Minutes of The Bitcoin Foundation Board Meeting held on June 19, 2018
Llew Claasen (Executive Director)
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.