
Entidades Reguladoras Veem Valor No Bitcoin, E Investidores Se Apressam Em Concordar.
BY NATHANIEL POPPER A moeda virtual bitcoin deu um grande passo em direção a sua popularização nesta segunda-feira quando as autoridades federais sinalizaram sua disposição de aceitá-la como uma alternativa de pagamento legítimo. Um número de funcionários federais disse em uma audiência no Senado que essas redes financeiras ofereceram benefícios reais para o sistema financeiro, assim como eles reconheceram que as novas formas de dinheiro digitais haviam fornecido caminhos para a lavagem de dinheiro e atividades ilegais. "Há muitas oportunidades para as moedas digitais operarem dentro das leis e regulamentos existentes", disse Edward Lowery, um agente especial do Serviço Secreto, que é encarregado de proteger a integridade do dólar. Sinais de que o governo não iria se colocar no caminho do desenvolvimento do bitcoin, mesmo que ele venha reprimindo as redes criminosas que usam o dinheiro digital, alimentou uma forte recuperação no preço do cripto-moeda. Na segunda-feira à noite, o valor de uma unidade de bitcoin explodiu ultrapassando 700 dólares em algumas trocas. Esse excepcional montante de bitcoins - que é criado por uma rede de usuários que resolvem problemas matemáticos complexos - agora vale mais de US $ 7 bilhões. A audiência do Senado nesta segunda-feira à tarde, foi uma indicação mais clara do desejo do governo de lidar com as consequências deste crescimento, e o reconhecimento de que o bitcoin e outras redes semelhantes podem se tornar peças mais duradouras e importantes do cenário financeiro. Video: http://www.nytimes.com/video/business/100000002167289/bitcoin-has-real-world-investors.html "A decisão de trazer a moeda virtual dentro do escopo do nosso quadro regulamentar deve ser visto por aqueles que respeitam e obedecem aos fundamentos básicos da lei como um desenvolvimento positivo para o setor", disse Jennifer Shasky Calvery, o diretor do Departamento de Execução de Crimes Financeiros do Tesouro. "Ele reconhece a inovação que moedas virtuais fornecem, e os benefícios que elas podem oferecer." Ms. Shasky Calvery e os outros funcionários na audiência disseram que ainda havia questões básicas a serem respondidas sobre moedas virtuais, incluindo se elas realmente podem ser consideradas moedas ou se são mais corretamente classificados como bens ou valores mobiliários. A distinção vai determinar quais agências regularam as redes e como elas serão tratadas sob a lei fiscal. Ms. Shasky Calvery disse que a Receita Federal estava "trabalhando ativamente" em suas próprias regras para o bitcoin. A audiência seguiu outras medidas menos visíveis tomadas pelos reguladores e legisladores para trazer o dinheiro digital ao mainstream monetário. O principal regulador financeiro do Estado de Nova York, Benjamin M. Lawsky, disse na semana passada que ele iria realizar uma audiência para considerar a criação de um BitLicense para fornecer mais fiscalização para as transações. Mais cedo, a Comissão Federal Eleitoral expôs um aviso indicando que bitcoin pode ser legalmente aceitos como doações políticas. O conselheiro geral da Fundação Bitcoin, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que defende a moeda, disse em seu depoimento na segunda-feira que ele estava recebendo uma resposta muito mais amigável do governo e do setor financeiro. "Nós recentemente percebemos uma melhora acentuada no tom e ênfase tomada por ambos os funcionários do Estado e executivos de banco", disse o conselheiro-geral, Patrick Murck, disse. Bitcoin tem experimentado uma ascensão notável desde que foi criado em 2009 por um programador anônimo ou coletivo conhecido como Satoshi Nakamoto. O dinheiro, que não está vinculado a qualquer moeda nacional, tem sido popular com tecnófilos que são céticos dos bancos centrais do mundo. Apenas uma quantidade finita de bitcoin será criada - 21 milhões de unidades. Os usuários alavancaram os preços pelas casas de câmbio pela Internet, apostando que a moeda será mais amplamente utilizada no futuro. Há questões importantes sobre a sabedoria de usar o dinheiro digital como um investimento, uma vez que bitcoin não possui valor intrínseco e provou ser vulnerável a hackers. Muitos gestores de fundos têm recomendado aos investidores inexperientes para permanecerem longe. Recentemente, porém, o bitcoin tem pegando fogo em todo o mundo, com trocas na China particularmente ativas. Um número crescente de investidores americanos proeminentes também compraram participações, incluindo Michael Novogratz, diretor da gigante Fortress Investment Group¹, assim como os gêmeos Winklevoss, Cameron e Tyler. A participação cada vez mais generalizada do bitcoin deslocou a atenção para longe dos empreendimentos criminosos que usaram o dinheiro digital, mas era um foco na audiência do Senado. No mês passado, o mercado on-line Silk Road, onde o Bitcoin é a principal forma de pagamento, foi fechado e seu fundador preso depois que as autoridades o acusaram de ser usado para comprar e vender drogas, armas e pornografia. O presidente da comissão do Senado, Thomas R. Carper, democrata de Delaware, disse que poucos dias depois da prisão, um site semelhante surgiu. "Pode ser mais difícil de rastrear os criminosos que usam o Bitcoin", policiais disseram na audiência, "porque operam através das fronteiras internacionais e muitas vezes não usam instituições financeiras estabelecidas que reportem as transações”. Mas Mythili Raman, um procurador-geral adjunto do Departamento de Justiça, também disse que, porque cada transação de bitcoin era gravada em um registro público, foi possível aos investigadores rastrear a movimentação de dinheiro entre contas. "Não é, de fato, anônimo. Não está imune a investigação", disse Raman. Todos os funcionários na audiência disseram que crimes tinham sido um problema durante os primeiros dias de cartões de crédito e sistemas de pagamento online como o PayPal, e não deve ser uma razão para limitar a inovação. "É nosso dever, como aplicadores da lei de permanecermos vigilantes, reconhecendo que há muitos usuários legítimos desses serviços", disse Raman. Os defensores do bitcoin que testemunharam na audiência disseram que o bitcoin pode trazer grandes mudanças para o sistema financeiro por cortar os intermediários necessários para movimentar o dinheiro em todo o mundo. "Estou aqui para testemunhar porque eu acredito que a moeda digital global representa uma das inovações técnicas e econômicas mais importantes do nosso tempo", disse Jeremy Allaire, presidente-executivo do Círculo Internet Financial, que está tentando promover uma utilização mais difundida da moeda. Dado o apelo do bitcoin aos céticos do governo, muitos aficionados têm sido cautelosos com envolvimento de Washington. Mas os defensores na audiência disseram que a crescente cooperação com as entidades reguladoras poderiam lançar as bases para um maior crescimento. "À medida que essa tecnologia se desloca de pioneiros para a aceitação popular, é fundamental em minha opinião, que os governos federais e estaduais estabeleçam políticas em torno da moeda digital", disse Allaire. ¹http://dealbook.on.nytimes.com/public/overview?symbol=FIG&inline=nyt-org Traduzido por Sarah Alexandre Uma versão desse artigo aparece na impressão de 19/11/2013, na página B1 da edição do NewYork com o título: “Regulators See Value in Bitcoin, And Investors Hasten to Agree” Texto original em: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/regulators-see-value-in-bitcoin-and-investors-hasten-to-agree/?_r=0
The Bitcoin Foundation, started in 2012, has three stated goals. Standardize, Protect and Promote. Recently appointed Executive Director, Patrick Murck, outlined his goals for the foundation moving forward: Focus the Foundation around technical standards and the Bitcoin Core reference implementat... Tracking Bitcoin news and the incredible adoption of Bitcoins! Tag Archives: Patrick Murck. Senate Committee Listens to Bitcoin Experts, Expresses Open-Mindedness. November 18, 2013 News. Like this? Share it. Expert Witnesses Ask Government to Enable Innovation. Today, a select group of U.S. officials and expert witnesses convened in Washington to discuss the current challenges facing law ... Patrick Murck was appointed as Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation at the start of November. Murck started his tenure stating his aim to be, “authentic in how we interact with the ... Jerry Brito – Mr. Bitcoin goes to Washington: Jerry Brito (@JerryBrito)’s post on The Technology Liberation Front blog describes today’s “Virtual Economy” conference in Four months into his role as executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Patrick Murck believes the organization has turned a corner.In a letter to CCN.com, Murck said the Foundation can meet its mission of promoting research and development of Bitcoin Core and advance the development of an open and participatory digital economy.. He noted the Foundation was in a weak financial position when ...
DevCore Boston 2015 l Mastering Bitcoin l Andreas M. Antonopoulos
Patrick Murck (Chief Legal Officer, Transparent System), Neha Narula (Director, MIT DCI), and Lindsay Lin (Counsel, Stellar Development Foundation) participate in a panel discussion moderated by ... Senate Hearing on Digital Currencies - Bitcoin - November 18, 2013 - Round 1, Part 2 Benjamin Michael Brown. Loading... Unsubscribe from Benjamin Michael Brown? Cancel Unsubscribe. Working ... 2:00 pm Bitcoin & Standards – Joshua McDougall, Patrick Murck, Michael Perklin 2:45 pm Quick Hacks - How to Build Developer APIs on the Block Chain – Cory Fields, Kevin Houk, Tim Lee Panel session: regulatory and legal challenges Constance Choi, General Counsel, Payward, Patrick Murck, General Counsel, Bitcoin Foundation, Brian Klein, Baker Marquart LLP Moderated by Marco ... 2:00 pm Bitcoin & Standards – Joshua McDougall, Patrick Murck, Michael Perklin 2:45 pm Quick Hacks - How to Build Developer APIs on the Block Chain – Cory Fields, Kevin Houk, Tim Lee 3:50 pm ...