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Author Topic: EFF donations and the Bitcoin Faucet  (Read 15251 times)
BeeCee1
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June 21, 2011, 01:17:24 AM
 #21

I'll need to do a little bit of thinking about how to handle the EFF coins safely (just dumping them all into the Faucet's wallet is not a good idea; I would hate for them to get lost if somebody managed to hack the Faucet's web-facing code). Whatever I do, I will make sure the process of moving the coins from the EFF's donation address to the Faucet is absolutely transparent.

I would contact Gavin.  He runs the Faucet. 

That's a great idea, I'm surprise no one thought of that before now.

*shakes head in disbelief*
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June 21, 2011, 01:22:33 AM
 #22

signing should be possible based on the wallet file.
Guess adding it to the client would be confusing to many but why not have a second application that uses the wallet (as long as it's not encrypted anyway Wink

Gavin Andresen
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June 21, 2011, 02:48:18 AM
 #23

EFF blog post: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/eff-and-bitcoin

RE: refunding donations by proving you own one of the private keys that donated:  interesting idea!  Anybody willing to write code to do that?  Could be a fun project... (find all the transactions that donated to EFF, dig out the public keys, come up with a way to sign/verify a message with private key proving you own a public key, then keep track of which donation transactions have already been refunded)

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unk
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June 21, 2011, 03:03:48 AM
 #24

EFF blog post: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/eff-and-bitcoin

RE: refunding donations by proving you own one of the private keys that donated:  interesting idea!  Anybody willing to write code to do that?  Could be a fun project... (find all the transactions that donated to EFF, dig out the public keys, come up with a way to sign/verify a message with private key proving you own a public key, then keep track of which donation transactions have already been refunded)

i don't think this will work the way people intend. if i'm understanding correctly, the reason the EFF doesn't simply want to refund payments to the addresses from which the payments came is that those payment addresses could be controlled by intermediaries or otherwise can't be tied to the equitable owner of the donated funds. if that's the problem, allowing people to claim addresses by proving that they own them doesn't seem to solve much: the intermediary (e.g., mybitcoin) could still claim the addresses, perhaps through a proxy or 'beard' so that they wouldn't appear associated, and the EFF would be none the wiser.

to say that more simply, what problem would signing solve here? presumably we can assume that someone who sent money from an address owns that address (except in the rare event the private key was lost or stolen).
Dude65535
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June 21, 2011, 03:25:34 AM
 #25

Well... as someone who has donated 25 btc to EFF, I am qualified to comment.


When I first started using bitcoins, The Faucet gave me .05. Id did get me started... so I do have some sympathy.

But not enough to donate 5000 times more than I got out of it.

What do I want? I want the EFF to accept bitcoins. Cash what you have... or, return to the donors accounts.

I donated 10 BTC back when they were about $1 each. Given the rise in value since then, if the EFF does not want them, I would prefer to get mine back.

In my case sending the coins back to any of the addresses they came from would accomplish that.

When I first found out about bitcoin I could not get the faucet to work for me. So I do not feel any need to donate to it, and certainly not $120+ worth of bitcoins.

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June 21, 2011, 07:57:50 AM
 #26

I donated 10 BTC. It was mine. Now it's theirs; they can do with it as they wish. I would have preferred they kept it but it's their choice.
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June 21, 2011, 08:02:52 AM
 #27

I find it a pity that they are not willing to use that money to promote electronic freedom. That was the purpose the money was donated to. They are dishonoring their donors and supporters. Shame on EFF.

I also find it dangerous to put that much amount of money in the Faucet. It will probably get stolen.

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Timo Y
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June 21, 2011, 08:07:10 AM
 #28

RE: refunding donations by proving you own one of the private keys that donated:  interesting idea!  Anybody willing to write code to do that?  Could be a fun project... (find all the transactions that donated to EFF, dig out the public keys, come up with a way to sign/verify a message with private key proving you own a public key, then keep track of which donation transactions have already been refunded)


After thinking about this a little bit more, I have reconsidered ... this is a very bad idea.

During bitcoin's more innocent times, I kept my wallet.dat files unencrypted on my main laptop. I use this laptop to try out new stuff and browse the web with plugins activated, so it has a huge attack surface.

I have long since moved all my bitcoins to offline savings wallets and a spending wallet on a dedicated netbook.

But those old wallet files with zero balance in them should be considered tainted.  Even if I move them offline and format my HD it's too late.  I am making the assumption that they have been harvested by hackers already.  The problem is, my EFF donation happened such a long time ago that it came from one of those wallets.

The last thing we need right now is EFF donations being reclaimed by hackers!

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wareen
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June 21, 2011, 08:09:01 AM
 #29

People clearly intended this money to go to the EFF - so I think some legal way should be found to cash the money out and be donated back to the EFF in USD.

I don't know the exact legal situation in the US but as I recall, the laws regarding donations on behalf of others mainly concern tax deductability. So unless some of the donors were going to deduct their BTC donation to the EFF as a 501c3 organization from their income tax, it is probably possible for Gavin to cash them out and donate the USD back to them.

Maybe someone with a better understanding of the laws involved could comment on this possibility.
caveden
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June 21, 2011, 08:12:08 AM
 #30

The last thing we need right now is EFF donations being reclaimed by hackers!

If you put them in the faucet, the chance of that happening is much higher, IMHO.

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caveden
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June 21, 2011, 08:15:35 AM
 #31

People clearly intended this money to go to the EFF - so I think some legal way should be found to cash the money out and be donated back to the EFF in USD.

Yes and no... I guess many only donated because it was a bitcoin donation, not an USD one. I really feel as if EFF was dishonoring their bitcoin donors, although I understand their fear of government. So maybe the best would be to try to return the money to the donors, and those who really want to donate it to the EFF will do the conversion and donation themselves.

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ribuck
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June 21, 2011, 10:14:10 AM
 #32

If you donated bitcoins to the EFF, you gave them to the EFF to do with as they wish. Asking for them back is not reasonable.
Timo Y
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June 21, 2011, 10:18:17 AM
 #33

If you donated bitcoins to the EFF, you gave them to the EFF to do with as they wish. Asking for them back is not reasonable.

Asking for them back is reasonable, considering they don't want them.

What is not reasonable is expecting to get them back. But asking never hurts.

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hoo2jalu
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June 21, 2011, 10:22:59 AM
 #34

I suspect this decision was made so as not to let their position regarding digital currency (esp. bitcoin) appear to be biased.

We shall see.

If they are about to take a bitcoin related case I will revoke my ill feelings on this matter. Until then, their decision just appears cowardly.
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June 21, 2011, 10:26:09 AM
 #35

So why can't Gavin take the coins from EFF, convert them to Dwollas, and then to cash...and send the EFF a nice money order for that amount?  Perhaps with a nice note saying "Please use this to offset any legal costs associated with the defense of the bitcoin system."


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tubro
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June 21, 2011, 10:39:56 AM
 #36

Why not give them to Bruce Wagner's "bitcoin firehydrant"? At least we'd get a nice publicity event that might be pro bitcoin for a change when a million people queue up for free bitcoins in NYC. Though, come to think of it, it might be better to stage this in Kolkatta/India. Wink
Sukrim
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June 21, 2011, 10:45:45 AM
 #37

I also want to add that the amount of Bitcoins one can get via the faucet is of zero use at all.

You cannot even buy a single share at GLBSE in any of the listed companies/investments there, you cannot buy anything useful and you cannot "experiment" with the money either, because of transfer fees. You anyways need more BTC and to accomplish this, you need to mine or buy some or sell something. The amount you would get with this is far higher than the money from the faucet, so all you can "learn" there is how it looks getting a transaction.

All it does is giving people an incentive to game the system to gain some more relevant amount of BTC out of it as the current amount is useless and a more useful amount won't last long.

It's like someone sending out a single penny in an obscure currency - as long as you don't have already more of these, all you can really do is store it (and be even a little pissed, that you have money lying around that is of no use - I would be!) and then, after some time when you forgot about it, throw it away.

Sorry, but this is not what people intended in my opinion when donating to the EFF.


I would like to see the following changes:
1 single Satoshi coming out of the faucet. This still lets people see how to receive a donation/transaction but will last MUCH longer if someone donates a few Bitcent to the faucet.
To make these transactions free, talk to pool operators if they would include them and use some of the EFF money as bounty for someone developing a good and safe transaction inclusion program (to let pool operators decide which transactions to include and which not, based on certain criteria). This is needed much more than having a few people creating hundreds of Google accounts to gain a few Dollars...

The rest of the money can then stay in the faucet, that would (even with severe hacking) most likely never again run dry.
As far as I understand it, it was anyways not meant to give out meaningful amounts of money (to be able to buy ANYTHING) - so it shouldn't matter if you hand out Satoshis or Millicents.

Satoshis might even stand out more and be a kind of a "reminder" of the faucet, since they are seperated from the rest of the coins, if you trade via a few zeroes.

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Gabi
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June 21, 2011, 10:47:48 AM
 #38

So why can't Gavin take the coins from EFF, convert them to Dwollas, and then to cash...and send the EFF a nice money order for that amount?  Perhaps with a nice note saying "Please use this to offset any legal costs associated with the defense of the bitcoin system."

Now that's a nice question...
teukon
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June 21, 2011, 10:56:01 AM
 #39

If the EFF cannot use my donation in the form of BTC then I would either want my donation returned to me (if possible) or converted to fiat and donated back to the EFF.

I'm not keen on the money going into the faucet.  This is not much better than my donating fiat to the EFF only to have them convert it all to BTC and donate it to the faucet.

I see that torservers.net still has a bitcoin donation address although they have close contact with the EFF.  Is it likely that they too will have to give up accepting BTC donations?
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June 21, 2011, 11:16:18 AM
 #40

So why can't Gavin take the coins from EFF, convert them to Dwollas, and then to cash...and send the EFF a nice money order for that amount?  Perhaps with a nice note saying "Please use this to offset any legal costs associated with the defense of the bitcoin system."



Sounds reasonable, though IMHO the EFF have proven unworthy of these donations by their cowardly behavior.

I have been thinking. Why would they do this? All this "we didn't mean to endorse ..." BS ... it really reverses their earlier behavior where they DID ENDORSE bitcoin.

I guess they just have some bigger donors who prefer to donate in dollars and have a vested interest in bitcoin not succeeding. Really, one "liberal-minded" bank/business might be enough to put pressure on them. For all the good that the EFF has done (I used to be a big fan), maybe they have just become too big, too successful, too American, too intertwined with the establishment? What a shame.
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