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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on November 20, 2018

Present:

Bobby Lee

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

Bruce Fenton

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Michael Perklin

Vinny Lingham

Absent:

none

Approval of the agenda

The agenda for the meeting was approved by the Board.

Approval of the minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on October 16, 2018, were approved by all present.

Financial update – October 2018

  • October revenue includes Membership contributions of $728. There were 6 new members.
  • Operating expenses for the period were $6,250 which is well within the average monthly expenditure. This expense was before a loss in BTC value of $164 and a loss in ETH value of $5,638
  • The net deficit for the period was $11,313
  • 10/31/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.5973 coins equating to $3,787
  • 10/31/18 ETH Balance was 158.9459 Ether equating to $31,373
  • October BPI high was $6,622 with a low of $6,177
  • Total Cash assets including BTC, ETH, and USD were $36,821 at 10/31/18, a 16% decrease in cash assets for the period.

Operational update – September 2018

French BitLicense

The ED and legal counsel met with the blockchain team at the French Finance ministry to discuss our opposition to the so-called French BitLicense. The meeting went well, but the team indicated a strong desire for “proportionate and flexible regulatory requirement, adapted to the specificities of ICOs and crypto-assets.”  and that this was supported by earlier public participation.

Counsel to the Foundation reached out to French legislators in the upper house where bill still needs to be adopted, to determine if it was worth building a coalition to oppose the bill. The parliamentarians indicated that regulation was guaranteed and AML requirements were imposed by the EU directive. Outreach to counsel at Ledger in France also indicated an unwillingness to publicly oppose the regulations.

The Foundation decided not to further oppose the passing of the bill, but rather to get involved in the drafting of the final regulations. Llew met with Thibault Verbiest, a French lawyer that was involved in creating the first draft of the PACT-E bill amendment. Thibault offered to include the Foundation as an advisor to the drafting of the regulations currently in progress and follow-on calls are being scheduled. Thibault also offered to include the ED in a high-level cryptoasset regulation working group meeting at the WEF at the end of Jan 2019 in Davos, Switzerland.

NY BitLicense

Foundation member Theo Chino’s s78 application for the NY BitLicense regulations to be set aside was unsuccessful. He has filed an appeal and asked the Foundation to file a supporting amicus brief. The ED asked his investment company law firm, Brown Rudnick in NYC, to do the work on a pro-bono basis and they agreed. Once researched, Brown Rudnick advised against filing an amicus brief since Theo’s appeal had a low likelihood of success and the basis of the appeal (standing) didn’t enable the Foundation to use the platform to advance its broader objectives. The Foundation did not file an amicus brief to support Theo’s appeal.

Malta DAO legislation

The ED has been asked to participate on an advisory board for an upcoming piece of legislation in Malta for recognizing DAOs as legal persons. Follow-on discussions are being scheduled by Dr. Jonathan Galea.

Change in legal counsel

The Foundation will terminate the legal services of Pierre Ciric at the end of Nov 2018 and switch to pro-bono representation by Brown Rudnick. The next matter that Brown Rudnick will assist with, is updating the Foundation bylaws. Each matter will need to be individually approved by the pro-bono committee at this time.

Participation in University of Nicosia curriculum

George Giaglis, a professor at UNIC and the Director of their Institute for the Future has asked the Foundation to participate in the curriculum for their cryptocurrency and blockchain programs. Follow-on discussions are being scheduled. They were the first university in the world to offer an MSc in Digital Currency.

New board appointments

Vinny and Llew have reached out to the top 3 shortlist candidates separately, but no follow-on calls have yet been confirmed.

Speaking engagements

End October and November speaking engagements and conferences:

Other matters

Bitcoin Cash

Bobby initiated a discussion asking whether the Foundation should have a public opinion on Bitcoin Cash and the BSV fork. Was this an opportunity for the Foundation to do some thought leadership? The board members agreed that the issue was very contentious and that there were problems on both the BCH and BCH/ABC sides. No public position necessary at this time.

Bitcoin’s 10 year birthday

Brock initiated a discussion about January 3, 2019, the 10-year anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block. The board discussed a number of different options, including possibly sponsoring an event, making an announcement or working with another event taking place at the same time.

A decision was taken that the format of the celebrations should be good speakers for 45-60 minutes over a videocast, with pre-parties at participating meetup groups. Brock agreed to organize a party in Puerto Rico, while Bruce agreed to organize something in New Hampshire and Michael offered to organize meetups groups in Toronto and Denver. Llew would suggest a list of speakers for the board to agree on and work with board members to reach out to prospective speakers to confirm their participation.

There being no further items to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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11.20.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation

The post 11.20.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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Press Contacts: San Francisco, CA, Kerryn Lloyd, press@bitcoinfoundation.org

San Francisco, 2 January 2019 –  Tomorrow, January 3, 2019, marks 10 years since Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin code into the wild and created the genesis block; sparking an open source movement for a decentralized future. Many celebrated Bitcoin’s 10th birthday on October 31 (the date Satoshi released the Bitcoin whitepaper), however it was only on January 3 the following year that the genesis block was created.

Since this watershed moment, although a rollercoaster ride, the industry has undeniably grown and steadily gained mainstream adoption. Satoshi arguably created the most innovative technology since the internet and while this nascent industry remains divided on Bitcoin’s future, applications of the technology are still being discovered and we continue to build. The Bitcoin genesis block’s 10th birthday is cause for celebration!

Llew Claasen, the Bitcoin Foundation’s Executive Director, said: “The last 10 years of Bitcoin have been historic. All of the contributions that have been made by various members of our community since the creation of the genesis block have aided in the journey to a permissionless, decentralized world.”

“As we celebrate this day together on January 3 2019, we encourage everyone in our community to share their thoughts on the last 10 years of Bitcoin and their view on the future of Bitcoin using #GenesisBlockTurns10”, concludes Claasen.

The Bitcoin Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in September 2012. Comprised of senior leaders in the Bitcoin and cryptoasset communities, the Foundation coordinates joint efforts of the Bitcoin and other cryptoasset communities, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets, their responsible use and related technology requirements for global adoption. The Foundation’s audience includes technologists, regulators, and the media, and its reach is global. The Foundation has been at the forefront of campaigning for an unimpeded economic system for the future.

The post Bitcoin Genesis Block’s 10th Birthday #GenesisBlockTurns10 appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on Sept 18, 2018

Present:

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

Bruce Fenton

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Michael Perklin

Vinny Lingham

Absent:

Bobby Lee

Approval of the agenda

The agenda for the meeting was approved by the Board.

Approval of the minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on August 21, 2018 were approved by all present.

Financial update – July 2018

  • August revenue included Membership contributions of $946. There were 6 new members.
  • Operating expenses for the period were $8,002 which is significantly higher than the prior month because of Singapore & London conference flight & accommodation expenses. This expense was before a loss in BTC value of $441.82 and a loss in ETH value of $23,980.17
  • The net deficit for the period was $31,477.51
  • 08/31/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.5188 coins equating to $3,640.24
  • 08/31/18 ETH Balance was 158.9459 Ether equating to $44,981.69
  • August BPI high was $7,603.75 with a low of $6143.30
  • Total Cash assets including BTC, ETH and USD were $56,976.47 at 08/31/18.

Operational update – July 2018

Foundation Funding

An announcement regarding the $200k funding commitment received from Brock and Vinny went out to media on August 28. The announcement received limited coverage, but the positive sign was, there was no negative response on platforms like Twitter. The Foundation will use some on the funds for PR support and the PR tool mentioned in the previous meeting called Meltwater.

We expect that the increased PR will lead to direct increases in membership contributions and member numbers for the Foundation. The talks that Llew makes on behalf of the Foundation have been well received, especially in Asia and Europe. We hope that the PR will increase awareness of our and invitations for the Foundation to attend and participate in future conferences. The Foundation’s ability to execute on the plan will increase dramatically once the price of Ethereum recovers.

Foundation Operations

Llew had found a part-time candidate who he expects to bring on board to provide support as an operations manager. The candidate is based in Florida and has extensive knowledge of cryptocurrency. The Foundation will use this resource to start setting up local chapters in Canada and Australia, as well as hosting cryptocurrency seminars. Llew will introduce the candidate to the board once the contract has been finalised.

Director appointments

The board nominations committee was unfortunately unable to meet since the last board meeting to come up with the final shortlist. The nominations committee expects to meet before the next board meeting to prepare a final list to propose to the board.

Other matters

France Legislation BitLicense

The Foundation recently received information about French legislation that is being drafted that has been modelled after the BitLicense of New York. It is an outcome of a trip by French legislators who had gone to New York to engage with the NYDFS and decided that a similar approach would enable greater regulatory certainty. The Foundation has appointed legal counsel in France to engage with French legislators in opposition to the draft bill, as this template would lead to the outcomes as in New York. The Foundation will reach out to French Bitcoin groups to get their support and raise funds for legal fees.

Chamber of Digital Commerce

Llew had a very constructive conversation with Perry-Anne from Chamber of Digital Commerce at a recent event. Issues discussed included the possibility of the Foundation becoming a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce as a legislative monitoring service. It appeared that although it didn’t appear to the case at first, the Foundation & the Chamber are philosophically not very far apart in its views on regulations.  Another way that the Foundation could be useful to the industry would be if it informally played the role of custodian of the history of Bitcoin. This would include details on the early days of Satoshi and how the Bitcoin protocol has changed over time.

Llew’s trip to Singapore

Llew was in Singapore to attend the Cumberland Crypto Influencers Summit. Llew was heartened by a number of positive engagements and how welcoming and eager many attendees were to work with the Foundation. There is so much potential in Asia and Europe and Llew hopes that with the new PR person will be able to create more awareness on the work being done by the Foundation, including outside the US.

Jim Newsome

Llew had a chat with Jim Newsome, who is the ex-chairman of the CFTC and now runs a regulatory consulting firm called Delta Strategy in Washington, DC. Llew suggested it would be good for the Foundation to work with Jim, as he is well connected in the financial services industry circles in DC. Jim also does a lot for work with the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Jim has been in the financial services regulation space for a long time and appears to be philosophically aligned the Foundation’s light-to-no new regulation approach.

There being no further items to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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09.18.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation

The post 09.18.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on July 17, 2018

 Present:

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Bruce Fenton

Bobby Lee

Vinny Lingham

Michael Perklin

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

Apologies:

Bruce Fenton

Approval of the agenda

The agenda for the meeting was approved by the Board.

Approval of the minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on June 19, 2018 were approved by all present.

Financial update – June 2018

Llew referred the board members to the financial report from June 2018. June revenue included membership contributions of $1,478. There were 5 new members. Operating expenses for the period were $5,318, which included flights & accommodation for the ED’s speaking engagements and also marketing expenditure & administrative fees. The net deficit for the period was $4,373. The 06/30/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.4773 coins equating to $3,040. Total Cash assets including BTC and USD were $8,501 at 06/30/18.

Llew highlighted that he was personally paying $3,000 to $4,000 a month to keep the foundation going & we needed to find a way around this, as it was an unfair burden being placed on the ED.

The board explored that idea of accepting donations in currencies other than BTC and agreed that we would accept donations in any cryptocurrency going forward. Vinny highlighted that donors wouldn’t want their tokens or coins to be dumped into the market in order to convert to BTC. We need a policy for how to do this responsibly e.g. agree to a donation with a pre-agreed liquidation schedule.

Llew highlighted that it was difficult to kickstart 2018 programs without a capital injection & asked the board where they thought the Foundation could source the initial capital to kickstart the programs for 2018?

Llew asked the board why they thought that we were struggling to generate large donations for the programs of the Foundation? Michael said that he had asked people to donate to the Foundation, but that they didn’t want to commit at this time.

Brock agreed to donate $100k to the Foundation, with the understanding that Vinny would contribute $100k in Civic tokens to the Foundation in the future, after the Civic marketplace goes live. Brock agreed to get his CFO to do the transfer immediately. In return, Brock requested a plan for what the Foundation is going to do with the $100k, to accompany a press release that will encourage other people to contribute to these programs.

Operational update – June 2018

The ED was out of office for 3 weeks since the last board meeting.

The $5m Opex plan for 2018 has been permanently shelved as none of the original commitment was received from funders, no board members made funding commitments or funding introductions for this plan.

State regulators approved a new power rate structure on July 12 for one upstate utility (Massena municipal utility) that will allow miners interested in running operations there to negotiate contracts that will be reviewed individually. The Foundation has not yet heard from any miners regarding our request to hear from operators in NY state, so that we could better support their interests.

The board heard from Llew about the fact that there were a number of different trademarks that have been registered which include the term “bitcoin” with and without a disclaimer that allows the use of the generic term “bitcoin” within the class where the mark was registered. More recently, there is a pending US trademark “Beasts of Bitcoin” that does not include a disclaimer allowing generic use of the term in the class of registration. US counsel has proposed that the Foundation appoint a trademark lawyer to oppose this pending trademark application at an estimated cost of $8,000 (if the request to add the disclaimer is uncontested) and $50,000 (if the request is contested). The board agreed that it would uneconomical for the Foundation to oppose all new bitcoin trademarks and may not be able to do anything to nullify currently registered marks. The board further believes that it would be unlikely that a court would find that a trademark in any class would be enforced against the generic bitcoin term. Accordingly, the board agreed not to proceed with opposing either the trademark application “Beasts of Bitcoin” or any other trademark applications containing the generic term “bitcoin” in future.

The ED attended and spoke at TokenMarket 2018 (June 28-29) in Gibraltar.

Director appointments

Llew explained the process that the nominations committee would follow in order to propose new board appointments – strategic candidates would be sourced by the nominations committee from internal & external suggestions, shortlisted by the committee and proposed to the board for a final vote. There was no need for strategic board appointments to be elected by members, in terms of the revised board terms of reference adopted in May 2018.

Llew further spoke about the challenges with all current board members having exceeded their 2-year terms, aside from Bruce. Llew asked how the board could ensure continuity and not create massive disruption to operations by having to elect an (almost) completely new board? Brock suggested that we look at filling strategic board appointments first, then look to elections in the next 6 months for 2 elected seats, another 12 months later, elections for the other 3 elected board seats.

Brock suggested that we consider appointing Akon, Patrick Byrne and female candidates to the vacant board seats. Brock further suggested that we look at SHEOS (a female EOS block producer) for possible female board candidates for board and perhaps also to Blythe Masters or Meltem Demirrors. Brock agreed to discuss the board position with Meltem to see if she’s interested after Llew & Michael have discussed with Bruce on the nominations committee.

Michael agreed with first doing the strategic appointments & that board appointments should follow 2 election cycles as suggested by Brock. Michael said he was going to propose Pamela Morgan to the nominations committee.

Other matters

Brock suggested that the Philippines was going to be large market for cryptocurrencies in the near term and that the Foundation should look at specific markets to explore our role in financial inclusion via cryptocurrency.

There being no further matters to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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07.17.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation

The post 07.17.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on February 20, 2018

Present:

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Bruce Fenton

Vinny Lingham

Elizabeth McCauley

Michael Perklin

Francis Pouliot (proxy by Bruce)

 

Absent:

Bobby Lee

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

 Approval of the agenda

The agenda for the meeting was approved by the Board.

 Approval of the minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on October 17, 2017 were approved by all present.

 Financial updates – November & December 2017

Llew referred the board members to the financial reports from November & December 2017, since the Foundation had not held a board meeting in December 2018 and a quorum was not present for the meeting held on January 16 2018.

 Financial update – November 2017

November revenue included Membership contributions of $996. There were 19 new members. $10,371 (1BTC) was received as donations towards the Legal Fees to oppose the Senate Bill S.1241 (Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017). Operating expenses for the period under review were 59% higher as compared to the previous month. This was mainly as a result of the legal fees paid to oppose S1241. 11/30/17 Bitcoin Balance was 1.0503 coins equating to $10,432.63. November BPI high was $9,916.54 with a low of $5,857.32. Total Cash assets including BTC and USD were $12,525.64 at 11/30/17.

 

Financial update – December 2017

December revenue includes Membership contributions of $2,708. There were 14 new members. Operating expenses for the period under review were similar to previous months. 12/31/17 Bitcoin Balance was 1.0580 coins equating to $14,232.09. December BPI high was $19,343.04 with a low of $10,859.56. Total Cash assets including BTC and USD were $15,923.46 at 12/31/17. This signifies a 27% increase in cash assets for the period under review. This increase is mainly as a result of the increase in the bitcoin price in December.

 

Financial update – January 2018

January revenue included Membership contributions of $2,265. There were 17 new members. Operating expenses for the period were similar to previous months at $2,813, before a realized loss on sale of BTC of $3,020. The net deficit for the period was $3,568. 01/31/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.0039 coins equating to $41.93. January BPI high was $17.135.84 with a low of $10,035.00. Total Cash assets including BTC and USD were $12,557.32 at 01/31/18, a 21% decrease in cash assets for the period as a result of the decrease in the bitcoin price in January.

 

Operational update – December 2017

The Foundation sent a number of letters to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in regards to our opposition to draft bill S1241 & managed to raise 1BTC towards these legal fees through a fundraising campaign. We await final edits to the Online training program course content, so that it can be operationalized and converted into an Online format. Llew is speaking at Peer Summit in Eden, Utah on behalf of the Foundation, during Jan 2018.

The Foundation 2018 Planning process is expected to kick off in Jan 2018 and members will be invited to participate in determining where we’ll spend our time and resources in 2018.

 

Operational update – January 2018

Llew spoke about Bitcoin & cryptocurrency at Peer Summit, Utah Jan 5-7, great contacts. Llew attended Coin Agenda in Las Vegas Jan 8, many new contacts acquired. Llew attended World Crypto Economic Forum conference in San Francisco on Jan 15-16 & attended a post-event dinner for more networking. Llew unfortunately not able to make it to Mexico for Satoshi Roundtable Feb 5-7. Llew spoke about Bitcoin & cryptocurrency at Startup Grind Global (Google event) in Redwood City, Jan 14. Interviewed by Business Insider post-event and received lots of unwanted attention for a Cointelegraph pickup of an out-of-context comment about BTC reaching $40k by year end. Lobbying activities included further successful opposition to S1241 §13 (federal anti-money laundering bill) which led to the bill stopping in its tracks and letters of opposition to ULC model legislation hearings in Hawaii & Nebraska. Llew will be representing the Bitcoin Foundation at a New York State legislature hearing into cryptocurrencies and the BitLicense on Feb 23. Llew will be speaking about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as an asset class at a Forbes investor conference in Las Vegas on Feb 27.

 

2018 operating budget draft for comment

Llew distributed a budget for 2018 in Excel format and invited board members to share their thoughts on its suitability and otherwise.

Key tenets of the budget were:

  • Continue to increase number of individual members and raise membership income;
  • Bulk of revenue to come from conference speaking fees and half day seminars on how to invest responsibly in cryptocurrencies;
  • Raise $100,000 for a legal fees and lobbying fund;
  • Raise $50,000 for an introduction to cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin online training course with Blockchain Academy;
  • Spending $20,000 on local chapter development and support, and
  • Spending $50,000 on marketing and PR to raise awareness of the work of the Bitcoin Foundation

Board members were supportive of the budget as presented and approved it.

Board terms of reference draft for comment

Llew circulated a draft Board Terms of Reference document outlining the role and responsibilities of Board members. Unfortunately, board members had not been provided with sufficient time to consider the document and provide feedback. It was agreed to schedule a meeting within 2 weeks for the specific purpose of discussing the draft board Terms of Reference further.

 

Any other matters

Bruce asked that the Foundation make more extensive use of its significant Twitter presence to raise awareness of issues. Foundation to use presence to run a series on

“Did you know” what is going on, raising awareness of the anti-regulation position of the Foundation. Another useful Twitter series would be “Basic Bitcoin 101”. The

Foundation should retweet and tag posts by board members, raise awareness of issues that matter to the board.

Bruce suggested that it may be time to introduce new members onto the board, people with a fresh perspective.

The Board discussed whether or not the Foundation should remain chain-neutral, including accepting membership fees and donations in both Bitcoin & Bitcoin Cash. The board asked that the Foundation does not invite controversy on this issue. Llew to prepare a statement on what it means to be chain neutral.

There being no further matters to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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02.20.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation

The post 02.20.18 Minutes of Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of The Bitcoin Foundation appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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