Bitcoin Foundation Board Election: Does it Matter? - Coin ...
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Remember - you can submit pull requests to The Bitcoin Foundation's bylaws
As I was reminded in the Amsterdam conference, anybody can submit issues and pull requests on the Foundation's bylaws. These are reviewed and discussed at each board meeting. I submitted today one pull request and one issue:
Feel free to discuss, and submit issues of your own, if you want your voice to be heard. This way, if they do not reply, at least it's documented (and they did say they discuss all new issues at each board meetings). Another one - Chapter agreements should be made public
NOTE TO THE PRESS: The Bitcoin Foundation does not represent Bitcoin in any way. It has historically hired some Bitcoin developers, lobbyists and organized a conference. Dear Members, I was elected on a platform of transparency and decentralization of core development. Since the beginning, the Foundation has been sorely lacking any transparency of its actions. I can no longer in good conscience hide the truth on what I have witnessed in the Bitcoin Foundation since I was elected last month. First of all, the Bitcoin Foundation is effectively bankrupt. As a result of 2 years of ridiculous spending and poorly thought out decisions, they almost ran out of money in November of last year. In extremis, but way too late, they decided to select a new executive director during that time. That new director decided that the only way to still get funds at that point, was to focus solely on funding core development, in the hope that people would see that as a good cause. But people were smart enough not to trust the Foundation anymore. Despite it’s intentions, they failed to collect the necessary funds to support this idea. With the election in February-March, it became clear that people did not want the Foundation meddling with core development. The truth is that the Foundation’s plan was to hire even more core devs + to start a Bitcoin Standards Body. No organization should have this much control over Bitcoin, and a disaster was avoided. When I joined on my first Board meeting, Jim Harper and myself immediately put forward a vote to have the board meeting recorded. We followed Robert’s rules of orders, and everyone else basically shut us down and failed to follow procedures. There were “more urgent” things to discuss (as you will see later, the urgent pattern was an excuse to just continue on their course and shut us up). It was critical for us to vote on a plan that would save the Foundation. When I mentioned that such a critical vote is all the more reason to make sure the whole meeting gets recorded, I was ignored. The Bitcoin Foundation hates transparency. If they would have been transparent then everyone would know there is no money left. Something I think the members have a right to know, wouldn’t you think? Members have a right to know that the current board failed to tell them the truth, and that their way of running the organization resulted in it going bankrupt. But instead of taking responsibility, they want to find the next executive director, that will come up with another magic plan. Ironically, being transparent from the start might have prevented this whole thing to begin with. Everyone has the right to know the truth:
The Foundation has almost no money left, and just fired 90% of its people. Some will stay on as volunteers.
Core dev can no longer be funded by it, and Patrick Murck is trying to re-create a new Foundation just for core dev, because the current name is tarnished. Do not fall for this.
The current Executive Director (Patrick Murck), will be gone in 2 weeks, and they are trying to find the next person to blame everything on.
Jim Harper was threatened for doing a press release which was (barely) critical of the Foundation after he got elected. The Foundation tries to make sure we hide the truth by subtly threatening us on a regular basis.
If I get asked to leave the Foundation for telling the truth, so be it. The truth is being told.
A special trust fund is being created and I will donate several 100k to pre-pay Gavin’s, Wladimirs and some other core devs wage for the next year (if they choose to accept). The control of this trust fund will be handed over to the core devs, who can decide who can join it. Alternatively, we can give voting power to everyone who puts money in it (pro-rata). I will also organize crowdfunds and help make this fund public. At no point do I want to have any control whatsoever.
It is up to the members of the Bitcoin Foundation to decide what they want to do now. The bylaws allow for a special board meeting to be called by 15% of members. I would recommend you to do so and ask for all information to be released so you can learn the truth. Additionally I would recommend for you to replace the whole board if you want this organization to last. Alternatively you can vote to shut it down and get your money back. There might not be enough money left in the Foundation to pay its members back, but I will personally try to help make up the difference, even though I have not been part of it.
The lesson for all of us in Bitcoin is to never put any trust in a centralized org again that wanted to represent Bitcoin or the Core Development of Bitcoin. Note: I totally expect the current Board members to try to place blame on me for whatever reason. They are very bad at taking personal responsibility. I have had several threats, but I'm releasing this anyway. Olivier Link to Bitcoin forum post: https://bitcoinfoundation.org/forum/index.php?/topic/1284-the-truth-about-the-bitcoin-foundation/
On the Separation of Assets – The Financial Cost of the BSA/LDS Split
This is a follow up report on a report made on May 10, 2018 entitled “A Mormon Divorce – The Ending of a Boy Scout Era by the Numbers”. “Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand." ~ Shinichi Suzuki Overview (tl;dr): On paper, neither the BSA nor the LDS Church should walk away from this split without losing substantial financial assets on both sides; however, further analysis suggests both entities have sufficient war-chests to remain in a strong financial position post-separation:
The BSA gets the better part of this deal depending on a number of factors, not least of which includes a surprising increase in membership dues collected post-separation and first dibs to all assets belonging to the dissolved Utah councils – an estimated $50,619,729 depending on how things are actually split up between the BSA and LDS. The BSA will lose out on $220,116/yr in National Service Fees if the three councils dissolve, and continues to struggle in its 10 year decline in magazine sales. Overall contributions and BSA equipment/uniform sales show solid gains, and this combine with total assets of $1,471,984,000 in 2016 leaves the BSA in a strong position to move forward in its mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
The LDS leave behind an estimated $50,619,729 in Boy Scout camps, buildings, and other assets to the BSA in just the act of dissolving three of the five existing Utah BSA Councils. This figure does not take into account the amount of funds the LDS Church as a whole and Mormon families individually have invested in other Local BSA Councils across the nation. This figure also does not take into account the untold tens of millions of dollars it will cost the LDS to replicate youth organization on the same level as the BSA. With this said, the LDS Church collects $8 Billion in tithing each year – $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
Funds to support the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America come from registration fees, local council service fees, investment income, Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines, sale of uniforms and equipment, and contributions from individuals. These monies help to deliver the program of the BSA (through four regional service centers and more than 300 local councils) to chartered organizations that use the Scouting program to meet the needs of their youth.
Lets break down each of these funding sources: Registration Fees On paper, this is the scariest loss of funding for the BSA National Organization. The BSA membership fee as of Dec. 1, 2017 was $33 a year for both youth AND adults. With 470,000 Mormon youth exiting the BSA in 2019-2020, the BSA National Organization is looking at losing $15,510,000/yr in membership dues – essentially eclipsing the LDS $50 million loss in just four years. However, this $15 million figure is misleading for three reasons. (1) It doesn’t account for registered Mormon adults in each Troop who also pay the $33 membership fee; (2) As covered in depth in a prior article and detailed further below, LDS Troops receive a discounted rate on their membership dues; (3) The membership fee was RAISED from $24/scout in 2014 to $33/scout in 2017 by the BSA National Organization in response to an anticipated departure by the LDS Church. So let’s look at these calculations again in 2014 to 2019 terms: 2014 = ($24 Membership Fee)x(2,419,000 Mormon and non-Mormon Scouts) = $58,056,000 per year in Membership Fees 2019 = ($33 Membership Fee)x(1,871,000 non-Mormon Scouts) = $61,743,000.00 per year in Membership Fees In the worst case scenario, where (1) 470,000 Mormon scouts all leave at once, (2) the BSA does not add or lose any other non-Mormon scouts (girls, LGBT, or otherwise) to its ranks, and (3) Mormon scouts paid the same dues as everyone else, the BSA still makes $3,687,000 MORE revenue without LDS scouts in its ranks than the organization made with LDS scouts. However, we know not all 470,000 LDS scouts are leaving at once as some will stick around for a year or more to complete their Eagle Scout Award. We also know LDS scouts do not paid the same dues as everyone, as show by the BSA's own 2014 Financial Statement:
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), consisting of 280 local councils, continued to deliver an exciting and valuable program to young people in 2014, with approximately 2,419,000 youth members and Explorers registered in individual programs. Approximately 981,000 registered adult leaders provide support to these youth. Fees decreased in 2014 by $9,934 with the absence of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree fees totaling $32,784. This is offset by a membership fee increase effective January 1, 2014, which led to increased membership revenues despite a decline in membership.
The 2014 Financial Statement reports Revenue generated from Registration (Membership) Fee was $62,732,000 in 2014 with 2,419,000 youth and 981,000 adults. ($24 Membership Fee per youth/adult)x(3,400,000 youths and adults) = $81,600,000 This is $18,868,000 more than revenues reported by the BSA's 2014 Financial Statement - there are approximately 786,167 youths/adults ($18,868,000/$24 Membership Fee) missing from the 2014 Financial Statement. As the Utah BSA Councils stated to the Salt Lake Tribune:
The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah said those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."
Ironically enough, depending on how large a discount on membership fee LDS scouts get, the BSA National Organization may be earning way more revenue from its membership fees with the exit of the LDS and the addition of young women and the LGBT community into its ranks. Local Council Service Fees This fee is two parts paid on a yearly basis by each of the 280 Local BSA Councils across the nation. The first is a fixed charter fee of $1,000 – this fee can be waived if the Local BSA Council turns in its Renewal Application before Mar. 1 of each year. The second is the National Service Fee. The final amount of this fee is based upon data extracted from the council’s general ledger, and using the following formula:
(1) 2015 professional salaries (account No. 7002) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment) (2) 2015 office salaries (account No. 7003) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment) (3) Calculate the qualifying salaries for use in determining the 2017 national service fee (sum of figures 1 and 2 above) (4) The council’s national service fee for 2017 is 3.5 percent of the qualifying salaries above* (multiply figure 3 above by .035) *For those councils that will be charged a national service fee of $40,000 or greater for the year 2016, their fee will increase at the same rate of qualifying salary growth from 2014 to 2015, not to exceed 10 percent. Examples: (1) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 increased by 6.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, then the council’s national service fee for 2017 would also increase by 6.2 percent, or be $51,808. (2) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 were the same or decreased, the council agrees to and will be invoiced a national service fee of $48,783 for 2017.
The National Service Fee is pegged to the professional and office salaries of those employed in the BSA Local Council – changes in the number of scouts a local council has will not impact the National Service Fee assessed. Hence, across the nation, only Local BSA Councils at risk for closing because they do not serve enough scouts will be impacted. Currently, only three BSA Councils are anticipated to be at risk of closing:
TT = Unknown; Estimated to be average of GSL and UNP -> $73,372
In a worst case scenario, should all three Utah Councils go under, the BSA will lose at most $220,116/yr in National Service Fees due to the LDS split. In 2016, the BSA made $5,994,000 from interest and dividends alone on its investments - $220,116/yr is an easily absorbable loss. Investment Income In short, investments are affected by market conditions – not by the internal affairs of a single non-profit. Regardless, a short summary of the BSA’s investments:
Balance Dec 21, 2015
Interest and Dividends
Investment Manager Fee
Net investment return
Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines The BSA National Organization’s flagship magazine is actually one area the BSA could really feel the hurt – nearly ever year Financial Statements were kept, the magazine’s revenue declined until hitting negative in both 2015 and 2016. While the LDS/BSA split will certainly not help this situation, the BSA magazine has been declining in revenue for the last decade. Clearly the BSA needs to consider either scrapping the magazine entirely or moving to more cost effective options like sending out electronic subscriptions over email to save on printing costs.
In short, the BSA magazine was an issue before the LDS/BSA split and will continue to be an issue long after the split. Again though, the BSA can temporarily cover this loss in revenue with gains in other areas of the organization – such as $5,994,000 interest gains on investments. Sale of uniforms and equipment Unlike the BSA flagship magazine, uniform and trading post sales have nearly tripled from 2005 to 2016, benefiting from a new wave of low overhead online shopping. While it remains to be seen how these sales might be impacted by the loss of 470,000 scouts, the addition of new demographics into the Scouts program means new uniforms and new equipment.
Even in the most extreme situation where 20% loss of membership = 20% loss of Uniform and Equipment revenue, a 20% reduction in 2016 Sales means ($$13,367,000) - ($13,367,000)(0.20) = $10,693,600.00 in 2019 Sales Revenue -> Still better than almost every year up to 2014. Contributions from Individuals Individual contributions rose considerably in the 11 years spanning from 2005 to 2016, but at an unpredictable rate. The BSA will certainly be missing out on contributions given by LDS families, but the BSA has such a large endowment ($218,224,000 in invested assets in 2016) that the organization will be able smooth out any transition period between the LDS leaving and new demographics entering.
Ms. Peggy Stack and Mr. Lee Davison from The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an interesting article back in August on a topic generating much discussion with the Boy Scouts and Latter-Day Saints Wards – how badly will the BSA be hit financially for losing approximately 20% of its members in 2020 when the LDS Church officially parts ways with the Boy Scouts? In short, the Ms. Stack and Mr. Davison come to the conclusion any split will…
…have dire financial consequences for BSA. The LDS Church is far and away the nation's largest Scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops. In 2013, more than a third (37 percent) of troops were LDS sponsored, accounting for 18 percent of the BSA's 2.4 million total membership (Mormon troops, while more numerous, tend to be smaller in size). An LDS Church withdrawal also could ruin the three Scout councils in Utah, which say between 96 percent and 99 percent of their members are in Mormon units. In Utah, the three councils say they have a combined 320,000 registered Scouts and adult leaders, the vast majority of whom are Mormon. Losing them could bring big financial blows to Scouting. For example, the national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. The fee just for Mormon youths would cost $10.5 million a year. However, a statement from the Utah councils says those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level." In Utah, the Orem-based Utah National Parks Council says 99 percent of its Scouts are in LDS units. The Salt Lake City-based Great Salt Lake Council says 98 percent of its Scouts are. And the Ogden-based Trapper Trails Council says 96 percent of its youths are in Mormon-sponsored units. Each year, the LDS Church supports a "Friends of Scouting" drive to ask members for donations to boost the local Scout councils — money which could disappear if the faith leaves. The Utah National Parks Council says the Friends of Scouting push provides 43 percent of its budget; the Trapper Trails Council says it generates 36 percent; and the Great Salt Lake Council receives 34 percent of its money from the effort. "The large majority of Friends of Scouting funds come from LDS units," according to the joint statement from the councils. Questions also arise about what may happen to the many Scout camps in Utah if the LDS Church exits the organization. In response to Salt Lake Tribune questions, the local councils wrote, "All camp properties are either owned by the council or are leased properties from the Forest Service. Each council is a 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. The properties would continue to serve Scouting and the needs of religious and other youth groups in our communities."
There is a lot to unpack in this article. We have already covered facts concerning BSA's suprsingly solid financial footing despite loosing 20% of its membership. Let’s next focus on what Local BSA Councils are and what happens when Local BSA Councils dissolve. BSA Organization and Local BSA Councils in Utah The Organization of the Boy Scouts of America is a topic that requires a post of its own (conveniently found here!). In short, the BSA is run by a National Executive Council that, among other functions; develops program; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, unforming, registration records, literature development, and advancement requirements; and publishes Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. The National Executive Council does not attempt to administer directly the more than 150,000 registered Boy Scout units (troops, packs, venturing crews, etc.). To achieve this, each year, the National Council issues a charter to an autonomous organization called a Local Council. The United States and its territories is divided into local councils. Local councils are usually not-for-profit private corporations registered within the State in which they are headquartered. The State of Utah actually has five Local BSA Councils - not three - however, The Salt Lake Tribune can be forgiven for this slight accounting error because: (1) the Great Southwest Council (GSW) is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and provides Scouting to 7,260 youth in northern New Mexico, northeast Arizona, Utah south of the Colorado River, and the Durango and Mesa Verde areas of Colorado; and (2) the Snake River Council (SN) serves a number of Scouts in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. There are three Utah based BSA Councils who are composed of between 96% - 99% Mormon youth and focus only on the State of Utah:
Utah National Parks Council (UNP) – 99% Mormon Scouts;(www.utahscouts.org) serves 79,194 youth scouts in areas of Utah who live south of Salt Lake County, Utah and in some isolated areas of Nevada and Arizona.
Of these five Local BSA Councils, only GSL, UNP, and TT are at risk of dissolving in 2020 once the Latter-Day Saints Church officially splits from the BSA. Both GSW and SN have enough geographic dispersment and diversity of membership to survive the split relatedly unscathed. So what would happen if a Local BSA council suddenly dissolved? Well fortunately the Boy Scouts of America have been around for nearly 120 years as a national youth organization, and in this time plenty of Local BSA Councils have come and gone. Hence, the BSA National Executive Council has had plenty of time to develop and enact procedures for what happens to Local BSA Councils when they dissolve: BSA Rules and Regulations; III. Local Councils
Council or Unit Assets Upon Dissolution Consistent with the Bylaws, in the event of the dissolution of a council or the revocation or lapse of its charter, the Executive Committee may, at its option, authorize the National Council to assume charge of the affairs of the council and continue operation pending reorganization or reestablishment of the council or wind up the business of the council. All funds and property in the possession or control of such council must be applied to the payment of the council’s obligations. Any surplus funds or property may thereafter be administered as deemed to be in the best interests of Scouting. In the event of the dissolution of a unit or the revocation or lapse of its charter, unit funds and assets must be used to first satisfy any outstanding unit obligations. Any remaining assets obtained with funds raised in the name of Scouting must be redeployed for Scouting use in the local area. Any assets obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council. Any property or funds acquired by the National Council upon the dissolution of a Scouting unit or local council will be administered so as to make effective, as far as possible, the intentions and wishes of the donors. Real Estate Except as hereafter provided with respect to incorporated local councils, the title to all real estate acquired for a unit or local council must be vested in a bank or trust company, in trust for the use of the unit or local council in accordance with the wishes of the donor with the provision that if such property cannot be utilized in such a manner, and title does not revert to the donor, that title or beneficial use of the property must nonetheless be for the benefit of Scouting in the local area. Any incorporated local council may hold title to real property in its own name provided that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or the revocation or lapse of its charter said trustee or trustees will, after satisfying any claims against such unit or council to which such real estate may be subject, convey said property or, if sold, pay the net proceeds of such sale to the Boy Scouts of America, which may hold or use said property or funds for the benefit of Scouting in such locality or elsewhere if there is not suitable opportunity to use said property or funds in such locality. Any incorporated local council holding title to real property in its own name must ensure that its certificate or articles of incorporation expressly provide for the conveyance of such property or the net proceeds from the sale thereof to the Boy Scouts of America in the event of the dissolution of the local council or the revocation or lapse of its charter in a manner consistent with this provision. Restricted Funds Restricted funds received by a unit or local council must in all cases be held (a) in trust by either a corporate trustee for a bank or trust company, the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, or the Boy Scouts of America Endowment Master Trust; or (b) in the Boy Scouts of America Commingled Endowment Fund LP for the use of the unit or the local council, in accordance with the wishes of the donors, with the provision in the statement of the conditions governing the administering of the funds that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or revocation or lapse of its charter said funds will, after any claims against said funds are satisfied, be turned over to the Boy Scouts of America for use by the Boy Scouts of America for the benefit of Scouting in such locality and for the specific purposes for which the fund was granted. If there is no suitable opportunity for the use of said funds in such locality, they may be used elsewhere.
This is A LOT to unpack, but here are the highlights; Registration
Every Local BSA Council across the US is registered as a separate 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. Every Council owns assets and liabilities separate from the BSA parent organization.
However (and this is very important), every Local BSA Council, including all five Councils in the State of Utah, are legally bound to the rules and provisions as laid out by the BSA Executive National Committee. These rules clearly spell out the actions that will be taken once a Council is dissolved, including the BSA’s right to all of the Council’s property and most of the Council’s assets.
Steps Taken Upon Utah Council Dissolution
(1) National Committee will step in and take control of all Utah Local BSA Councils under threat of dissolution. The Committee will do everything in its power to keep the Local Councils alive including moving remaining scouts to other troops or other councils in extreme cases. You can already see this process starting with the GSL Council here.
(2) If the Local BSA Council cannot be saved, then the Councils will be permanently shuttered. Now here is where things get really interesting – all Local BSA Council assets and liabilities are turned over to the BSA Executive Council. These assets are first used to pay off all outstanding debt carried by the Local BSA Council. The remaining assets “raised in the name of Scouting” will be kept by the BSA Executive Council, while assets “obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council.”
Real Estate - Any buildings and land owned outright by Local BSA Councils is first used to pay off outstanding liabilities. After this, the buildings and land is turned over to the BSA Executive Committee to be given over to other BSA Local Councils. If no other Councils can make use of the property or land, the real estate is sold off and the funds are kept by the BSA to deploy to other Local Councils across the nation. This will be important when we examine the Financial statements of Utah Local BSA Councils next.
What do these numbers mean? In 2020, approximately 72,844 Mormon scouts (98% of the GSL) will walk away from the GSL leaving approximately 1,487 non-Mormon scouts behind. The BSA National Executive Committee will take over the GSL, and take control of $29,118,969 in assets and $5,983,311 in liabilities that the Latter-Day Saints Church walks away from. Lets look at some interesting things the LDS Church is leaving behind (at least initially and according to the BSA Bylaws) to the Boy Scouts:
$84,365 Monetary Pledges from mostly Mormon Scout Families in 2016
$17,084,440 in Land, Buildings, and Leaseholds in 2016; This figure includes construction costs for the Thomas S. Monson Lodge which amounted to $6,229,000. It is likely the lodge will retain its name when it is initially turned over to the BSA as seen in past cases of councils dissolving. It also includes 564.82 acres purchase the on the East Fork of the Bear River from the State of Utah Schools and Institutions Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”), as well as the Federal lease ownership of Camp Steiner. Additionally, Hinckley Scout Ranch and Millcreek Canyon Camps will be initially retained by the BSA.
The following Money Market Accounts, Treasury Notes, Corporate Bonds, and Real Estate Trusts:
2016 USD AMOUNT
Money Mkt Accounts
Fixes Income Securities:
U.S. Treasury Notes
Mortgage Backed Gov Sec
Real Estate Investment Trusts
It goes without saying this level of professional investment is really really unique to find in a Local BSA Council. I honestly have never seen anything like this – though I do come from a poor and tiny Local BSA Council. On a side note, “Alternative Investments” is accounting slang for things like Bitcoin – so it is pretty humorous to think there is a remote possibility that scouting in Utah could be funded in part by Bitcoin.
The following land restrictions:
“The Council owns two parcels of land, which have permanent restrictions on them. The Council’s Headquarters is on a piece of land that was given to the Council as long as it is used as the Scout Headquarters. The property’s restriction was removed in 2016 through the Council’s payment of $1,590,000 to the holder of the restrictions. The other restricted property is the Bear Lake Camp in Rich County, Utah, which represents approximately 289 acres that was given to the Council to use strictly as a Boy Scout Camp.”
The purchase of the Council Headquarters land in 2016 to remove the Boy Scout restriction is an interesting move. This move was made around the same time the LDS Church began to take active measures to claw back as much as it could from Local BSA Councils around the US before announcing a split in 2018. No matter what happens with this split, the LDS will lose Bear Lake Camp to the BSA.
Summary of GSL Council Dispersal of Assets and Liabilities $29 million in assets is at stake for both the BSA and the LDS in the termination of just one BSA Council. It is clear from a legal standpoint all assets and liabilities will be initially turned over to the BSA in an attempt to salvage the GSL Council. It is also clear that should these efforts fail, approx. $6 million in assets will be sold off to cover the existing debt. From this point forward, the BSA has legal claim to all the property holdings of the GSL Council and can choose to retain this property or sell some, all, or parts of these properties to the LDS or other organizations. The only certainty from a real estate perspective is that the BSA will retain ownership of Bear Lake Camp due to deed restrictions as well as the Federal lease for Camp Steiner. What will happen to other non-real estate assets is less clear, but the language of the BSA bylaws asserts the BSA will make a determination which assets to keep and which to return or sell back to the LDS. UTAH NATIONAL PARKS COUNCIL - 2014 In the interest of type space, time, and because Hinton & Burdick are awful awful people for inverting their Financial Statement, I will not be inserting this F/S into the post. I left the link above to the UNP Financial Statement if anyone wants to go hog wild. [2014 is the newest F/S posted] Big take aways after reviewing the 2014 UNP Financial Statement:
Total Assets in 2014: $17,275,633; Total Liabilities: $734,307
$2,941,642 invested in Securities and REIT
$244,838 in total contributions
$10,731,547 in Land, Buildings, and Equipment
$124,500 in Scout Camp land is permanently earmarked for the BSA
$3,241,341 in total endowments
There isn’t really much more that can be said for the UNP that wasn’t already covered by our discussion of GSL. In short, the BSA will initially retain all assets and liabilities of the UNP, and should the UNP resolve, $734,307 in assets will be liquidated to cover existing debt. The remaining $10,731,547 is legally owned by the BSA with some, part, or all of these holdings being either retained or sold off the LDS or other third party interests. Part of the remaining $5,809,779 will either be retained by the BSA as it was raised for the purpose of scouting, while an unknown portion will be returned to the LDS Church. Unfortunately after an exhaustive search online, no Financial Statements for TT could be found. Roughly Estimating the Final Cost to the LDS from the BSA Split So how much does the Latter-Day Saints Church lose by parting ways with the Boy Scouts? Well a rough estimation can be made with the following assumptions in mind:
(1) Assuming the LDS Church will either lose control of all land held by the BSA Councils or will have to buy the land back; [In reality some land will be gifted or donated back to the Church by the BSA]. Either way, all assets found in the “Land, Buildings, and Equipment” ledger of both Financial Sheets will be given to the BSA. GSL = $17,084,440 [Real-Estate (RE)]; UNP = $10,731,547 [RE]
(2) Assuming all liabilities are paid off by non-real estate assets dollar for dollar; [In reality, there will be a cost to manipulating assets and debts in a short term]. **GSL = $6,051,218 [Total Assets (TA) - Liabilities (L) - RE]; UNP = $5,809,779 [TA – L – RE]
(3) Assuming remaining assets are equally split between BSA and the LDS Church; [In reality, it is unknown how much of the remaining assets the BSA will retain after covering debt and securing real estate]. **GSL = $3,025,609 [$6,051,218 / 2]; UNP = $2,904,890 [$5,809,779 / 2]
This puts total LDS losses from the GSL ($20,110,049) and UNP ($13,363,437) at $33,746,49.
It is not unreasonable to assume TT will exact similar loses on the LDS Church as did GSL and UNP despite having no available Financial Statement. For this reason, the average of GSL and UNP was taken as the losses exacted by TT. Hence, TT = $16, 873,243 [$33,746,49 / 2].
It is from these assumptions we can arrive at a ball park figure of the LDS Church surrendering $50,619,728 in assets to the BSA in just the dissolution of three Utah BSA Councils. This figure does not account for the substantial investment the LDS Church has put into other BSA Councils across the US, or the invest Mormon families have made in paying for Scouting uniforms, campouts, membership fees, and other costs. This figure also does not take into account the $50 million or more it will take to replicate a youth organization on the same scale as the Boy Scouts. With this said, Bloomberg reports the Mormon Church collects $8 Billion a year in tithing alone from its wards around the world - $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
Olivier Janssens and Jim Harper wanted to make themselves Exec Directors of Bitcoin Foundation; mad at being outvoted they vote AGAINST release board minutes
Stunning to read the board minutes released today. Olivier created massive bad PR for Bitcoin and the foundation he just ran for with his post last week written from the angle of "whistleblower". He also called for transparency. Now that the minutes are released we can see a true picture of what occurred. He and Jim had one plan and disagreed with the rest of the board. Because he lost his vote 4 to 2 he cried foul and released the board discussions ahead of time under the claim that he was doing so because transparency was needed. Any reasonably person knows there are 100 ways to release this info that are less damaging to the foundation than posting something called "the truth about the foundation" in a sensational tone. Would he have still made the PR disaster if his plan would have been voted for? Almost definitely not. He did this because he was mad he got outvoted. Yesterday he went on the Foundation forums and called for a special member meeting. This is something the bylaws reserve for the Chairman of the Board. Does he think he is chairman? Likely 5 people or so who think his scorch the earth tactics are fun will bother to show up for his special meeting and then he will complain again about being outvoted. He has most likely alienated half the members, every single board member, even Jim who voted with him on some items and now Oliver won't have any influence on actual board decisions whatsoever. When the board voted to release these minutes he did not vote for it. He now claims on the foundation forums that this is only because he was mad that he didn't get his way in voting to release ALL minutes from all meetings in history. (In other words, violating the privacy of people who thought they were in private meetings long before he was elected by publishing their conversations). As with much of what he does he had a dictatorial manner of refusing to participate if he didn't get things the way he wanted. He then on the forums today accused the board of "pushing things through as they always do". In other words "a fully elected board voted against what I wanted". https://bitcoinfoundation.org/forum/index.php?/topic/1292-board-meeting-minutes-31715-and-33115/
Hey all, GoodShibe here! Can you feel it? An excitement starting to build once again in the sub? We've decided on a direction for our coin, something that should, at least in the meantime, help to protect our network as we look toward extending our longevity. Our Foundation has started to stir -- looks like the bylaws, after some serious, serious debate are finally nearing a position to be adopted (as it turns out, some things that had been wanted were not actually possible, legally, so that required some sorting out and fine-tuning of the language). We've got coingateway.net coming online which, if it works as promised, seems like a great way to help get Dogecoin seeing some more utility out there -- being able to pay with Dogecoin anywhere Bitcoin is accepted seems like a great business model. Hopefully it turns out to be the real deal as some questions about security, etc remain. We also have Metatron - Twitch.tv tipping and more - that is in open BETA right now. In the meantime, with long-term security concerns being, for the most part, marginalized, we can all begin on working to bring up Dogecoin's Value once more. This means, for the most part, buying Dogecoin or selling things for Dogecoin or working for Dogecoin - bringing businesses on board or tipping strangers and content creators. Please remember that we still have our Bootstrap Service DOGEconomy where you can hire Shibes to work for DOGEs. Other than that, this is the time to let your ideas fly - to get creative in the ways to help get people intrigued to want and use Dogecoin. Our NASCAR promotion was a fantastic effort that spread the word of Dogecoin but it offered little in the way of being a call to action -- that's what we need right now, more than anything. Goods, services, events, fun ideas that can only be done with DOGE, that get people excited for and interested in what our currency has to offer. Project Argentina is just starting its second phase as it works to try and get Dogecoin out there and working on the streets of Argentina and they are looking for people to help design some special paper wallets for their effort. Give them a moment of your time, if you can. Because it's ideas like this and more that will help us to thrive as we work to expand our reach across the internet and into the real world. But as always, it's entirely on us to decide our fate. Be creative, be daring! Who knows? Your idea might just lead the next great surge forward! :D) It's 9:25AM EST and we've found 89.04% of our initial 100 Billion DOGEs -- only 10.96% remains until our period of Hyper-inflation ends! Our Global Hashrate is up from ~43 to ~50 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is up from ~623 to ~649. As always, I appreciate your support! GoodShibe
The Bitcoin Foundation doesn't have keeping Bitcoin decentralized or privacy as it's goals, I want to change that
I've opened a pull request to add the protection and promotion of decentralization to the bylaws of the Bitcoin Foundation. https://github.com/pmlaw/The-Bitcoin-Foundation-Legal-Repo/pull/4 Right now the bylaws don't really say what the Foundation's purpose is. Just some vague statement about promotion, protection, and standardization of Bitcoin and related technologies. What exactly constitutes "protection" is left completely undefined. For all we know it includes changing what Bitcoin is to make it more palatable to authorities. The Foundation needs to make it clear what it's vision of Bitcoin actually is. Is it some payments system useful for businesses? Is it meant to make investors rich? Or is it meant to be a democratic, decentralized currency? The word 'decentralized' doesn't even appear in the Foundation bylaws at all. Nor does anonymity or privacy. Of course, the Foundation isn't Bitcoin. But they do useful work and I myself have supported them financially in the past. However I do not feel that I can in good faith support them in the future until they are clear as to what exactly is their vision of what is Bitcoin, and if decentralization and privacy is even a part of that vision. Right now we just don't know.
I am Tibanne the Cat. I was a member of the Bitcoin Foundation until they fraudulently kicked me out, suspended my account, and blocked my forum access. AMA.
I was a member of the Bitcoin Foundation. I paid a member fee. They found me after my name hit the front page of reddit here: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/26l1es/mark_karpeles_resigned_from_tbf_board_and_removed/ ... further proof that I am the one who created the account is here: http://i.imgur.com/uRhUKko.png ... they never e-mailed me back after my multiple e-mails to them asking to point me in the section of their bylaws which shows: "policy of not allowing individuals to use (1) company names (2) only symbols / numbers (3) joke names." - I received no "Anonymous" status as their e-mail to me says. My account has been deleted, and my forum access has been shut down. Further forum proof: http://i.imgur.com/wMHEgsG.png - I am only doing this since a few people have requested this. And no, I have not been refunded. Ask meow anything.
A Crypto-Strategy for Obsolescing the State [xpost from /r/Anarcho_Capitalism]
We need to lay out, Gramsci-like, a strategy for obsolescing the State. I propose we do this by conducting, in an orderly fashion, a long march around the institutions by means of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). Lots of attempts have been made at non-violent "underthrow" of the Government. This is one that Agorists can get behind. DAOs such as SocialCoin would replace every institution that uses threats of violence to redistribute income, for instance. DAOs are composed of layers of decentralized apps without any central control whatsoever, eschewing all dependence on legal contracts and organizational bylaws in favor of having resources and funds autonomously managed by a self-enforcing smart contract on a cryptographic blockchain. A next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform has already been built - called Etherium. Contained in the Economic Layer of a DAO are 2 decentralized apps. One is a crypto-currency. The other is a payments system. These apps would already have to be in popular use in the black market in order to be useful. Bitcoin is a popular crypto-currency and Ripple is becoming a popular payments system. So, the foundation has already been laid. Crypto-economics provides a means to subvert the minimum wage and replace fiat currencies. DAOs could get charities out-competing Welfare States. This is the new way to fight violence with non-violence, to fight centralization with decentralization. According to Antonio Gramsci, hegemonic dominance ultimately relies on a "consented" coercion, and in a "crisis of authority" the "masks of consent" slip away, revealing the fist of force. Establishing corporations run without any human involvement, under the control of an incorruptible set of business rules will reveal the fist, pushing every app into the black market, where it will be as unstoppable as a file-sharing network. EDIT: Correct Terminology
What if a hardfork to save Gox depositors was proposed?
There's a theory floating around that Karpeles lost access to a private key used to secure a Gox deep cold storage wallet and that transaction malleability was only a responsible fraction of the losses, if it played a part at all. Let us say that this is revealed to be the case, and the location of a large Gox address is disclosed as well as information which allows us to establish Gox's former control of this address within reasonable certainty. Such proof might take the form of a pattern of transactions into/out of the warm wallet and proof of knowledge of the warm wallet. Next, let's say that a new version of the Bitcoin software was proposed. This version contains a hardcoded hash for a special block in the future which spends all inputs from the lost Gox wallet into a multisignature scripthash address. The keys to the new address are split between Gox, the Bitcoin Foundation and a well-trusted third-party auditor (PwC for example), as the members of newly formed Exchange Depositor Remediation Alliance non-profit. Each of the respective parties make a verifiable public announcement confirming the public key they have supplied and affirming their agreement to the nonprofit bylaws, which incorporate the protocol for verifying and reimbursing creditor claims, a method for resolving disputes, and the amount of compensation they will receive for their services. Each party also affirms that they have independently generated the keypair themselves on secure hardware, tested the keys, and retain sole control over the private key. A transparent process is announced which includes a forensic examination of the server and a review of fiat deposits and withdrawal sources, to prevent fraudulent claims by insider embezzlers who may have changed the database or external account hijackers who may have login information for accounts that do not belong to them. Disbursement from the reimbursement fund requires consesus from at least two of the three entities on the validity of the claim. In addition to the one-time "degoxing hack", the software also contains useful general improvements for the protocol that require a fork: an increase in the maximum block size, and a voluntary decentralized checkpoint scheme where each block incorporates a hash of all unspent inputs up to that point (and only unspent inputs) and the corresponding addresses. Miners running on the full blockchain verify the balance sheet before accepting a new block; clients could download a truncated blockchain and decide to accept it as valid if sufficient work was done on it (e.g. 10,000 blocks). When nodes running the new software reach block 300000, they will load the special block 300001 from memory, confirm that it matches the permanently hardcoded special block hash, ignore signatures for that block, and only accept the next block (300002) as valid if they reference the hash of the special block. The protocol improvements will also go live at that point, including the checkpoint required beginning in block 300002. The ledger hash prevents pools from pre-mining on top of the fixed block 300001 - not that there would be any advantage to doing so - because they would need to know the ledger state at the time that block 300000 is solved to generate block 300002, and the ledger state is unpredictable. A campaign is launched encouraging mining pools and exchanges to adopt the protocol change, distinguished by the letter "r" appended to version numbers ("it stands for the Re-Genesis Block", they say) incorporating the change. Upon adoption by a majority of network hashrate, the change will go live. tl;dr: The developers find the Gox money and come up with a safe and fair way to return all the money to Gox accountholders... but everyone has to upgrade their wallets/miners and fork the blockchain to do it. What would you do if this fork was proposed? to clarify: I am not advocating for or against this proposal, but only trying to generate discussion on the merits and pitfalls of this idea
Sadly, the process to vote in the Bitcoin Foundation elections is quite confusing. Here is the breakdown on how to to it that the BF just sent to members: *During February 13-17, 2015, we will be having an election for two individual board seats. In order to be eligible to vote in these elections, you have to be an individual member (industry membership does not count). If you are an industry member but would like to vote, you will need to become an individual member. Individual memberships are $25/year or $250/lifetime. To join, visit https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/ If you are not sure if your membership is active, please email [email protected]. If you need to renew your membership, you can do so here: https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/ Today (Friday, Feb 6) is the last day to join or renew your membership to be eligible for this election. Also, as per our bylaws, members who wish to participate in voting need to confirm their status as active members. For further information on why, see this pull request. I want to vote, how do I confirm myself as an active member Simple. Login to https://members.bitcoinfoundation.org, click on the “Election” tab, and follow the on screen instructions. When is the deadline to confirm myself as an active member? Please note that new members must join by February 6th to get voting rights. February 10th is the last day for current members to confirm as an active member. After that we cannot guarantee that you’ll receive a ballot, but we will try. Where can I find out more information about the election? You can find more information by reading this blog post. The confirmed and final list of candidates eligible for an individual board seat will be announced in an elections mailing next week. Stay tuned!* Essentially, you need to 1) make sure your membership is not expired 2) make sure your email address is confirmed 3) confirm your status as an eligible member (membership portal, different account than the Forum) 4) receive further instructions? (still unclear as to how members will vote but it seems it will be through an email)
5/2/14 - Robocoin Bank, FXBTC shuts down, Bitcoin Foundation elections
Video: http://moneyandtech.com/may2-news-update/ Wrap up this week with your top news updates in Money & Tech: Las Vegas-based bitcoin ATM manufacturer Robocoin announced Thursday the introduction of their new Robocoin Bank, which they are calling "the first Bitcoin bank with a physical presence." The project will involve turning the company's entire army of existing Robocoin ATMs into banking branches, fully integrating them with the company's online banking services. The rebranded kiosks will also have the ability to send bitcoins anywhere via a phone number, without needing an address or QR code, and then provide instant bitcoin-to-cash withdrawals to create what the company calls “banking and remittance 2.0″. Canadian digital currency exchange CAVirtex announced plans on Thursday to launch a network of bitcoin ATMs across Canada. The launch would also come with a number of service improvements, including re-introducing their balance deposit feature, as well as a new trading API and merchant user interface. The company has reportedly been in touch with several different ATM manufacturers, but hasn't yet announced any more details or official timeline for deployment. Chinese bitcoin exchange FXBTC announced today that it will be officially shutting down on May 10th, finally caving to the “unprecedented pressure” from the People’s Bank of China and the resulting restrictions on its banking services. The company posted the news on their website today, saying “no matter how hard we work, when faced with the PBOC’s blockade, we are essentially powerless.” Despite the bleak regulatory news in China, Bitcoin startup Bihang has launched in Beijing with the intent of separating peer-to-peer transactions from reliance on centralized organizations and third-parties. The startup's two co-founders see the opportunity for ""a whole new set of rules for the game, which will turn a lot of traditional trading practices on their head."" Senator Rand Paul offered his thoughts on bitcoin in an interview with Fortune on Thursday, saying he thinks it could work, but adding, “I’d make it exchangeable for stock... if you’re going to create a currency, have it backed up.” This is a similar sentiment to that expressed by his father, former Texas Senator Ron Paul, who also supported bitcoin but said the digital currency does not have the characteristics of “true money.” Voting for the two vacant Bitcoin Foundation board seats ended Wednesday night with no definitive winners. According to the Foundation's bylaws, candidates must be elected by “a majority of quorum of Industry Members”. And although there were clear favorites this round, with BTC China CEO Bobby Lee receiving 44 votes, and venture capitalist Brock Pierce garnering 34 votes, none of the candidates received the required 52 vote majority to be elected to seat. As a result, a second round of voting will be conducted, with more details on that coming early next week. We also have more interviews from the recent Dogecon SF event, which we’ll be bringing you later today. In the meantime, watch our interview with Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer.
The Decentral Decentralization Institute (Bitcoin Foundation alternative/ Decentral Democracy Scheme proposal)
Hi, I am a current member of the Bitcoin Foundation. I joined in order to participate in the discussion at the time of coin tracking (I was violently opposed). At the time I saw the Bitcoin Foundation as a method for the decentralized masses to communicate with the centralized governments. However after being there for a while a participating in the forums I have found that the forums themselves are little more than a a distraction without any real consequence (Except of course the education section who do good work). After looking into the Bylaws I discovered why. There is a massively unbalanced distribution of power towards the Board members with other members having little to no power at all. In essence the BF is extremely centralized and the forums which disguise this fact are but a bone thrown to us. I should note at this point I do not think the Bitcoin Foundation is evil. I do not think anyone there is a bad person. In fact there are a lot of good hardworking people at the Bitcoin foundation and they serve as an excellent advocate for the Bitcoin Community. The basic structure is just not really a reflection of the decentralized nature of our community. In the age of the internet, and even more so now in the age of the blockchain, we should take this opportunity to design a new truer democracy. The Idea I have come to (If it exists already let me know) Is what i'm temporarily calling the Decentral Decentralization Institute. This is how I envision it works. To start with there is only one member class. Members. All members are created equal and all have the same basic rights and responsibilities. The Mission should be something along the lines of "To support and encourage the free development of Bitcoin and other decentralized technologies and to provide a medium by which the decentralized masses may communicate withe centralized bodies" The Bylaws and any positions or any other legal documents of the Institute are placed on Github or some such site to which every member has the right to create a fork of the repository and make any changes they wish (This does not mean that the institutes bylaws have been changed yet. Just that someone has suggested a change in the form of a pull request). This allows the institute to be flexible and adapt to changing environments. To start with I envision changes to the Bylaws or any other documents proceeding something like this: *Step 1: Member forks the repository makes their changes and submits a pull request. * Step 2: A forum thread is created for the discussion of the pull request (edits can be made at this point). In order to proceed to the next stage it has to reach some minimum approval rating (this is a casual voting mechanism similar to the reddit system.) *Step 3: Once significant approval has been reached the Member can call for a true vote for the pull to be accepted. at this point every Member must be notified that the vote is occurring and has a 2 week period during which they can submit their vote (editing is no longer permitted once voting has started). *Step 4: If at the end of the voting period a minimum number of votes have been placed (to avoid bills being passed by apathy), and the pull has been voted in favour of by something fraction (2/3rds likely for Bylaw changes simple majority would probably suffice for other things). Then the pull will be accepted. I feel like such a system would be a far truer implementation of democracy and be able to provide a single voice for a community. Other things that are allowed (of course technically anything is allowed if the changes to the Bylaws are passed first) would be appointment/hiring of members with special privileges/responsibilities. These members would have no additional power over voting but would be selected through a similar voting system for which many people have to participate. Such positions might include moderators (if self moderation would not work) or the repository manager. All would have strict constraints on them and all of their actions in their roles would be visible to all members. To implement such a system, I think an open source platform application might be in order. I feel like the forums should be hosted peer to peer style with many nodes containing redundant copies of the forums. The app would give anyone who downloads it a public/private key pair which will become their identity on the forums. All actions they perform or messages they send will have to be signed by their key. When a new member wants to join the application generates their key and then submits a request to the network to join. Acceptance could include a membership fee in bitcoin (I'm not ruling it out after all how do you pay people you hire?)It could also require some sort of Identity verification. Whatever the requirements they should be easy to be implemented and then the network must accept the new member. Updates to forums would be conducted peer to peer. Same with voting. (special care might be needed in this) I also think it would be a nice touch to place the articles of incorporation into the blockchain so that the Institute will not be tied to any country. Only to its members. Why do I feel a special application should be produced for this? Mostly ease of use. All these things are currently possible but not in a single location. (to my knowledge) the single application should manage: *Forums *Membership and new member acceptance (including key creation) *Personal Messages *Voting (this includes both the popularity voting as well as formal voting) *It should in general be able to hook up with git systems. But this need not be entirely contained in the app. However it should be possible to lock a thread to a particular pull request (otherwise there could be deception going on) this could be as simple as hash checking. I unfortunately do not have application development skills otherwise I would tackle this myself. If someone reading this is interested in working on this feel free to contact me at [email protected]. (Anyone is welcome to email me not just developers. Designing something like this would require people with all kinds of skills) I of course am open to suggestions. I'm also happy if someone takes this idea and runs with it. After all they are not my ideas. These ideas have come to me from other people combined together and hopefully now will pass to new people. Of course this Idea does not have to be simply for the purpose for which I have stated, It can also be used as a model for any number of different groups. This sort of community seems like the logical starting place however. Input welcome. Thanks for reading! TL;DR Its an idea of how to implement truer democracy using the technologies we have available to us today.
That seems like a fair complaint to me, in general. In practice, and as opposed to Krugman's thoughts on the matter, we have many thousands of happy Bitcoin transactors, I think people like to spend their bitcoins with others, give them away, and use them for things. I do know some Bitcoin businesses that try never to spend their coins. That said, we have had some periods like last year where EVERYBODY wished they'd spent their coins.. To my mind volatility is a worse 'evil' than being deflationary. As I said above, I think most government economists wish an inflationary currency (and many bitcoiners hate this, and talk a lot about how much they hate it), but I think there's definitely a place in the world for a deflationary value system. An interesting thought experiment for you -- if you forked the Bitcoin blockchain and changed issuance so that it tracked say, USD or USD/EUR inflation rates for issuance, would it have the same uptake or not?
The practical security aspects of running Bitcoin businesses are a REAL need, and it's something we want to help on with advice, and possibly opt-in certification at some point. I say more about this elsewhere in the AMA.
Re: bitcoin site usability -- I agree, it's often terrible! I'm not sure why this is, except to say that bitcoins make transacting online so easy that even people who can't afford a designer can do it.
So far, because market cap is so low, (Roughly $100mm of value), Bitcoin exchange rates are highly susceptible to people pushing it around. This is really tough for everyone. There are a bunch of businesses that might not be viable until you have some exchange rate certainties that extend beyond a short (one day-ish) window.
There are some macro-economic things that could be done, like exchanges publishing all trades to a central area, and implementing locks if prices rise / fall too suddenly, but those all have their own effects to consider. I think the fundamental thing to do is help Bitcoin acceptance and uptake grow, increasing the size of the pie until there are a much smaller number of parties that could push the price around.
So, we all do have a part in that stabilization for sure. There's also the angle of creating whole supply chains that are bitcoin denominated -- paying our staff in Bitcoins only is an attempt to work on that angle.
This borders on the troll-ish, but I will say that the Bitcoin network autosizes coin generation based on how many people wish to do it. That is, people opt in to make the coins and secure the network. Nobody is forced to.
I have experience launching a non-profit, hence my job.
ED's typically get a salary and work full time at the job; we didn't know if we'd have budget to pay someone who could operate such a thing, so we went with this structure. I anticipate that I will step down from being the ED at the earliest moment we know we have someone better to do it; running CoinLab is plenty of work for me.
Our assistant director Lindsay Holland is not a white male.
In general, Bitcoin is a white male sausage-fest, though. I urge you and all Bitcoiners everywhere to work on changing that.
I don't know the future of Bitcoin, but I hope that I and the Foundation are a part of it!
I don't believe Bitcoin will ever obsolete a government currency, but I only speak for myself when I say that. Bitcoin is a fascinating and novel technology with a HUGE number of potential benefits to the world, so I'm into it. I don't see a government wishing to cede control of its currency to anything like the technocratic / consensus model that Bitcoins are governed by, though.
That said, I do hope that Bitcoins will be able to help people in areas of the world that need better money features. Mpesa is a great example of something that helps Kenyans (and people from a few other countries) by changing how money is used. Bitcoin has the potential to help people like that, all over the world, whether or not the 'market' is large enough in that country.
I personally think that sort of thing is SUPER exciting.
Sure! It's a trade organization, member-driven. Its goal is to promote, protect and help standardize Bitcoin. Our initial goals are to provide funding for the core development team, run a 2013 Silicon Valley Conference, and create some opt-in certification methods and best practices for businesses dealing with Bitcoin.
I can tell you hate our goals, so I won't spend a long time trying to convince you. But, I will say that businesses often need a long, secure timeframe to make investment decisions, and they need to have some sense that what they work on or invest in will be roughly similar at the end of their investment to the beginning.
For instance, imagine ebay deciding to take bitcoins. The person-hours to get that done inside ebay are staggering to imagine, from wallet scalability issue to accounting treatments, refunds, ... It would be a major endeavor.
You might hate everything about that, and that's cool. I urge you to go ahead, fork the code, advocate as much as you like for something else. Bitcoin's free, both the protocol and the software. Nobody is stopping you.
Like Jeff says below, I would distinguish between fundamental protocol security and security practices.
Bitcoins fundamental protocol security seems pretty good at this point; I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on that quite intently into the future.
Practical Security has been, largely, terrible in the Bitcoin space for most businesses, Mt. Gox perhaps excepted. The amount of work it takes to secure 80 byte strings that may be valued in the million dollar range is non trivial. Think securing missile codes as to the level of security needed.
Many bitcoin businesses can't afford (or don't wish to) this sort of security. I'm hoping we can provide some tools and pointers for these businesses and their users to help people understand what they're getting into when they transact with a bitcoin business, and what their risks are.
Right now Jon Matonis is considered our "Europe Expert" on the board. There's a huge amount of work to do just in keeping track of how Bitcoin is categorized and regulated around the world. I would expect the Foundation to put some time and energy into helping with that process, but it's not our first goal.
We're aiming to be highly transparent. I proposed today that we publicize our cold wallet public keys so that people can check our balances. This got pushed back a month while we work on some logistics. I will follow up about this, though. I think having auditable books from day one is really cool.
I love it and wish more of it. I'm totally grateful that nations have standardized and created currencies for their people, so that I can travel and buy stuff without worrying about the reputability of a local bank when I go to exchange my money.
TBD, But I am imagining that businesses could vet their processes and procedures against a set of published standards, pay for an audit, and then be able to help their users understand what level of security they provide, e.g. "Bronze certification -- the site could be trusted with 50 bitcoins of stored value per person."
We're a member organization. Some of our members do have access to and influence over bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt. I have no idea if they would like us to help manage bitcoin.org, since we just launched yesterday.
If the decision makers for bitcoin.org and bitcoin-qt want us to help out in those areas, I wouldn't mind. I don't think either of those things is super strategic to helping Bitcoin right now; there's more need for messaging and some financial security for the core team, and the other stuff we said we're going to work on this year. bitcoin.org and -qt publishing don't seem broken to me or risky right now.
I don't know how we'd encourage or ignore exchanges, since everyone is welcome to join.
I do think this individual / corporate angle is at the heart of the Bitcoin, though; it's got a lot of parties that care about it, passionately. Some are investing millions of dollars. Some are tirelessly advocating for Bitcoin. Many sit around and troll and waste people's time.
I guess that partly we expect our board members will act with integrity, and that if they aren't representing the needs of their member class, they'll get replaced with someone who will.
I also don't know how we would, practically, decentralize Bitcoin, even if we wished such a thing. I don't think anyone on the board thinks Bitcoin is doing badly. We're all really excited about it and want to help. I personally believe if corporations (a small group or just one) ever provably controlled Bitcoin, they would become vastly less appealing and useful. So, we're on watch.
Not as on watch as a paranoid bitcointalk forum troll wants us to be, but we're on watch.
The Foundation's core values include openness and transparency. I think the Bitcoin anonymous thing is overblown and a bit of a myth, by the way. Every bitcoin transaction links two addresses; often people can be determined from those addresses.
At any rate, we wish to make sure you can't stuff the ballot box during voting, and we wish civil productive discourse among our members, so we need real names and addresses.
If you just want to support us without joining, you can always send money to our vanity donation address: 1BTCorgHwCg6u2YSAWKgS17qUad6kHmtQW.
I think Bitcoin adoption is growing nicely. There seems to be a sort of stair-step function where people figure out something new and broadly appealing to do with them, and it makes a big jump. I expect we'll see that many times over the next five or ten years.
Bitcoin's brand seems bad to me; mostly the highly publicized exchange attacks worry people. It's too hard to have a secure cold storage wallet for even a very smart individual. I'd like to see some of those things improved.
I can't speak for Bitcoin, but the Foundation has no criminal combatant plans. We do want our members to use their real names and promise that they only engage in activities legal in their jurisdiction, though.
That's mostly just a way of us saying who we want to hang out with, and expressing some community values we think will help our organization be a success.
Yeah, there's an interesting set of questions there about certification. I would LOVE to see a certification that brought with it the ability to be insured against loss and theft. Think how nice it would be for an exchange or wallet business to be able to offer that insurance. That said, I don't know of any bitcoin company that has such insurance yet. I think we have some work to do vetting out the processes and procedures, and then some sales and relationship work with insurance companies first. At any rate, we won't be stumping up security for certified companies through the main Foundation corporate vehicle ever. But I think the membership will want to discuss what a good set of next steps is toward that goal, if we're all sold on trying to make it happen.
Bitcoin is inherently free, it's peer to peer, it can be forked, it's not controlled by the Foundation, especially one that's one day old.
So, I look forward to large donations from BIG businesses. We will use that money to further the Foundation's mission. Our members will, no doubt, be highly engaged in discussions about what to do with large donations. I'm looking forward to it.
I would be stunned if we voted on source code, ever. I don't think anyone thinks that is in the remit of the Foundation.
Pragmatically, the dev team is one arm of bitcoin source code governance, and miners are the other, since they can refuse to work with code changes they don't like if they do it in bulk.
The board meets often, and should be listening to its constituents; sign up as a member, and then mail your appropriate rep. As a sample of what we discussed today: "Should we do an AMA? Who will get member signup confirmations out? Can we publicize Patrick's bylaws yet?" were the scintillating topics of conversation.
I think we felt a foundation that didn't somehow acknowledge Satoshi would be a bit churlish, like ignoring Linus completely while making the Linux Foundation. Satoshi is, as always, free to participate as he/she chooses.
The second, arguably more powerful one is provable computation time spent on creating the consensus. So you can look at a set of bitcoin transactions and say "Ah ha, that had roughly [say] $1mm worth of computation time put in to securing and validating it! I believe it's safe to consider my $55 transaction secure."
Totally. They are confusing; it's a truly novel solution. Essentially it mixes something non-intuitive and magical-seeming (public key cryptography) with something very hard to imagine a solution for (distributed timestamping among non-trusted parties).
We will be seeing the concept extended out into a number of technology arenas over the next 25 years I imagine. It's an incredibly powerful solution-space.
BYLAWS. of. THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION, INC. (a District of Columbia non-profit corporation) Effective as of July 23, 2012. ARTICLE I - OFFICES. Section 1.1 Principal Office: The Corporation's principal office shall be located in the District of Columbia. The Bitcoin Foundation Submitted An Opposition Letter On The “Crypto-assets” Amendment Presented By LREM MPs To The French Parliament Special Commission To Review The “PACTE” Bill Photo credit: Alex Guibord via Flickr Contact: Pierre Ciric (00) 1 212 260 6090 (NY Fixed), (00) 1 917 846 9744 (Portable), email: [email protected] or […] The objective of the Foundation was never completely clear, with the original bylaws stating the following: The Corporation shall promote and protect both the decentralized, distributed and private nature of the Bitcoin distributed-digital currency and transaction system as well as individual choice, participation and financial privacy when ... Welcome to the page dedicated to linking various Bitcoin articles from around the globe, mainly to satisfy most insomniacs. Gavin Andresen Launches Nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation to ‘Standardize, Protect and Promote Bitcoin Bitcoin Prevents Monetary Tyranny Could Bitcoins work in China? Interest in BitCoin, fledgling electronic currency, grows BitInstant To Romney Camp: 'We'll Convert ... Bitcoin Foundation Bylaws – Bitcoin Miner Robot App Bitcoin Foundation Bylaws 10 Bitcoins In Usd Bitcoin Price Projection Chart 2020 "The Bitcoin Foundation has become a symbol of the challenges facing the digital asset it was designed to steward. While advocates have promoted bitcoin as a global, decentralised currency for the internet age ...
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