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Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 09:09:36 AM
 #1

Sorry if this is not the right section to post this in as the "Bitcoin Foundation" is a private group and not really supported by everyone at this time. Mods please move this to a more suitable location if necessary.

I was recently recommended by one of the individuals that I placed a bet with to stop posting on the forums and join the Bitcoin Foundation instead, only posting there and only contributing to the foundation's good and betterment of bitcoin as a whole. At first I agreed with them that that seemed like-- wait a minute... I immediately stopped my line of thought and started asking myself, "Who exactly is the Bitcoin Foundation and why do we need them?".

A few weeks have passed since I've been collecting information and letting it simmer in my head and now I'm ready to ask some public questions. First, here are my current understandings that may or may not be flawed:

1) From my minimal understanding of open source and linux, many organizations and software projects need their own foundation to help pay for development. This should also be true for something like Bitcoin, which definitely needs continued development.

2) Bitcoin has a horrible (some argue unrecoverable) public image, has been SEO assassinated with connection to "currency" (legal implications) and "illegal activity" (read: silkroad). A foundation would certainly help a bit in astroturfing the internet in favor of Bitcoin (if that's what everyone wants, although Satoshi seemed to just want us to shut the fuck up and use it).

I am sure someone can find an argument against what I said above, so before they dig into me for "not understanding", I want to present what I also currently understand as negative points. (Keep in mind, my question and purpose of this thread is for more information so that I can make an educated opinion on whether to support them or not).

A) It requires a donation instead of just asking for one. I guess that's fine, but where does the donation go? Why is the bitcointalk.org forum not just doing this instead? We have like what, 5000 BTC now that will most certainly never all be used to make a forum? Does the Bitcoin foundation really need 10,000 BTC a year for a "business" just to say that it supports bitcoin, something that was intended to be decentralized from the beginning?

B) There are no public announcements of what the funds are used for. I am honestly not sure how most software foundations do "business", but the foundation purchased the domain bitcoin.us for $17,500 USD. Does that sound like a good use of your donations?

I would absolutely love to give up my new found awareness of the failures of human nature and just support a group of people to do the leading for me, but the more I am involved in bitcoin, the more I am starting to hate this corporate obsession being brought into it. Things like investing your bitcoins for example-- why are bitcoin investments even necessary, isn't just holding your bitcoins the best investment in the history of bitcoin to date?

I'd really like answers and opinions and I hope no one is offended by my comments. Keep in mind I have never been schooled in economics, politics or open source as most of you Android and Linux using Porcupines have been. I didn't even think there was anything wrong with using your real information on the internet before I got into bitcoin (still don't think it's bad, but understand why it's not automatically good).

Looking forward to thought out, mind-changing responses!

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February 08, 2013, 09:13:47 AM
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I'll join the bitcoin foundation when satoshi does.

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February 08, 2013, 09:30:27 AM
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I like the foundation for all of the positive points in your statement.

And if you just replace the Name Bitcoin Foundation with Bitcoin Marketing and Development Organization all the payment and spending points you have make perfect sense.

I wouldn't think of the foundation as official Bitcoin representation, but a Marketing group and support for the developers is really necessary.

The name Bitcoin Foundation gives them some much needed weight in the public eye.

And to pick about this name would be the same as to pick about bitcoin-central , because they are not the central point of Bitcoin. I credit it to that name btw. that we have seen People thinking Bitcoin (as entity) has got a bank license and has agreed to play by the banks rules.

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Carlos L.
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February 08, 2013, 09:41:27 AM
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B) There are no public announcements of what the funds are used for. I am honestly not sure how most software foundations do "business", but the foundation purchased the domain bitcoin.us for $17,500 USD. Does that sound like a good use of your donations?
What?
Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 09:48:17 AM
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B) There are no public announcements of what the funds are used for. I am honestly not sure how most software foundations do "business", but the foundation purchased the domain bitcoin.us for $17,500 USD. Does that sound like a good use of your donations?
What?

Sorry, that's what the original owner of the domain claims anyway. I have not independently verified that myself, and it doesn't matter *if* that's alright with the people giving them money, but I have to admit-- my uneducated opinion on the site when I was first referred to it and saw huge pricetags for "membership" was "scam". I am positive it's not a scam in the common sense, but it's because I *don't* know that I'm asking here in hopes those who do know will help correct me and help me to make an educated decision on whether or not to support them in the long run.


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February 08, 2013, 09:52:58 AM
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Sorry, that's what the original owner of the domain claims anyway. I have not independently verified that myself, and it doesn't matter *if* that's alright with the people giving them money, but I have to admit-- my uneducated opinion on the site when I was first referred to it and saw huge pricetags for "membership" was "scam". I am positive it's not a scam in the common sense, but it's because I *don't* know that I'm asking here in hopes those who do know will help correct me and help me to make an educated decision on whether or not to support them in the long run.



Are you a corporation? No. So, stop complaining.

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February 08, 2013, 09:55:29 AM
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A) It requires a donation instead of just asking for one. I guess that's fine, but where does the donation go? Why is the bitcointalk.org forum not just doing this instead? We have like what, 5000 BTC now that will most certainly never all be used to make a forum? Does the Bitcoin foundation really need 10,000 BTC a year for a "business" just to say that it supports bitcoin, something that was intended to be decentralized from the beginning?
I believe most of the money goes towards paying Gavin a salary.
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February 08, 2013, 10:14:43 AM
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A) It requires a donation instead of just asking for one. I guess that's fine, but where does the donation go? Why is the bitcointalk.org forum not just doing this instead? We have like what, 5000 BTC now that will most certainly never all be used to make a forum? Does the Bitcoin foundation really need 10,000 BTC a year for a "business" just to say that it supports bitcoin, something that was intended to be decentralized from the beginning?
I believe most of the money goes towards paying Gavin a salary.
So we don't even know what Gavin earns?

Bitcoin vs. Real Facts.

My anger against what is wrong in the Bitcoin community is productive:
Bitcointa.lk - Replace "Bitcointalk.org" with "Bitcointa.lk" in this url to see how this page looks like on a proper forum (Announcement Thread)
Hashfast.org - Wiki for screwed customers
prezbo
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February 08, 2013, 10:27:47 AM
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A) It requires a donation instead of just asking for one. I guess that's fine, but where does the donation go? Why is the bitcointalk.org forum not just doing this instead? We have like what, 5000 BTC now that will most certainly never all be used to make a forum? Does the Bitcoin foundation really need 10,000 BTC a year for a "business" just to say that it supports bitcoin, something that was intended to be decentralized from the beginning?
I believe most of the money goes towards paying Gavin a salary.
So we don't even know what Gavin earns?

Bitcoin vs. Real Facts.
Does it matter? That's up to the bitcoin foundation members to decide, it's their money after all.
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February 08, 2013, 10:51:13 AM
 #10

Things like investing your bitcoins for example-- why are bitcoin investments even necessary, isn't just holding your bitcoins the best investment in the history of bitcoin to date?
It is necessary because it's a good experiment, "fun" and a way to make some $ for many people - who for example are not allowed to trade on regular Stock Exchange. In some countries Stock Exchanges just doesn't exist / or are veeeery unsafe.

And - in 99% countries it is really hard to do an IPO on the Stock Exchange with your own "company"/business
So with Bitcoin - the interpreneurs are more than welcome I think...

The honesty / scams - with USD or Bitcoins - it doesn't matter. It matters with who you do your investment. So many people prefer btc I quess.
hazek
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February 08, 2013, 03:54:09 PM
 #11

It's a group of individuals that think using a creation of the state will protect them from the state's violence. That's all it is.


I don't have a problem with anyone getting their salary, if what they're doing is desired by the market, the market should pay for it. But having a corporation as a middleman has 1 reason and 1 alone. Legal protection.


See Gavin's salary now can be taxed, and Gavin can pay taxes and have a peace of mind about not being pursued by a violent mafia for what they'd deem is their share of his wealth. Had he accepted Bitcoin donations an argument could be made for evasion since how could he ever prove that a certain number of bitcoins is all he got?

And it's not just Gavin who is getting protected. Other big creations of the state like the legal entity that operates mtgox (TIBANNE Co., Ltd.) or bitinstant (BitInstant LLC) are likewise getting protected. Because now their contributions have a paper trail, a "legitimate" paper trail of legal donations that protects them from the same violence. And this is all Bitcoin foundation is.


And I wouldn't even have a problem with it, if only they used a different name, making it clear what this legal entity actually is about especially because it sure as hell isn't about the development of open source code. We didn't need one and look how far we got, that alone proves that point.

But no.. these individuals decided that they want protection and protection is what they got. Mtgox or Bitinstant or any other business could have easily paid developers through independent contracts, they could have hired them to develop open source or closed source code any way they wanted and the market could have accepted that or not. But if they did that, it would have been their responsibility, they would be met with consequences if one of the developments turned sour or caused damage to the market which is again something Bitcoin foundation shields them from, because now their donations are spent by a different legal entity even though it's all the same people and their money funding projects they OKed.

So not only did they want protection from a violent mafia - the people that call themselves the government - they also wanted protection from you, the market.



But again, if only their name reflected this, I'd be perfectly fine with their to Bitcoin's future irrelevant existence. Because then there's no fear of down the road false authority which is really the main reason I detest this legal entity. Someone mistakenly delegating authority to an entity that has no authority outside of their own mere claims.

Call your self Gavin's Bitcoin Foundation or Gavin's foundation for Bitcoin development and you have my blessing to be forgotten you exist. You'll have you're protection and I'll have my piece of mind. Btw Charlie promised such a name change would get proposed in one of their decision making events, so far I haven't heard anything new about it.

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February 08, 2013, 04:08:10 PM
 #12

I joined the foundation to basically monitor their activity (or lack of it as the case may be).  Over the last four months it seems they don't really do much as far as I can tell.  They voted to not publicly disclose their finances.  I don't think the bitcoin foundation members had any say in this, i.e. a vote.  They don't seem to have any plan for work, at least that I can see or that has been made known.  No milestones have been eclipsed.  

The foundation seems to function more like a charity, a charity in which the people handling the influx of bitcoins, distribute whimsically among themselves.  Add to that what Matthew wrote above, and we, as the bitcoin community are starting to see a bad pattern here, which is initially what I was afraid of when this foundation was announced.  In the extreme case, it could be argued that this is simply another scam that uses social engineering under the auspices of a "foundation" to separate people from their bitcoins.

It is wise to remain vigilant in the next few months to see if the foundation accomplishes anything of any import.  I hope I am wrong about this organization and that they can do some useful work as employees of the bitcoin community in the next few months

Now it is possible my words are much too harsh, and I simply do not have all the facts.  Unfortunately this foundation seems to function more like an elite and secret group (much like The Fed) with no accountability (hence, it is hard to get the facts).  A very unwise move by the person(s) who set the organization up.

My advice to prospective members at this point is to stay away.

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February 08, 2013, 05:35:26 PM
 #13

The huge and impressive growth of the Bitcoin ecosystem is largely a growth in self-perception.
In reality this ecosystem is sill marginal, yet promising.

Such overinflated self perception also accounts for the exaggerated importance people attribute to the Bitcoin foundation. Since we think we're ground-breaking we start installing a world government right away an then engage into heated debates regarding the orientation of the new entity   Roll Eyes

The Foundation was founded to take on an alleged future role and to solve projected problems. If things develop the way we all hope, these problems might become real problems, but right now they aren't -- and this explains the fuzziness and lack of orientation regarding matters of the Bitcoin Foundation.



It might be a good reality check to compare our situation with other communities where some kind of foundation or organisational body is vital:

  • Debian. The Debian Project has striking similarities to a order of knights. Highly convoluted and insidious internal procedures are put in place, to enable a large number of highly intelligent (and often quite antisocial) people to work together and deliver a level of quality which none of them would have been remotely capable of delivering if just working alone.
  • Apache. The Apache Software Foundation demands each sub project to adhere to a rigid set of ceremonies, this way allowing to channel the constant push and influx of new ideas and contributions in order to maintain a high quality level without totally locking down evolution. Often, projects applying to Apache are in a desperate situation, being high profile and widely used, yet in danger of deadlock or breaking apart due to conflicts of vision.
  • Eclipse. The Eclipse Foundation is formed by organizations (and individuals) who wish to collaborate on commercially-friendly open source software for industrial applications. The large players of the software industry contribute and cooperate and actually deliver value each year within the realm of Eclipse, while competing and fighting each other at market level.

This list could be continued by mentioning standardisations bodies like ISO, professional associations like IEEE, or just plain lobby organisations. All of these were created out of the need to solve real world problems. Typically these problems are insidious -- average Joe will readily conclude that such problems do not exist at all and label these organisational bodies as a waste of effort and plain evil. Such opinions don't tell us much about these organisations, but they do tell a lot about average Joe's mentality.
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February 08, 2013, 05:50:21 PM
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because I could not bear watch them go into debt from your stupidity
He didn't took anyone's money, how is that possible?

My anger against what is wrong in the Bitcoin community is productive:
Bitcointa.lk - Replace "Bitcointalk.org" with "Bitcointa.lk" in this url to see how this page looks like on a proper forum (Announcement Thread)
Hashfast.org - Wiki for screwed customers
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February 08, 2013, 05:59:23 PM
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because I could not bear watch them go into debt from your stupidity
He didn't took anyone's money, how is that possible?
That's an interesting question. Wich is why i do not consider him a scammer.
Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 06:02:24 PM
 #16

If I remember correctly, Sirius had decided it best to detatch the forum from the main bitcoin.org site because it might have affected the inage of bitcoin, so I know there is obviously value in presenting a professional image. I'm wondering though if it wouldn't be more effective to do that from within with proper free training and professional consultation to bitcoiners and small bicoin business owners. I guess that's one good reason for a foundation.

Tibanne also fought a court case related to their bank accounts but I'm not sure if that should be considered a benefit to the community, the private company, or both. They also registered the Bitcoin trademark if I recall. Things like these might be something only really doable by a foubdation of sorts. Unless I'm thinking about this wrong, in that these things should be open source, free domain and never need representation. (Satoshi sure did make it hard by disappearing).

Still looking for answers, thank you everyone for sharing your opinions. I really would love to get behind anything that supports bitcoin this year, but the burning last year I got from so many "ask questions later" groups just made me want to ask more questions.

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February 08, 2013, 06:12:27 PM
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If I remember correctly, Sirius had decided it best to detatch the forum from the main bitcoin.org site because it might have affected the inage of bitcoin, so I know there is obviously value in presenting a professional image. I'm wondering though if it wouldn't be more effective to do that from within with proper free training and professional consultation to bitcoiners and small bicoin business owners. I guess that's one good reason for a foundation.


The way I see it the forum and in a way what "Bitcoin is" are intrinsically connected with each other. I don't think they are separable.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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February 08, 2013, 06:18:48 PM
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The forum is separated from the website because otherwise it would look like this is "the official bitcoin forum"  Wink
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February 08, 2013, 06:22:36 PM
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I joined the foundation to basically monitor their activity (or lack of it as the case may be).  Over the last four months it seems they don't really do much as far as I can tell.  They voted to not publicly disclose their finances.  I don't think the bitcoin foundation members had any say in this, i.e. a vote.  They don't seem to have any plan for work, at least that I can see or that has been made known.  No milestones have been eclipsed.  

The foundation seems to function more like a charity, a charity in which the people handling the influx of bitcoins, distribute whimsically among themselves.  Add to that what Matthew wrote above, and we, as the bitcoin community are starting to see a bad pattern here, which is initially what I was afraid of when this foundation was announced.  In the extreme case, it could be argued that this is simply another scam that uses social engineering under the auspices of a "foundation" to separate people from their bitcoins.

It is wise to remain vigilant in the next few months to see if the foundation accomplishes anything of any import.  I hope I am wrong about this organization and that they can do some useful work as employees of the bitcoin community in the next few months

Now it is possible my words are much too harsh, and I simply do not have all the facts.  Unfortunately this foundation seems to function more like an elite and secret group (much like The Fed) with no accountability (hence, it is hard to get the facts).  A very unwise move by the person(s) who set the organization up.

My advice to prospective members at this point is to stay away.



I was about to register but then I read this.
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February 08, 2013, 06:26:19 PM
 #20

The forum is separated from the website because otherwise it would look like this is "the official bitcoin forum"  Wink

Then why does feels it like the officially unofficial bitcoin forum?  Cheesy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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