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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on January 15, 2019

Present:

Bobby Lee

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Michael Perklin

Vinny Lingham

Absent:

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 November 20, 2018, were approved by all present.

Financial update – December 2018

  • December revenue includes Membership contributions of $398. There were seven new members.
  • A donation of $3,000 was received this month in the form of a discount to the conference costs for Llew to attend the Satoshi roundtable Conference in Cancun, Mexico hosted by Bruce Fenton.
  • Operating expenses for the period were $4,618. This was lower than the prior months because there was no travel expenditure incurred during the month. This expense was before a loss in BTC value of $297 and a gain in ETH value of $3,211
  • The net surplus for the period was $1,694
  • 12/31/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.6131 coins equating to $2,174
  • 12/31/18 ETH Balance was 158.9459 Ether equating to $21,199
  • December BPI high was $4,138.49 with a low of $3,178.42
  • Total Cash assets including BTC, ETH and USD were $24,442 at 12/31/18.

Operational update – December 2018

Decentralized party January 3, 2018

The board was not able to assist with getting confirmed speakers and community groups committed to participating in time to organize the event. The video livestream was therefore also cancelled. There were initially a number of interested people in Amsterdam and Australia that wanted to organize meetup events associated with this event.  Brock Pierce went ahead with a party in Puerto Rico.

The Foundation issued a press release on Jan 2 and encouraged everyone in the community to share their thoughts on the last 10 years of Bitcoin and their view on the future of Bitcoin using #GenesisBlockTurns10.  The post received a good response and had 75 retweets, 157 likes and the hashtag was used 66 times.

ED Speaking engagements

Decentralized (November 14-16), Athens, Greece on the micro-economics of decentralized networks and the key role of Bitcoin in the future financial system

Blockshow Asia (November 28-29) Singapore on the micro-economics of decentralized networks and the key role of Bitcoin in the future financial system

Legal counsel

Received $70k in unbudgeted and unapproved legal bills from NYC counsel (Pierre Ciric) for full 2018, despite instructions to bill monthly for easier budgeting. The ED is currently exploring discounting, repayment & fundraising options for these bills.

The Foundation engaged Thibault Verbiest to assist with participating in drafting of French crypto regulations. Exploring ways for Civic, Bitcoin Private, Meetups in Amsterdam & Australia to assist with covering these legal expenses.

Brown Rudnick NYC office have accepted Bitcoin Foundation as a pro-bono client covering all US legal requirements. Second brief to them (after Theo Chino amicus brief exploration) is updating Foundation bylaws to mirror Board terms of reference accepted in March 2018.

2019 Planning

Llew will be running a half-day cryptocurrency investment training seminar series for Angel investors and financial services professionals. The event will be co-branded with Foundation & other partner organizations and 20% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Foundation by Llew. Projected income for Foundation from this initiative is $10k in Q1, $50k during FY2019. This will also allow the Foundation to lean on other partnerships as they will provide support and promotion.

Foundation website will soon include a fundraising page with progress markers for key initiatives in 2019. This will encourage people to fund opportunities that they care about.

Llew will host online workshops with members during Jan to get a sense of what members would like to do in 2019 & how members can assist with increasing reach, awareness of our initiatives & fundraising capability.

Llew will host online workshops with partner groups during Jan to get a sense of what we can do together in 2019 & how they can assist with increasing our reach, awareness of our initiatives & fundraising capability. These organizations currently include Bitcoin Private, as well as Bitcoin meetup groups in Amsterdam & Australia.

The culmination of this process will be an operating plan & financial budget for FY2019 prepared in Feb 2019 & presented at the board meeting on Feb 26.

Director appointments

One of the nominees declined participation and another nomination was withdrawn after attempts to schedule discussions with the nominee failed. One of the shortlisted nominees would like to speak with more board members before confirming her involvement. She has already spoken with Bobby Lee.

Vinny and Llew will reach out to 2 additional nominees to assess their interest in joining the board.

Other matters

Michael mentioned the Satoshi Roundtable may be a good source for donations to the Foundation and that it would be good for Llew to attend.

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

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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 October 16, 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 September 18, 2018 were approved by all present.

Financial update – September 2018

  • August revenue included Membership contributions of $892. There were 2 new members.
  • Operating expenses for the period were $9,362. Apart from the Blockonomic travelling expenditure, there was courier of company documents from USA to Cape Town; a general increase in professional fees time and reinstatement legal fees for the state of Washington DC. These expenses were before a loss in BTC value of $196 and a loss in ETH value of $7,971.
  • The net deficit for the period was $16,638
  • 09/30/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.5801 coins equating to $3,841
  • 09/30/18 ETH Balance was 158.9459 Ether equating to $37,011
  • September BPI high was $7,359 with a low of $6,183
  • Total Cash assets including BTC, ETH and USD were $44,0004 at 09/30/18.

Operational update – September 2018

Public relations

A dedicated PR resource has been appointed to spend 2 days a week (~64 hours a month) on Foundation PR.

Operations Management

The recruitment process for a part-time Operations Manager (US based) has started and we hope to make a suitable part-time appointment in October. Once appointed the Operations Manager’s focus will be on planning and operationalizing global training seminar programs, global cryptocurrency advocacy programs, global regulatory stakeholder engagement programs, global fundraising programs and local chapter development (starting with Canada, Australia and the Netherlands).

French BitLicense

French BitLicense: The Foundation’s counsel sent an opposition letter to the French Parliament on September 23, 2018, in which we strongly oppose the “crypto-assets” amendment to the bill on the growth and transformation of businesses (“PACTE Bill”), submitted by LREM MPs, Valeria Faure-Muntian, Christine Hennion and Eric Bothorel on Friday, September 21, 2018 (amendment #2492).

This amendment will allow the French Government to adopt the recommendations of the Landau report, a proponent of the New York BitLicense, which has proven to be a disastrous attempt at regulating the industry, and not a template that others should follow.

As a part of the EU, this step by French Regulators could initiate the adoption of similar irrational regulation in other countries within the EU. Attempted regulation of such a new and immature technology will not serve anyone.
A press release regarding our opposition and calling French communities to reach out if they would like to assist was issued in France and the US – we have had some positive engagement with French businesses and influencers and will explore how we can work together to fight this bad regulation.

We’ve asked our community for support in terms of financial contributions to French legal fees.

Speaking engagements

September speaking engagements and conferences:

  • Crypto Cumberland Crypto Influencers Summit (September 14-16), Singapore
  • Blockchain Live (September 26), London, UK: The Foundation’s ED delivered a keynote on “The Rise Of Blockchain – How Bitcoin Is Pioneering A Global Sea Change.”

Upcoming speaking engagements:

  • BlockCon2018 (October 10-12) Santa Monica, CA
  • Crypto & ICO summit (October 28-29) Zurich, Switzerland
  • Decentralized (November 14-16), Athens, Greece
  • Blockshow Asia (November 28-29) Singapore


Director appointments

The board nominations committee exchanged emails & agreed on a final ordered shortlist of 5 candidates for the Board to vote on, to fill 3 vacant seats for appointed board members. The board accepted the nominations and asked that Vinny and Llew reach out to the top 3 candidates to assess their level of interest in joining the board.

Other matters

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

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

The post 10.16.18 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 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

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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: pciric@ciriclawfirm.com or Kerryn Lloyd (+27) 72 3785379, email: kerryn@bitcoinfoundation.org

New York, NY USA & Paris, France – September 25, 2018

In a letter sent to the French Parliament on September 23, 2018, the Bitcoin Foundation strongly opposes the “crypto-assets” amendment to the bill on the growth and transformation of businesses (“PACTE Bill”), submitted by LREM MPs, Valeria Faure-Muntian, Christine Hennion and Eric Bothorel on Friday, September 21, 2018 (amendment #2492).

The opposition letter, addressed to Roland Lescure who represents the first constituency for French residents overseas and is the general rapporteur of the PACTE Bill, requests the immediate withdrawal of this amendment for procedural and substantive reasons.

This amendment will allow the French Government to adopt the recommendations of the Landau report, a proponent of the New York BitLicense, which has proven to be a disastrous attempt at regulating the industry, and not a template that others should follow.

“The implementation of the New York BitLicense was rejected by all other US states, and recently, the UK Parliament also voiced its opposition to the BitLicense regulatory approach, as revealed in a recent report on cryptocurrencies issued by the Treasury Committee.

The New York BitLicense has driven blockchain startups from the State and has stifled innovation. If this “Crypto-assets” amendment to the PACTE Bill and the so called “French BitLicense” is passed, we’ll certainly see the same mass-exodus of crypto and blockchain startups from France, as well as a refusal for foreign companies to come into France.

We’re also aware that, as a part of the EU, this step by French Regulators could initiate the adoption of similar irrational regulation in other countries within the EU. Attempted regulation of such a new and immature technology will not serve anyone. Therefore, we respectfully ask the French Parliament to withdraw this amendment as soon as possible,” said Llew Claasen.

Now is the time for entrepreneurs to fight premature and unreasonable regulation of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. This legislation will almost certainly signal the end of this nascent, innovative industry in France, and leave France behind as blockchain technology sweeps over every industry in the rest of the world.

The Bitcoin Foundation encourages members of the French cryptocurrency and blockchain communities to get in touch with the Foundation if they’d like to assist with funding or otherwise supporting the Foundation’s work in France. Anyone who would like to reach out to the Foundation can email press@bitcoinfoundation.org.

Read the original French letter. 

The post The Bitcoin Foundation opposes the “French BitLicense” proposed in the “PACTE” Bill currently before the French Parliament appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on August 21, 2018

Present:

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Bruce Fenton

Vinny Lingham

Michael Perklin

Brock Pierce (Chairman)

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 July 17, 2018 were approved by all present.

Financial update – July 2018

  • July revenue includes Membership contributions of $826 and $4,000 from speaking fees for Distributed in Greece during November 2018. There were 10 new members.
  • The Foundation received a donation of $100,000 from Brock Pierce with a commitment of a further $100,000 from Vinny Lingham/Civic once the Civic marketplace goes live.
  • Operating expenses for the period were $4,954 before forex gains & losses of $10,341, which included an unrealized gain in BTC of $745 and an unrealized loss in ETH of $11,086. Fees of $739 were incurred relating to the end of life of the forums & previously unbilled fees for monthly WordPress & hosting maintenance.
  • Total cash and crypto on hand on July 31 2018 of $80 897, including $7,688 in USD.

Operational update – July 2018

Revised Budget

Llew had originally intended to request that the board of directors approve a revised budget associated with the $100k donation from Brock. Unfortunately the ETH donation from Brock has reduced by 40% because the sudden drop in the price of Ether. Llew suggested that the current price of Ether likely doesn’t represent its future price, it was just unfortunate that the price fell dramatically almost immediately after the Foundation received it. Llew asked the board of directors for some leniency on the budget due to these ETH price movements. The Foundation will focus its attention and programs on PR, education and setting up local chapters in Canada, Australia and possibly Amsterdam. Our approach would be to support local groups operating on these markets that have requested our support, so that our own structure is decentralized units that we support but don’t control.

Foundation PR

The major focus for the upcoming programs was on PR  to raise awareness of the programs the Foundation is doing. The Foundation is making use of a PR consultant from Newtown Partners on a part-time basis who will be able to use a PR tracking and engagement tool called Meltwater to identify PR opportunities, create awareness of the work the Foundation is doing and track progress.

Director appointments

There are up to 3 available seats for incoming Board members. The most recent board terms of reference are being used to update the Foundation bylaws so that the board is structured with 5 elected board members and 3 strategic members, excluding the seat of the Executive Director. This structure means that there will be no need for an election for the strategic appointments but rather that the current board of directors should have a discussion around first filling the 3 strategic appointments and then after that have 2 cycles of elections, possibly in the next 6, 12 or 18 months. The board agreed that the board would first make the 3 strategic board appointments and thereafter schedule two sets of elections to make available the current elected board member seats in staggered elections during the next 6-18 months, in order to provide stability and continuity.

Bruce had been attending to a family medical issue in the last month, but the nominations committee is expected to present a final list of candidates to the board by the next meeting. If any board of directors members have a candidate they would want to send to the nomination committee, they are welcome to do so.

Other matters

Llew spoke with Thomas Pillsworth, the original Bitcoin miner whose plight was first raised in Forbes coverage of the Plattsburg, NY cryptocurrency mining moratorium. This followed the Foundations attempts to make contact with miners in New York state affected by the moratoriums. It turns out that Thomas is a long-time member of the Foundation and replied to our member newsletter on our third attempt at outreach.

It appeared that Plattsburg, NY did not have a good plan for their electricity consumption and were caught unprepared with the massive electricity demand, which raised tariffs that had to be passed onto consumers. The moratorium was an attempt to step things back until a sustainable position could be achieved. The major of the town doesn’t appear to be anti-bitcoin – there is a small mining rig inside the mayor’s office now!

Thomas believes that they have come a long way to get the town to accept the value of cryptocurrency mining operations in the town, especially its ability to create new jobs in remote areas. A draft mining bill has been circulated for comment, with a view to lift the moratorium. Thomas asked that instead of taking a litigious approach, that the Foundation rather get in touch with law makers in New York state and the town and educate them around the benefits of being pro-cryptocurrency mining in upstate New York.

Llew’s trip to Malaysia

Llew was recently in Malaysia to speak at BLOCONOMIC on behalf of the Foundation. Llew has realised that the cryptocurrency and blockchain communities in Europe & Asia are very excited to have the Foundation involved in their local ecosystems. Llew will be spending more time participating and supporting those communities as there is no legacy hostility towards the Foundation, compared to the USA.

Bitcoin Private

Llew met with Daniele Monteleone of Bitcoin Private, which is a post Segwit fork of BTC. A project of that type would normally likely have been considered another bitcoin fork scam, but surprisingly they have come along way and have made progress in rebasing the code and integrating ZK-snarks. There was no hostility towards the Foundation from the Bitcoin Private team and they were interested in ways the Foundation can help them. Llew feels that this is an earnest engineer-driven project and the Foundation should explore ways to support them. They could also be a source of the funding for the Foundation programs, since they do not have any Foundation structure. Llew agreed to do some more due diligence on the project before the Foundation took a final position.

Vinny asked if it were possible to have a franchise model in a form of a chapter model, so that the Foundation could hire people in the different countries to run the local chapters, to support the cause. This could go some way towards building the good name of the Foundation

Llew felt that there are 2 approaches available to the Foundation – a local chapter model, where there is existing interest in Canada, Australia and Amsterdam, where the Foundation would not set up the chapter, but rather look for local groups that we can assist with education materials, speakers, process or possibly some funding. It’s more of an opportunity for advocacy and influencing legislation and regulation in that area. This approach would be very decentralized, all the Foundation would be doing is empowering people that are already doing the work.

Secondly, another approach would be to have a chapter that supports  a specific project, such as might be the case for Bitcoin Private. Vinny suggested that the Foundation should on a global level be supporting chapters, not projects within local chapters. Llew agreed that these projects are global in nature, for instance an Italian chapter might be focused Italy, but not all contributors to a specific Bitcoin implementation would be in Italy

Vinny suggested that the Foundation might also have chapters that just support sponsored projects. The challenge would come when these projects are once off and create a short-term drain on Foundation resources. It may make most sense to create a local chapter model with local Bitcoin Foundation representation, where the local chapters could sponsor local projects that are not once off. Llew offered that the downside was that no-one had come up to say they want to run a local chapter of the Foundation itself and Vinny agreed that the idea be paused for now.

Michael wants to know the contact in Canada for the local chapter. Llew will come back with his name. There was previously a discussion around working with Francis and the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

Dash DAO

Llew met Rafael Schultz who runs an advocacy organisation funded by Dash in Europe. They’re called The Dash Embassy DACH  (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and he is interested in working on cryptocurrency advocacy in those markets with the Foundation. The board agreed that Llew could investigate this further.

Taiwan legislator Wan-Ju Yu

Llew met a Taiwanese legislator, Wan-Ju Yu to discuss the advocacy work of the Foundation. She was excited to hear that the Foundation was the original cryptocurrency advocacy organisation and suggested that they have a follow-on conversation that could have Llew visit to speak to other Taiwanese legislators about cryptocurrencies.

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

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

The post 08.21.18 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 June 19, 2018

Present:

Llew Claasen (Executive Director)

Bruce Fenton

Bobby Lee

Vinny Lingham

Michael Perklin

Absent:

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 February 20, 2018 were approved by all present.

Financial update – May 2018

Llew referred the board members to the financial report from May 2018. May revenue included membership contributions of $1,479. There were 12 new members. Operating expenses for the period were $6,773, which included flights, accommodation & conference fees for Blockchain Week NYC and also marketing expenditure. An invoice for $5,000 was issued to Blockchain Live for a UK speaking engagement in September 2018. The net deficit for the period was $1,052.39. The 05/31/18 Bitcoin Balance was 0.4380 coins equating to $3,274.34. Total Cash assets including BTC and USD were $8,586.08 at 05/31/18.

Operational update – May 2018

Operationalizing the $5m Opex plan for 2018 has been put on hold until some of the initial funding is received to kick off programs. None of the original commitment was received during April or May 2018 and no additional board members made funding commitments or funding introductions.

The Foundation continued to engage with NY state legislators on issues relating to the cryptocurrency mining ban and filed several Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests regarding the other moratoria on cryptocurrency mining in Village of Massena, the Village of Tupper Lake, the Village of Rouses Point, as well as the New York Power Authority to understand the legal basis for the moratoria. The Foundation has also encouraged cryptocurrency miners (via a press release) to come forward and work with us to understand the impact of the moratoria on our industry. The legal basis for the moratoria and the miner’s input will determine the Foundation’s next steps on how to best support and advocate on this matter.

The board discussed this issue and asked that the ED proceed to challenge this on the basis of free speech, rather than on the basis of economic loss sustained by the miners.

The Foundation is aware of people registering “Bitcoin” as a trademark in the US and UK. A total of 2 trademarks are pending in the US, although it is unclear whether the filers intend to make commercial usage of them at this stage. The deadline to oppose the US trademark filings is June 28, 2018 and the Foundation’s legal counsel has been briefed to oppose the filings. The UK patent reported in the press has already been granted, so we have to file a post-award challenge to this trademark (no time limit associated with this challenge). The Foundation has engaged with UK counsel in this regard. Our UK attorney has also identified 6 EU trademarks with the word “Bitcoin”, most of them at pending stage and filed across jurisdictions including France, Belgium, Germany and Turkey. Our UK attorney is preparing the details to understand our options in terms of challenges.

The ED delivered a keynote on behalf of the Foundation “Demystifying the 3 buzzwords: Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency” at Africa Blockchain Conference 2018 in Kampala, Uganda (May 23-24). The uptake of blockchain technology in African countries is encouraging to see.

The ED attended and spoke at Blockshow Europe (May 28).

Director appointment following Elizabeth’s departure

The board seat of Francis Pouliot had been vacated in terms of the board terms of reference as he had failed to attend 11 of the past 12 board meetings. In addition, the board seat of Elizabeth McCauley has been vacant since she stepped down during March 2018.

A nominations committee comprising Llew Claasen, Bruce Fenton & Michael Perklin will prepare a list of suitable board candidates to propose for an election by member in the near future.

Funding discussion for $5m plan for 2018

The ED explain that despite the ED being asked to fly to the US for preparatory discussions with the Chairman, the preparation of a detailed $5m operational plan to support these discussions and a planned launch event during Blockchain week, we had failed to secure any funding or support from board members or their associates for the funding targets. The board agreed that under the circumstances the $5m plan be shelved.

Any other matters

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

                                                                                                                                               xxxxxxxxxxx

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

The post 06.19.18 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, CA – August 28, 2018 –The Bitcoin Foundation has received a commitment of $200,000 for its 2018/2019 plan – $100,000 from Brock Pierce, a venture capitalist, philanthropist, serial entrepreneur and Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and a further $100,000 commitment from the other members of the Board. The funds will be used as a starting block to raise more funding and roll out the Foundation’s 2018/2019 strategic plan.

Despite Bitcoin seeing a decline in the 80% market dominance it held in January 2017, Bitcoin is still the most recognizable name in cryptoassets. This brand recognition, along with the Foundation’s standing as the world’s largest and oldest cryptoasset advocacy organization, places the Foundation in a prime position to continue to advance the industry’s common causes with external stakeholders. To this end, the Foundation’s key priorities for 2018/2019 include operating at a global level to educate and engage with lawmakers and regulators, educate the general public and media through online and in-person training programs and seminars, and facilitate communication and cooperation across the industry.

According to Llew Claasen, The Bitcoin Foundation’s Executive Director, “most cryptoasset projects have shared objectives. It’s unfortunate that for too long the education, media and consumer outreach and lobbying efforts of projects have been siloed and duplicative. Fundamentally, these new projects have many things in common with each other. They came about after the creation of Bitcoin on the back of the availability of alternative blockchain technologies, different views on blockchain architectures, philosophical differences and people’s inherent desire to contribute where their effort would be most valued and incentives are greatest. They’re all children of Bitcoin and we want to embrace this diversity in our industry and represent these shared interests.”

“The cryptoasset industry is very young and often misunderstood by lawmakers, regulators, the public and the media. Our industry faces a real threat of massive global overregulation on the back of misunderstood, inaccurate and often politicized ideas of their potential for illicit purposes, rather than how these technologies are being used in reality. We continue to believe that these technologies hold massive potential for increasing levels of low cost, peer-to-peer economic participation. There is fortunately also a growing realization amongst project maintainers that it doesn’t make sense to fight each other for mind- or market- share at this stage of the industry, but rather to pool education and lobbying resources and stand together against very real external threats to the industry”, says Claasen.

For the Foundation to achieve its objectives, it needs to broaden its reach and operate at a global and regional level. One of the primary aims of the 2018/2019 strategy is to, through a phased approach, facilitate communication and cooperation by launching regional operations in North America, Asia & Australasia, Africa & Latin America, and Europe with a focus on local lobbying, local education and training and local member acquisition and engagement to assist in advancing the world towards a peer-to-peer, permissionless and decentralized financial system.

Over the past few years, the Bitcoin Foundation’s ability to execute on its plans has been severely constrained by a lack of resources. This funding from Pierce and the rest of the Board enables the Foundation to kick start its purposeful strategic plan, using the momentum that will be achieved from the initiatives rolled out with the first $200k, to expand the Foundation’s mandate and encourage the broader community to support its programs going forward.

“I am incredibly excited about playing an important role in ushering in the global adoption of both Bitcoin and other cryptoasset projects through this donation to the Bitcoin Foundation. It’s important to me as the Chairman of the Foundation, and as a part of the greater crypto community, that the roll out of the strategic plan can begin. I hope that my colleagues in the crypto community will follow suit and support our work financially”, says Pierce.

“The Bitcoin Foundation is already the go-to industry representative amongst regulators and lawmakers and our new focus on common industry interests is simply formalizing the role that we’re already playing informally. I hope that other donors, no matter which crypto project they most associate with, will be encouraged to assist us with raising funds that will enable us to implement our plan to support our industry’s shared interests”, concludes Claasen.

Those interested in donating to the Foundation or assisting with fundraising initiatives should contact the Foundation at info@bitcoinfoundation.org.

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 The Bitcoin Foundation to raise funds to educate stakeholders & protect cryptocurrencies from bad regulation globally – Brock Pierce & Board members donate the first $200,000 appeared first on Bitcoin Foundation.

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