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Author Topic: Bitcoin Foundation  (Read 2222 times)
Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 06:59:48 PM
 #21

Good grief. The person who posted earlier and had their off-topic post removed,  I had assumed to be just one of the many people on the forums who hadn't realized I had returned to the community to pay the bet I lost and make things right. (Progress shown here and updated by mods). That's why I decided not to respond because it seemed very off-topic.

Now I've been told the person posting is the Chairman of the very group I'm peacefully asking questions about and seeking more information. This disturbs me greatly. I wish an official representative of this organization would have spent even a moment to answer my inquiries than just try to draw attention to my personal mistakes last year. Is this what the site is talking about when it says, "We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence."

I'm very disappointed so far with what I'm seeing in such a short time since starting this thread. I hope over time it will bring some positive points to the organization's existence or garner the professional response of its board of directors.

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February 08, 2013, 07:05:57 PM
 #22

We have a situation here.

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)
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February 08, 2013, 07:08:27 PM
 #23

Matthew, for the record, I think the Bitcoin Foundation is a good idea. There are several beneficial things they can do by adding formal structure to handle some things now being handled (or not) in willy-nilly fashion. Things like recommending standards, taking lead on legal issues like trademarks etc. are issues important to Bitcoin's overall progress. Having a foundation or organization that works within the existing system I think makes a lot of sense.

You may have missed the announcement thread for TBF. It may be this forum's largest, but I'm not surprised. Bitcoin's primary strength is that it is decentralized and operates completely democratically, relying on the free market. If it wasn't this way the support it has from almost everybody would turn to support from probably nobody. That strength, however, is also a bit of a weakness for the "willy-nilly" effect I talk about above. A person with apparently no regard for the well being of Bitcoin, but only for profit, and capitalizing on a situation tried to claim trademark ownership over "Bitcoin". Obviously, such problems are better addressed by a formal entity. This, I believe, was largely the inspiration Gavin had for a foundation in the first place. The formation of a power structure for something supposed to have diffuse power caused an understandable uproar.

I joined in the voices of opposition to TBF, not against having it per se, but against not having checks on its potential future power and influence. A comment in this thread illustrates an example of what I mentioned in that thread. Many people think  "Bitcoin" got a bank license because of bitcoin-central.net, wrongly inferring that from the name. There is power in a name, which I talked about in that thread.

I won't rehash more argument for or against TBF, including what they have or haven't done to date. I no longer worry about unchecked power from them. I spelled out why in this thread I posted:

Solution to The Bitcoin Foundation

The gist of it is I believe the free market will regulate TBF for me (us). As long as other cryptocurrencies can challenge Bitcoin they can reflect dissatisfaction with an unwelcome power consolidation whether it's TBF or something else.

As for whether you might want to support them I'd say evaluate their performance thus far and decide. My personal opinion is you probably won't find a better or more capable group. I never had a problem with any of TBF's participants or the concept of it, only the potential for things getting out of hand.


Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 07:15:22 PM
 #24

Matthew, something to keep in mind is that anybody else could do this.

You or I could become qualified to work on bitcoin code, and indeed many people are doing just that.  We could work on it.  We could start a non-profit organization that collects funds to promote and develop bitcoin and use the funds as we see fit.  There's nothing stopping anybody else from doing something like this, and there's a sense in which they would be just as "official" as the Bitcoin Foundation.  This is an important check on the power/centralization of such an institution, and as long as this check is in place, I have no problem with them doing whatever they think is appropriate with their money, and anybody who wants to join in can, and anybody who doesn't want to doesn't have to.  The foundation (or any other similar institution) really only speaks for its members, not for the rest of the bitcoin world.

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February 08, 2013, 07:21:12 PM
 #25

I promised to myself at a young age that I would stay away from any kind of political organization.
I fully support Bitcoin, not the politics around it.

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February 08, 2013, 07:24:40 PM
 #26

Matthew, something to keep in mind is that anybody else could do this.

That's a lie.

No one else can have Gavin work for them as the lead dev, no one else can own bitcoinfoundation.com /.org or use the same name. Maybe someone else can start a different foundation but they certainly wouldn't have the same sort of access to the project like Bitcoin foundation does. And without access there is no power and without power there are no donations and without donations there is no foundation so no, people can't just start their own.

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February 08, 2013, 07:35:56 PM
 #27

Matthew, something to keep in mind is that anybody else could do this.

That's a lie.

No one else can have Gavin work for them as the lead dev, no one else can own bitcoinfoundation.com /.org or use the same name. Maybe someone else can start a different foundation but they certainly wouldn't have the same sort of access to the project like Bitcoin foundation does. And without access there is no power and without power there are no donations and without donations there is no foundation so no, people can't just start their own.

I agree, hazek, for competing within Bitcoin nobody else could ever be on equal footing with TBF. That's why I was initially so concerned. However, as I said, as long as Bitcoin isn't the only viable thing available to the marketplace (and now with Litecoin gaining favor it's not) I'm not worried.
Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 07:40:17 PM
 #28

Matthew, something to keep in mind is that anybody else could do this.

That's a lie.

No one else can have Gavin work for them as the lead dev,

If I could afford it, I would love to personally pay Gavin to work for me as "lead developer of bitcoin" doing exactly what he does now, for twice the cost.  I'm sure anyone could do that, if they had the money and were willing to spend it that way.  Somebody could found an institution to do that, and persuade people they could do a better job of it than The Bitcoin Foundation.

Forking is one of the most wonderful inventions of the modern age.

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February 08, 2013, 07:41:01 PM
 #29

Bitcoin foundation it is one thing that you want to believe is a good thing but makes it so hard to do that. I have yet to see anything being done, but to throw a conference that would still cost $300 to attend.

To pay Gavin a salary which we then learned cause he is in deposable, which then makes bitcoin really centralized in that fact.  

Two of the biggest bitcoin businesses both hold seats on the foundation which are monopolies since there is no checks or balances, at least get another exchange on there like btc-e or bitstamp CEO, and a another cash to bitcoin site CEO.

I could go on and on but it has been hashed again and again.

Bitcoin foundation is just for the elitest people that want to dance around and say look me I love bitcoin more than you...

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Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 07:42:51 PM
 #30

Thank you everyone for your extremely well thought out posts. I think I have a much better understanding of the gist of things but have contacted Charlie on Skype to get a more direct answer from his side of things (waiting for a response). I would hope that while carrying the name "Bitcoin" and "Foundation" together, it would carry a lot of the weight of the work in development and promotion, but so many times before I have seen organizations started by business owners that tend to only benefit their business interests.

If for example, someone outside of bitcoin asked the Bitcoin Foundation for an interview about bitcoin, would we be seeing name drops for all of their businesses, but not rival businesses that were equally trustworthy? If a direct question was asked such as "How can we get bitcoins?", would they mention anything other than the businesses owned by their foundation members? That is something that concerns me just a little. It could potentially be another situation like Bruce Wagner and MyBitcoin causing widespread loss, how MtGox's earlier security incidents are now universally known as "Bitcoin being hacked" by the outside media, and it seems like another organization directly intended to represent bitcoin will only be another single point of failure. I'm just thinking outloud of course, I could be way off base.

My opinion at this moment is that the "Blockchain is our Foundation".

Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 07:43:04 PM
 #31

Maybe someone else can start a different foundation but they certainly wouldn't have the same sort of access to the project like Bitcoin foundation does.

Access to what project?  The Satoshi client?  Does the Satoshi client equal Bitcoin?  Do the domain names equal Bitcoin?  Do the accounts on github that have access to the Satoshi client equal Bitcoin?

Anybody can fork the Satoshi client or create a compatible client, and in fact several forks and compatible clients exist.  Anybody can register a domain name and make websites about bitcoin.

Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 07:45:24 PM
 #32

how MtGox's earlier security incidents are now universally known as "Bitcoin being hacked" by the outside media,

They are?  I don't think the outside media even remembers this.

I search Google news for bitcoin every day.  The MtGox hack is now old, old news.  When it is mentioned, it's clearly distinguished from "Bitcoin."

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February 08, 2013, 07:49:13 PM
 #33

Anybody can fork the Satoshi client or create a compatible client, and in fact several forks and compatible clients exist.

But think of this Satoshi Client is the only full node there is no other node that is a full node, they have a monopoly on that client.

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Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 07:50:49 PM
 #34

Anybody can fork the Satoshi client or create a compatible client, and in fact several forks and compatible clients exist.

But think of this Satoshi Client is the only full node there is no other node that is a full node, they have a monopoly on that client.

https://help.github.com/articles/fork-a-repo

Matthew N. Wright
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February 08, 2013, 07:58:28 PM
 #35

Okay, in speaking with Charlie he said he started it because it is more of a promotional and kind of support group for bitcoin publicly than anything to do with development or running bitcoin itself, so that makes a lot more sense. He admitted that the transparency factor is missing a bit due to the preparations for the conference and that it would need time to be worked on.

From what I could tell (since I've known Charlie for quite a while) is that his must be an honest attempt at fixing some of the major problems we have with our presentation to outsides and legitimacy factor. What I am *still* worried about a bit though is the fact that in order to join you need to pay a large membership fee, and if you don't, you can't vote on what they do on behalf of Bitcoin. I guess that's not any more of a threat of Bitcoin Magazine posting something bitcoiners don't agree with either though, so I guess that's not something worth arguing.

The comments I've read in this thread combined with what Charlie told me on Skype privately lead me to believe that it's just one of those things we'll have to watch closely and see how it goes. I don't, nor have I ever, assume that it is evil or intended for evil. I just want to make sure I'm clear who, what and why I'm backing something if I do indeed intend to back it. Right now I'm not interested in paying a fee to join something as I feel I can make a bigger difference on my own or on these very forums. That, and any money I had should be going to other places.

Thanks everyone for your contributions and I hope this thread serves to summarily answer many questions to newbies as well.


Walter Rothbard
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February 08, 2013, 08:04:18 PM
 #36

What I am *still* worried about a bit though is the fact that in order to join you need to pay a large membership fee, and if you don't, you can't vote on what they do on behalf of Bitcoin.

Of course not.  Why would people get to vote on how to spend other people's money?  I haven't given the Bitcoin Foundation any money, and I don't expect to get any say in what they do.

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I guess that's not any more of a threat of Bitcoin Magazine posting something bitcoiners don't agree with either though, so I guess that's not something worth arguing.

Exactly!

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February 08, 2013, 08:19:11 PM
 #37


I hadn't seen that. One clear example of how the foundation can benefit Bitcoin as a whole.
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