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Francis Pouliot

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Francis Pouliot last won the day on February 25 2016

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About Francis Pouliot

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  • Birthday 06/04/1989

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  1. Why I accepted to join the board

    On December 21st, Bruce contacted me by email asking me if I wanted to be appointed to the board. After the two departures from the board, it was imperative to have new additions so that the Bitcoin Foundation could continue functioning in an orderly fashion and respect the by-laws. Since Vinny was runner-up in the industry members and Michael Perklin was runner-up in the individual elections, they were the logical choices. Bruce Fenton got the highest number of votes after Michael Perklin but decided not to hold this position as a matter of good governance since he is already Executive Director. Clearly, I'm going to take some heat from a lot of my friends in the Bitcoin community so this is definitely not a "PR" move. This may very well end up hurting me personally (I hope not). My entire life is devoted to the advancement of Bitcoin. There is no greater cause than the decentralization of our financial system and the politicization of money. My mission is not to marginally increase the efficiency of banks and reduce costs for wall street firms with some so-called “permissioned ledgers”: I’m in it to help bring about a monetary revolution. Whatever people may think of the Bitcoin Foundation, it is still has tangible assets that can help advocates like me to achieve these goals. I joined the board to ensure that these assets are efficiently utilized for the good of the Bitcoin community. So for now: we then need to assess what the best course for the Foundation will be. A lot of people on this forum and on reddit seem to think that it should be closed down. If it is the wish of the membership, it is a real possibility that the Foundation will be disbanded. If it is to be disbanded, it must be done in an orderly fashion and we must ensure that the Foundation's assets are best used in a way that benefits the Bitcoin community. The last thing we need is a messy collapse of the Bitcoin Foundation. If the Foundation is to continue playing an active role, it will be have to find a small niche. Although I would have hoped that it would have been technical development, it appears that this role is best being served by private industry members and we could end up focusing on educaiton. I'm definitely in favor of consulting the membership (maybe as a referendum as suggested by Cody) to decide on the Foundation's future course.
  2. I endorse Michael Perklin

    If you get elected, the Foundation will most certainly gain a very useful, capable and dedicated board director. I will lend you my support and perhaps the Bitcoin Embassy can assist you in the tasks you mentionned! I say this honestly: out of all candidates, there are only three that I would consider lending my support to: Michael, Bruce and yourself. In case you don't get elected, I hope you will still remain an active part of the community!
  3. I endorse Michael Perklin

    I completely endorse Michael Perklin for the second round of the election which is set to take place tomorrow. We share an almost identical platform for the Foundation's mission and governance. After having collaborated with him on a few projects (including our advocacy at the Senate of Canada), I vouch for Michael's capacity to be a great leader for our organization. Out of all candidates in this election, I have always considered Michael to be the most qualified, having been involved in Bitcoin education campaigns, promoting technical development, regulatory outreach, Bitcoin start-ups, Bitcoin consulting, Bitcoin advocacy organizations, certification programs, the establishment of security standards and much more. He has already shown a great commitment to Canada's Bitcoin community and I recommend that all my supporters give him their support. Of the other three candidates, my support goes to Bruce Fenton for his pragmatism, energy and ability to bring people together. I like Jim Harper very much as an individual, respect his work as a policy analyst and I think he's going to remain a great champion for limited regulation of cryptocurrency in the years to come, but I don't believe the Foundation should be the institution through which he fulfils this mission. I am in complete disagreement with Olivier Jansens platform and I don't believe he has the pragmatism required to be a board member the Foundation, although I recognize his hard work and dedication to the cause of cryptocurrency and decentralization. To all my 79 supporters, thank you very much for putting your faith in me. I will continue to defend the interest of Canada's Bitcoin community and will remain involved with the Bitcoin Foundation to help support and develop Bitcoin's technical infrastructure.
  4. Today the Bitcoin Embassy and Bitcoin Foundation Canada have achieved a new milestone in the fulfillment of our Bitcoin education and adoption mandate through the creation of www.GiveBTC.org– a website dedicated entirely to promote Bitcoin’s potential for non-profit organizations. In order to provide advice to the non-profit sector professionals trying to integrate Bitcoin in their organization and to help Bitcoin enthusiasts convince their favorite charities to accept Bitcoin donations, I am very proud to announce the publication of the Bitcoin Handbook for Non-Profit organizations, a collection of promotional and informative articles, tutorials and testimonials specially tailored for the non-profit industry put together in an easy-to-read Handbook format. Direct link: http://www.givebtc.org/GiveBTC_-_Handbook_for_Non_Profits.pdf As part of the Bitcoin Embassy and the Bitcoin Foundation Canada’s mandate to promote positive uses of Bitcoin, we are also pleased to present the Bitcoin Donation Directory, the most complete list of non-profit projects and organizations that accept cryptocurrency donations. We’ve already registered 350 in the directory, which will continuously expanding through crowdsourcing by volunteers. Why specifically target non-profit organizations? The non-profit sector is a perfect use-case for the failures of the legacy banking and payment systems. We are witnessing a global shift towards online giving and micro-transactions while existing payment solutions remain resolutely analog. By using Bitcoin, outside constraints on fundraising such as high donation payment fees, censorship and privacy violations are no longer constraints imposed by the financial system. Non-profits can also greatly increase their transparency and efficiency– the pillars of charitable giving – by using Bitcoin for payroll or to fund project expenses. By introducing them to Bitcoin and helping them generate and keep more revenue, we can at the same time promote Bitcoin adoption as well as directly contributing to these organization’s specific non-profit mission. How are these resources useful? It can be quite difficult to convince a non-profit organization to integrate Bitcoin to its fundraising and management operations. Bitcoin sometimes arouses suspicion amongst executives or directors which must be convinced of its “legitimate” usage. Because there is a learning curve to Bitcoin, it is often necessary to provide some ongoing technical support or do live tutorials. There not many incentives for Bitcoin users and businesses to spend resources on non-profit organizations. By providing and “out-of-the-box” package of resources that are ready to be used, we hope to reduce costs and expedite this process. You can share different parts of the Handbook on a case-by-case basis as they are ready-made answers to the most common questions such as “How do I store Bitcoins?” or “How do I protect myself from the fluctuating price”? You will also find an explanation of Bitcoin in layman’s terms and simple tutorials. You can use the “Why accept Bitcoin?” article to polish your own arguments or share directly with those to be convinced. How you can help Spread the word By the time you read this post, I estimate that the Handbook will already have been distributed to over 5000 non-profit organizations thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteers. However, there are thousands upon thousands of NPOs that would benefit from this information. Send this to the all the NPOs you support or are involved with and make it available on your social media pages for others to share. Contribute content The Bitcoin Donation Directory and Resources pages of www.givebtc.org are meant to be crowd-sourced. You can contribute by suggesting non-profit organizations or projects that accept Bitcoin donations to be added in the registry and other resources that we could list on the site. Donate bitcoins / tip authors If you like our project, feel free to donate to the project itself at this address: 1GivefggkGr2w3sL1kUCThgESLTRyNarLQ. You can also send tips to the authors directly. You can also make small donations to several organizations listed in the Bitcoin Donation Directory. Producing Bitcoin educational material: how was this achieved? The entire project was a collaborative effort by over 15 volunteers from around the world. The Bitcoin Embassy and Bitcoin Foundation Canada, institutions whom I represent, backed the project by acting as coordinators and providing resources. Our sponsors, which include amongst others Satoshi Citadel Industries and Coinbase, were instrumental in securing the funds necessary to hire professional help to pay for the graphic design, editing and distribution costs. Production and distribution of these resources were achieved without the coordination, supervision of funding from an international group such as the Bitcoin Foundation – it was a grassroots effort led by regional organizations also dedicated to promoting Bitcoin, industry leaders and volunteers.
  5. Jim Harper: Candidate for the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors

    I have to admit Jim I admire your seemingly inextinguishable patience on this forum!
  6. Candidate: Olivier Janssens

    So basically you would fire Gavin, Sergio, Cory and Wladimir...? Brilliant.
  7. Entrevue en Français pour les membres francophones / interview on my candidacy in French. Source: http://www.bitcoin.fr/post/Fran%C3%A7ois-Pouliot-candidat-%C3%A0-la-Bitcoin-Foundation Bitcoin.fr : Comment conçois-tu le rôle de la Bitcoin Foundation ? Francis Pouliot : À la base, la Fondation Bitcoin est une plateforme à travers laquelle des individus et entreprises faisant partie de l'écosystème Bitcoin peuvent volontairement coordonner leurs intérêts et implémenter ensemble des projets qui leur permettent de les atteindre. Je suis de l'avis que le seul intérêt commun des membres de la communauté Bitcoin, et l'intérêt principal des membres payants de la Fondation Bitcoin, est la vitalité du processus du développement technique de Bitcoin. Ainsi, le rôle de la Fondation devrait être de financer le développement technique, de s'assurer que les changements au protocole ou au logiciel de référence sont bien coordonnés avec les utilisateurs et les entreprises, que les implications sont bien vulgarisées pour le public et que des ressources éducatives et des formations soient mises à la disposition du plus grand nombre de développeurs possibles afin d'augmenter le nombre d'experts techniques travaillant sur la technologie Bitcoin. Ceci permettra d'assurer la « scalabilité » et la décentralisation du réseau Bitcoin. Bitcoin.fr : Si tu es élu, quelle inflexion souhaites-tu donner à cette organisation ? Francis Pouliot : Sans aucun doute, la Fondation va se doter d'un mandat plus étroit et précis centré sur le développement technique. Elle va donc devoir abandonner certains autres mandats comme l'activisme politique (le lobbying) et la production de matériel éducatif. Ces autres mandats sont d'ailleurs déjà remplis par plusieurs organisations régionales comme par exemple Bitcoin France ou la Fondation Bitcoin Canada. Bitcoin.fr : Es-tu partisan, à l'instar de Gavin Andresen, d'une modification du protocole et vue d'augmenter la taille maximale des blocs ? Francis Pouliot : Oui, je crois que c'est une bonne solution à moyen terme afin d'assurer la croissance du réseau, surtout si le nombre de transactions venait à augmenter rapidement suite, par exemple, à une crise économique soudaine. C'est également une bonne solution pour garder les frais de transactions bas et conserver l'accessibilité de Bitcoin auprès des moins nantis. Je crois que le débat à savoir si Bitcoin jouera le rôle de réserve de valeur versus un système de paiement est prématuré et nous devrions faire en sorte qu'il puisse jouer les deux rôles le plus longtemps possible. En ce moment les frais de transactions sont minimes comparativement à la récompense que s'octroient les mineurs donc je ne crois pas qu'augmenter la taille des blocs, ce qui nécessairement ralentit la croissance naturelle des frais de transactions, pause problème. Je ne suis pas un expert sur les aspects techniques et je fais confiance au jugement de Gavin à ce sujet. Il semble être devenu convaincu qu'un tel changement soit souhaitable et techniquement faisable (voir : gavintech.blogspot.ca). Bitcoin.fr : Si j'ai bien compris tu souhaites que la Fondation renonce au lobbying politique ? Qui se chargera, dès lors, de défendre Bitcoin auprès des décideurs ? Peux-tu expliquer cette position ? Francis Pouliot : Il existe un grand nombre d'organisations qui s'occupent de ce rôle. Aux États-Unis, je connais la « Digital Chamber of Commerce » et « Coin Center », deux organismes bien financés dédiés exclusivement au lobbying pro-Bitcoin. Au Canada, il y a la « Fondation Bitcoin Canada » et « l'Alliance Bitcoin Canada ». Il y a des groupes similaires partout à travers la planète, dont « Bitcoin France ». La Fondation est un organisme international alors que la réglementation se fait de manière régionale ou locale. Au départ, la Fondation était l'un des seuls organismes à travers la planète qui soit dédié à Bitcoin et il était normal qu'elle aspire à jouer ce rôle. Je crois qu'aujourd'hui il y a plusieurs autres groupes qui ont la capacité de prendre la relève. Cependant, il n'existe aucun organisme à but non-lucratif qui soit en capacité de protéger et financer le développement technique, donc il y a toujours une carence bien réelle dans ce domaine. La Fondation a un nombre limité de ressources et il faut que celles-ci soient allouées efficacement. Pour être clair, je suis crois qu'il est crucial de défendre Bitcoin auprès des décideurs mais je crois simplement que ce n'est pas le champ d'expertise que la Fondation devrait poursuivre et qu'elle devrait laisser ce rôle à des organismes locaux qui se spécialisent dans ce domaine. Bitcoin.fr : Si j'ai bien compris également, tu considères que la promotion de Bitcoin auprès du grand public, n'est pas une mission de la Fondation. C'est bien cela ? Francis Pouliot : Pas complètement. Je crois qu'après le développement technique, c'est effectivement une activité que la Fondation pourrait légitimement poursuivre mais jusqu'à présent elle n'a pas été très efficace dans ce domaine. Ma propre expérience en tant qu'éducateur public et promoteur de Bitcoin me dit que cet exercice est mieux conduit au niveau local qu'au niveau international. Il est certainement mieux rempli de manière « grassroots » par des individus ou petits groupes que par un organisme relativement bureaucratisé. Je crois que la Fondation peut tout de même aider les groupes locaux à faire la promotion, par exemple en mettant à leur disponibilité des ressources non-financières comme son capital intellectuel, son réseau de contacts ou ses employés. Si les ressources financières le permettent, c'est un objectif qu'elle pourra se redonner dans le futur et je serai le premier à y participer activement de manière bénévole. Bitcoin.fr : Pourquoi souhaites-tu cesser l'expansion du programme d'affiliation d'associations locales à la Fondation ? Francis Pouliot : En tant que président d'une association locale, j'ai été amèrement déçu par ce programme. Les chapitres locaux n'obtiennent pas grand chose par ce programme, qui n'a pas vraiment fait augmenter le nombre de membres. La structure d'incitatifs a été mal pensée. Je n'ai pas accès aux chiffres exacts mais je suis presque certain que ce fut une perte financière pour la Fondation. Le programme a été conçu sur un modèle de franchises alors que les groupes locaux souhaitent plutôt avoir accès à certaines ressources tout en maintenant leur autonomie. Je crois que la Fondation devrait activement conserver et encourager des partenariats avec des groupes locaux mais sur un modèle plus collaboratif au lieu de vouloir implanter des franchises là ou le besoin n'est pas réellement là. Bitcoin.fr : Quels sont les principaux chantiers que la Fondation devra mettre en oeuvre pour l'avenir ? Francis Pouliot : Le plus important selon moi serait un programme de formation pour développeurs visant à travailler sur l'infrastructure technique. Bitcoin.fr : Que penses-tu de la candidature et des positions d'un personnage comme Cody Wilson ? Francis Pouliot : Honnêtement je suis très déçu par Cody Wilson, personnage pour lequel j'ai déjà éprouvé une grande sympathie, à un point tel que je suis convaincu que sa candidature est une tentative d'obtenir de l'attention. Je partage, peut-être de manière moins radicale, son idéologie politique de libertarianisme ou, dans un certain degré, d'anarcho-capitalisme. Non seulement l'existence d'associations privées de membres comme la Fondation n'est pas contradictoire avec cette idéologie mais encore, ces organisations sont absolument nécessaires pour qu'une société sans État puisse fonctionner sans tomber dans un chaos improductif. La Fondation Bitcoin, bien entendu, ne devrait jamais utiliser le pouvoir coercitif de l'État afin d'imposer sa vision sur ses membres ou les non-membres et ce n'est absolument pas quelque chose qu'elle aspire à faire. S'il n'est pas d'accord avec l'orientation prise par la Fondation, qu'il crée une organisation concurrente au lieu de vouloir faire du sabotage. Bitcoin.fr : Comment vois-tu l'avenir de Bitcoin ? Francis Pouliot : Je crois que l'avenir de Bitcoin c'est de l'expansion continuelle qui ira bien au-delà du monde de la finance et des paiements. Bitcoin, c'est une révolution sociale, économique, politique, technique et culturelle. L'utilisation massive de Bitcoin - et je ne veux pas avoir l'air Kitch (ou quétaine comme on dit en Québécois) - fera de notre planète un monde meilleur. Le cours du Bitcoin sur le marché ça ne m'importe que très peu - ce qui m'importe c'est le développement de l'infrastructure technique et, de ce côté, nous assistons à un progrès continuel et une vague d'innovation sans précédent. Je n'ai aucune raison de croire que ceci va ralentir et, au contraire, je m'attends à une croissance continue - voire exponentielle - des innovations reliées à la technologie Blockchain. Bitcoin.fr : Pourquoi es-tu un bon candidat ? Francis Pouliot : - J'ai de l'expérience dans la gestion d'organismes à but non-lucratif impliqués dans l'écosystème Bitcoin. - J'ai fait mes preuves en tant que militant pour Bitcoin, à la fois au niveau politique qu'en tant qu'éducateur public. - J'ai le temps de remplir mon mandat et j'ai le soutien complet de mon employeur l'Ambassade Bitcoin. - Je suis jeune, énergique et passionné. - Je connais le fonctionnement interne de la Fondation et j'ai une vision claire pour son avenir. - Je n'ai aucun investissement dans une entreprise Bitcoin et donc aucun conflit d’intérêt et tant que représentant des membres individuels. - Bitcoin représente environ 85% de mes actifs financiers - le succès de Bitcoin est dans mon intérêt personnel. - Je suis capable de représenter de manière professionnelle les membres de la Fondation devant les médias. - Je crois sincèrement à la mission de la Fondation Bitcoin et j'ai à cœur son succès. - Je n'ai jamais été impliqué dans un scandale ou une controverse.
  8. Jim Harper: Candidate for the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors

    Why should the BF be involved in Bitcoin public policy when groups like Coin Center are doing the job? There is a limit to the resources available to Bitcoin non-profits and each should find his niche. Technical development is ours, policy no longer is. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/introducing-the-bitcoin-lobby.html
  9. I definitely understand your concerns and believe me when I say that I share them as well. It is crucially important that businesses adopt better business practices that protect consumers - but who is better to decide how consumers are protected than consumers themselves? Consumers can literally vote for which practices they prefer by switching from one business to another. I believe that the market is a much more effective and just regulating force than governments and bureaucrats. I think certification, trade associations, private corporations who conduct product and service reviews and professional security auditors are better suited that the Foundation or government agencies to put pressure on Bitcoin businesses to adopt ethical and safe business practices.
  10. Hey Michael, Great to be running alongside you as well! I believe that you're definitly amongst the top candidates in this race and hopefully together we'll be able to at minimum increase the voter turnout and, I hope, elevate the debate to a higher level. First of all, I'd like to point out that while there has been talk of an Affiliate Chapter election and that I've been confirmed that such an elections is supposed to take place this year, the parameters haven't been determined yet and we don't know who will have voting rights and how they will be conducted. It's also still unclear who will be eligible to run. Only affiliate chapters or other Bitcoin non-profits? And since I am not on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation Canada but rather its CEO I'm not even sure if I will myself be eligible to run on a personal basis. Even if I'm eligible to run, it doesn't mean that I'm going to get elected so it was only rational that I give myself the best odds possible. I am sincere about implementing reform and I am determined to get elected in order to have the necessary power to at least try meaningfully to implement them. The other reason is that I want more "positive" candidates in the individual elections - i.e. candidates that I believe truly have the well-being of the Foundation at heart and are not attention seekers trying to sabotage the Foundation from the inside. The final reason is that I want to have the broadest audience possible to share my campaign platform with other individual members so that (what I believe to be) the many who share my views may feel more confortable about speaking up. These members, I believe, will most likely not follow the campaign for the affiliate seat (if there is indeed an affiliate seat election).
  11. Elections debate held by Let's Talk Bitcoin

    This message is intended for the other candidates as well as the organizers of the elections. Dear fellow candidates, I've talked to Adam Levine from Let's Talk Bitcoin about the possibility of hosting a debate between the candidates of the elections. If you are interested in participating, please contact [email protected] with subject "Foundation Debate Entry". I can already confirm that if such a debate is indeed held I will participate. I strongly encourage all candidates to participate as this will certainly increase the turnout for the elections, something I'm sure all candidates will agree is a positive thing. Francis
  12. You are right, the BF's lobbying efforts were not the main cause of reputational damage - but there is nothing we change about the reputational damage that the BF suffered as a consequence of the actions (and public perception) of its past board members.
  13. Colin, you can't actually be serious? Playing by the rules = following the laws that apply to you. I'm sorry to break the news but using Bitcoin does not make you exempt from the rules that other individuals or businesses in your jurisdiction must follow. Whose rules? Obviously, whichever government agency created / enforced those rules in your jurisdiction. There are laws, like money laundering laws, that apply to you whether you like them or not, Colin, and screaming from the rooftops that we shouldn't obey those laws is dangerous. Does the name Charlie Shrem ring a bell? Not "playing by the rules" is what landed him a prison sentence. This makes me very sad and angry and I will be the last person to say the the laws and legal system are fair and efficient but they exist nonetheless and must be respected. The only possible conclusion from the argument in your post is that laws shouldn't apply to Bitcoin users and businesses and that we have some kind of "special status" that others don't have. I wish this were the case, but I don't live in a fantasy world. In the real world, Bitcoin users and businesses who do not comply with exisitng criminal laws (such as fraud) and financial regulations (such as money-laundering compliance) go to prison and the services they used to provide to the community, which grow adoption, are lost. Not only does this prevent the Bitcoin economy from growing, it can actually harm the other businesses in our industry. If we were to follow your advice, there would be no Bitcoin exchanges, no Bitcoin payment processors, no Bitcoin brokers such as Circle, no Bitcoin ATMs and no fiat/crypto infrastructure whatsoever because, obviously these businesses would be immediately shut down. Following the exact same logic, there shouldn't be additional rules or burden for Bitcoin businesses or individuals. For example, you shouldn't require a license to create software and you shouldn't have any extra burden simply because the medium of exchange in a transaction was Bitcoin and not fiat money or a legacy financial institution. To conclude with regulation, an excerpt from an article I published in the Financial Post: "It is perfectly normal for governments to ask Bitcoin exchange platforms to identify their customers for anti-money-laundering purposes. This should not however be achieved through regulations that are in effect discriminatory or overly burdensome." In any case, this discussion is completely irrelevant to the current candidacy race - unless you intend on making non-compliance to existing legal and regulatory frameworks an official position of the Foundation? We can have a philosophical discussion on the merits of anarchy and legal disobediance elsewhere. Do you with to address any points regarding my candidacy platform - I assume that you agree with everything then?
  14. Bringing the Foundation back to its root My platform as representative of the Bitcoin Foundation's individual members My name is Francis Pouliot and I am a full-time Bitcoin advocate, educator, and community organizer. You may have heard of me as Director of Public Affairs at the Bitcoin Embassy, the first physical space in the world dedicated to the promotion and development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Fellow Canadians will recognize me as the Chief Executive Officer at the Bitcoin Foundation Canada, a pan-Canadian membership-based advocacy group dedicated to ensuring a favorable environment for Canada's cryptocurrency ecosystem. If you’ve never heard of me, you can quickly learn more about me via: This in-depth interview about me entitled “Successfully promoting Bitcoin the Bitcoin Foundation way” (video has been made private by uploader - a mirror video will be posted here shortly) Various blog posts such as “Bitcoin: from ‘not money’ to bankers’ boogeyman” Various comments and opinion pieces such as “Why Bitcoin doesn’t need regulation” My LinkedIn page French seakers may want to view my , , or You can also judge my quality as a Bitcoin advocate by checking out the work that I’ve accomplished as chief project manager and educator for the Bitcoin Embassy here. While I may not be a famous Bitcoin investor or entrepreneur, I consider myself a large stakeholder in Bitcoin since cryptocurrency (mostly Bitcoin) represents around 90% of my assets and is effectively my only source of income. I’m also a Bitcoin miner, integration consultation and certified Bitcoin professional with C4 (passed at 96%). The best decision of my life has been to re-orient my rapidly advancing and successful career as a policy analyst for free-market think tanks in order to dedicate myself full-time to being an active participant in the cryptocurrency revolution. I still remain to this day an active supporter of the libertarian movement through my involvement in various pro-liberty organizations - but I will never use the Foundation as a medium to promote my personal beliefs. My general assessment of the current state of the Bitcoin Foundation is that by pursuing too many goals, the Foundation has misallocated and mismanaged resources necessary to successfully fulfill the essential mandate of supporting technical development. It has not lived up to its potential and has disappointed many of its members, including myself. I truly believe in the Foundation’s mission to protect Bitcoin's technological infrastructure and that, in realizing this goal, it must remain an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem. I also believe that the only essential mission of the Bitcoin Foundation, that should take priority over all others, should become and always remain the protection and development of Bitcoin’s technological infrastructure. My platform as your representative With humility, I propose myself as to represent my fellow individual members on the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of directors. I have the skills, values, energy and time necessary to accomplish this task successfully. As CEO of the BFC, I have knowledge of the inner-workings of the Foundation and know exactly what its problems are and the best way to overcome them. On behalf of its Canadian members, I have attempted to act as a watchdog, being critical of its work and suggesting reforms directly to staff members. If I am elected, I pledge to continue this role on behalf of all individual members. I now ask for your support so that I may obtain the necessary powers to bring the Foundation to implement the following: Technical development will become the Bitcoin Foundation’s only essential mission and main expenditure. Any other activities will be undertaken strictly with the rationale of obtaining resources and tools to protect and develop Bitcoin’s technological infrastructure. Resources dedicated to the training of core developers will increase and the Foundation will contribute financial and non-financial resources to other non-profit organizations involved in the development process. Direct political lobbying will cease immediately. In doing so, the Foundation will greatly reduce resources spent on policy issues. No more internal staff members dedicated specifically to policy issues and no hiring of lobbyists in Washington. However, the Foundation will adopt an institutional policy position which strictly denounces any technology-specific regulation of Bitcoin or any form of barrier to entry whatsoever, even if such barriers to entry are being suggested by its corporate members. Consumer adoption will not be a mandate of the Bitcoin Foundation and it will no longer attempt to produce educational material. It will instead support external Bitcoin education campaigns aimed at a global audience undertaken by other Bitcoin advocacy groups that have a track record of success by making available its non-financial resources such as intellectual capital, network, blog/website and public relations staff. If a void in such material is identified, it will provide small financial grants to other organizations for the production of such material. The decentralized nature of this approach is well aligned with the principles of cryptocurrency. Expansion of the affiliate program will cease immediately and, after consultation with existing affiliate chapters, the Foundation will study the possibility of re-structuring the program from the current centralized “franchise-model” to a decentralized “partnership model”. It will continue to provide non-financial resources to local Bitcoin advocacy groups and may provide financial resources to local groups engaged in development of Bitcoin-related open-source software, including but not limited to Bitcoin Core. Broad budget orientations and financial statements will be made available to the members and, by extension, to the general public. Such statements should at minimum include program expenses, administration expenses and fundraising expenses. The amount spent on technical development relative to all other expenses should also be transparent. Community support and public perception will be increased not by traditional “marketing strategies” but rather with good old fashioned regular communications from Board members following meetings and from staff. Standardization efforts will continue regarding the currency code and symbol. Switch from a “top-down/corporate” to a “bottom-up/grassroots” organizational model. This is something that, I believe, Patrick Murck has already started. Broadly speaking, this means reducing the bureaucracy and relying more on membership and volunteers. The Foundation should act more as a coordination platform / forum rather than a government agency. I will personally assume the unofficial role of watchdog, reporting to members my concerns over the management of the Foundation and personally receiving complaints directly. I will bring such complaints to the attention of the Board. After having discussed with Patrick Murck, I believe that he is the most capable Executive Director that the Foundation could have at the moment. I also believe that we share the same broad vision as to where the Foundation should be heading and as your representative I will support him in his undertaking to bring the Foundation back to its roots. Nature and role of the Bitcoin Foundation – some thoughts The Bitcoin Foundations, as a private organization, is a platform through which individual and corporate members can voluntarily coordinate and implement their common interests. It does not, nor should it attempt to or claim to, represent the entire Bitcoin community. Although it provides a public service, it is only accountable to its members. That being said, there is no doubt that the (uninformed) general public’s perception of the Foundation will taint its perception of the entire Bitcoin community by proxy. In addition, the Foundation’s technical team has a large influence on the development process and its actions will have an effect on the entire Bitcoin community, whether they are members of the Foundation or not. As such, the Foundation has moral responsibilities that other private membership-based organizations do not and should act with this specificity in mind. The Bitcoin community and ecosystem are extremely diverse. In my opinion, there is only one common interest amongst all members of our community: the continued existence and expansion of a healthy technical development process which will ensure the continued decentralization and scalability of the Bitcoin network. I believe that this is also true within the Bitcoin Foundation membership. I think the idea that the existence of a “centralized institution” such as the Foundation is contradictory with the decentralized nature of Bitcoin is beyond ridiculous. Nor is it contradictory with the crypto-decentralization movement to which I personally identify myself with. In fact, there can be no decentralization movement if individuals and corporations do not coordinate their interests via some form of organization. While it is certainly likely that such associations and organizations will eventually take the form of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations, I do not believe the necessary technology has been developed to a degree which makes this option a logical choice for the Foundation (and probably won’t for the next couple of years). Let’s be clear: the Bitcoin Foundation should never, under any circumstance, attempt to impose any agenda or barrier to entry whatsoever on members and non-members alike via the coercive power of government. Also, the Bitcoin Foundation should not attempt to assert a monopoly over the technical development process. I am extremely happy to see private corporations such as Blockstream and Bitpay contribute to this process, and am even happier to see that individuals are still contributing their time on a voluntary basis. However, I think a large part of development should be undertaken by non-profit organizations in order to ensure some form of neutrality. Final thoughts – regulation My views on cryptocurrency regulation As a libertarian, I am naturally against regulation. I do not intend to idly stand by while arbitrary decrees are imposed upon us, and, as such, I believe that stakeholders such as individuals, private corporations or local Bitcoin advocacy groups should actively engage government officials and regulators to ensure that no discriminatory regulation or legislation concerning Bitcoin occurs. Under no circumstance should technology-specific regulation such as the BitLicenses be tolerated. Moreover, government decrees that are in effect discriminatory (such as the “double taxation” of bitcoins via sales taxes) should be fiercely opposed. Innovation does not require permission. However, as we lobby for government not to discriminate against Bitcoin, we must also realize that Bitcoin does not and should not operate in a legal vacuum. Bitcoin business models that mimic legacy business models (such as currency exchanges) should be regulated in the same way as their fiat counterparts. For example, a Bitcoin exchange should comply to financial regulation in the same way as a fiat exchange. If we demand not to be discriminated against, we must also acknowledge that we can’t have special treatment just because we do not believe in the validity of the laws that apply to us. I do realize that compliance requirements of the legacy fiat financial industry are often outdated and that the cryptocurrency ecosystem will come up with its own innovative solutions for KYC/AML. These solutions are to be encouraged and, ideally, they will become the standard not only for cryptocurrency businesses but for the entire financial industry. Bitcoin is like an economic trojan horse – if we really want the cryptocurrency revolution to happen, it is crucially important that there be an economic infrastructure with exchanges, payment processors, brokers, financial products, etc. This is the key to mainstream user adoption and this will only occur if we play by the rules. Government can’t stop Bitcoin but it can certainly greatly slow down progress by enforcing its power on the individuals and corporations that compose the Bitcoin economic ecosystem, something even the most anarchic members of the community should realize. Why I think the Bitcoin Foundation should not be engaged in lobbying It seems to me that the Foundation has an “identity crisis” because its mandate is simply too broad. It cannot be at the same time a “Linux Foundation-style” organization and a lobby group such as the Digital Chamber of Commerce or think tank such as Coin Center. Because it has given itself too many goals, each goal has been inefficiently carried out. The Foundation’s involvement in lobbying has considerably contributed to its negative perception by the community, which means less membership and less revenue. This means that there are fewer and fewer financial resources available for technical development. I believe that retreating from active political lobbying may reverse this trend. The main reason is strictly based on pragmatism and resource allocation. There are various groups all over the world, including in the United States, who are actively involved in the fight against discriminatory or excessive Bitcoin regulation. The void that the Bitcoin Foundation had attempted to fill when it initially got into lobbying clearly does not exist anymore. However, there are no other non-profit organization involved in supporting technical development, so that in that area there is a very real void. Finally, policy is inherently local and jurisdictional while the Foundation aims to be a global organization. I don’t think non-US members appreciate that their contributions are being spent on lobbying in Washington while the Foundation does nothing to prevent their own governments from obstructing the progress of Bitcoin. 10 reasons you should vote for me I have experience in managing Bitcoin-related non-profit organizations. I have a proven track record as a Bitcoin advocate and community organizer. I have time to fulfill my mandate and enjoy the full support of my employer the Bitcoin Embassy. I am energetic and passionate. I already have knowledge of the inner-workings of the Foundation and have a clear vision for the future. I have no investment in any Bitcoin corporation thus no conflict of interest. 85% of my assets are bitcoins – it is in my self-interest to ensure Bitcoin’s success. I am a good public speaker and present myself well in front of the media. I genuinely believe in the Bitcoin Foundation’s mission and I truly wish its success. I have never been involved in any scandal or controversy whatsoever. You can reach me at [email protected] or at 1 855 922-3622. For visual reference: I am the second one on the left - photo taken during senate hearings on digital currency with my fellow advocates from the Bitcoin Alliance and my colleagues from the Bitcoin Foundation Canada
  15. Candidate: Olivier Janssens

    With all due respect, your platform is incoherent and very confusing. For someone who seems to care so much about the development process you strike me as having very inaccurate information / knowledge on how the process works. Let me, as your opponent in this race, ask for some clarifications. I will go point-by-point. " I am running for a board seat because I think having the Bitcoin Foundation in control of core development is dangerous. " The Foundation is not in control of development - it contributes to core development as any organization is also able to do. In fact, there are two private corporations (BitPay and Blockstream) also financing core development, and many unaffiliated volunteers. This is the nature of open-source software. Nobody can be "in control" of development and there is no barrier to coercively enforced barrier to entry - people can only contribute more than others. If you don't like the contribution of these people, you can always yourself propose better contributions or directly finance others to do contributions on your behalf following your particular contribution goals. Did you not know this? "Core development should be without any political influence" I agree 100% and thankfully this is not the case. Are you suggesting that it IS under political influence? If this is the case I am very ignorant and I would love for you to share your insider information. "Besides becoming fully transparent" What do you mean by fully transparent? If you mean broad budget orientations that I would agree with you. I would however never go as far as asking staff to reveal their salaries and any reasonable person would understand that every organization needs some level of confidentiality. "broadcasting all of its board meetings live" So, at all times, there can be absolutely no privacy for the board members and the the whole planet must know every single debate / discussion? Do you think the EFF or GreenPeace should have board meetings broadcasted? What about publicly-held corporations? That is not how organizations are managed. The Foundation is a serious institution - not a hippy commune where privacy does not exist. "That agenda should should always have at its core 1) more decentralization" What does "more decentralization" even mean...? Do you mean at a network level, a development level? Do you mean it should be involved in other decentralized cryptocurrency platforms? Do you mean it should sponsor decentralized marketplaces such as open bazaar? "More decentralization" seems like it's only a popular buzzword but actually lacks any concrete meaning in this context. "2) creating positive Bitcoin awareness " You do realise that there are many organizations and individuals that are already spending resources on this? Also, I don't understand why you want "more decentralization" and yet seem to want to centralize Bitcoin education. In any case, doing so would be an overlap with the efforts of other groups who are, incidentally, NOT spending resources on development as the Foundation is doing. The Foundation should be engaged in protecting and development the technical infrastructure and leave awareness and adoption to education-focused groups (such as, for instance, the MANY Bitcoin Embassies all around the world). Also, if Lighthouse is so great to fund development, why would a decentralized platform not be good to fund education projects? If you don't trust the Foundation for development, why would you trust it for awareness campaigns? If you're answer is that awareness campaigns are not as important as development, than why should the Foundation spend its limited resources on it anyway? " 3) removing any control over Bitcoin from the Bitcoin Foundation" ... in what way does the Foundation have control over Bitcoin? This is getting redundant. Again, nothing really concrete here - just buzzwords. Bitcoin is decentralized, it CANNOT controlled by any group whatsoever. If Bitcoin can be so easily controlled by a non-profit organization that has (likely) a few millions in its pockets it could EASILY be controlled by governments / financial institutions and would have absolutely no future whatsoever and we would all be wasting our time. Seems to me like you want to stop any form of development funding that does not occur through your personally funded project Lighthouse. Should be stop BitPay and Blockstream from funding development as well? This seems to be the exact opposite of voluntaryism and libertarianism. "- Creating global bitcoin awareness and incentivising programs to do so. We should research the most effective ways to promote awareness and test them via trial and error. One idea is for us to mobilize networks of volunteers to create awareness in local neighbourhoods. By making a map of the area and plotting businesses, we can make sure every store and restaurant is visited and informed about Bitcoin. This can be done in combination with providers (such as Bitpay) to provide a monetary incentive. I would also recommend that every time you make a payment somewhere, that you ask if you can pay in Bitcoin. This should be done consistently. Even if the answer is negative, it will create a demand and make vendors aware of the need. There are many more proposals I can suggest in this regard, but you get the idea. " That is a great idea. You should create an education-focused organization to do these projects. Unless your goal is to divert the Foundation's resources away from technical development to the benefit of, for instance, other platforms like Lighthouse? "- Pointing people in the right direction on how to fund core development. The Bitcoin Foundation should make everyone aware of the need to support the core devs, and suggest the most efficient ways to do so. The Bitcoin Foundation should at no point have core development under its control or exert any direct influence over it. This could be done by creating awareness about platforms such as Lighthouse and any other method the Foundation in good faith believes would help development." The Foundation does make people aware of the need for technical development by the way. I can't seem to understand why you think a non-profit organization should not be involved in development... anybody can contribute to development - that's what makes open-source projects like Bitcoin so great. I don't agree with you that some people or groups should be forbidden from contributing. Also, are you saying that somehow Gabin, Wladimir, Sergio and Cory are being influenced by the Board of Directors of the Foundation in a way that is detrimental to other members of the community? I personally trust their integrity. "The developers, who are currently funded by the Foundation, should be moved to a stable, decentralized platform. Transfer to such a platform should only be done once it exists and has been adequately tested." Gavin, Sergio, Wladimir and Cory are adults and they can decide by themselves how and where they wish to work on development. The are not means to your personal ends. Are you actually suggesting that they should be forced to move to another platform? "The community should get full control over what they want to fund in core development" The community is not some kind of entity - rather a highly diverse collection of individuals and corporations with varying and often conflicting views and interests. Don't you consider the Foundation part of the community? This seems a highly collectivist statement. "- Guarding and protecting the core principles of Bitcoin: 21 million BTC supply limit, decentralized, anonymity, etc. These core principles should be articulated clearly together with the reasons why they matter. They should be defended at all costs. They are the pillars of Bitcoin." Okay now I'm really confused! You are saying that you don't want the Foundation to control development but at the same time you're saying that the Foundation should guard and protect the core principles of Bitcoin - which it can only possibly hope to do by controlling development. You do realise that both are completely incompatible? " I am a libertarian and voluntaryist at heart. My goal is to create a world that is decentralized and exists as a free society" You say you're a voluntaryist yet you think that the Bitcoin community is some kind of common entity? You also think some groups like the Foundation should be forbidden from supporting development? You also think core devs can't decide for themselves and should be forced to work for such or such platform as if they were means to an end and not individuals who control their own fate? I don't think you know what voluntaryist means. "I'm the type of guy that normally works in the background and exerts my positive influence from there." Is this what you mean by transparency? ******* I look forward to have lighthouse become one of the many platform that facilitates funding for development - it will be a greatly welcomed addition to the development process. It is ideal to have at the same time decentralized platform, non-profits and for-profits funding development. These will compete to attract donations and this competition will help diversify and decentralize the development process.