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Bruce Fenton    110

Hello everyone!

 

I'm pleased to be running for election to the Bitcoin Foundation Board Seat.

 

This will be my official candidate thread. Please ask any questions and keep an eye out for more information and posts as we continue.

 

Thank you!

 

Bruce

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Bruce Fenton    110

The first post I can post is today's Reddit AMA about my candidacy and the election.

 

 

This post includes a bit of info on my background and answers to over 70 questions.

 

The basics TLDR are:

- I have a 22 year background in financial services focusing on emerging markets and emerging tech

- my activity in Bitcoin is as a speaker, investor, advisor and organizer of the Dubai Bitcoin Conference, the private Satoshi Roundtable retreat and the soon to be announced New England Bitcoin Conference

- I agree with the need to simplify and focus the Bitcoin Foundation on core Dev -- I'd also like to see the voice of the foundation used to reduce regulation and educate lawmakers and global regulators if it can be done in a cost effective manner

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Bruce

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Still poring through the answers, and sorry to have missed it or I would have been sure to have asked something interesting! But it it helping me because I am still trying to figure out how to set up an AMA where there would be multiple candidates, which Peter Todd has fortunately agreed to mod. I hope you'll attend! (No date yet for this multi-candidate AMA, but it'll definitely be before the elections which are Feb. 13-19, 2015.)

p.s.: I am pcvcolin on reddit.

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David R Allen    318

Bruce,

You are a great speaker and advocate for a style of political issues.

Shame I need to read more about your platform on Reddit rather than here on the platform we signed up for.

Can you repost it here please?

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David R Allen    318

This was interesting...

 

"It is unfortunate that some people have become upset with or left the foundation and this shows that there are areas which could be improved. Some of the challenges have been due to standard growing pains we should expect in an emerging space, some criticism is unwarranted, some is valid that we can learn from."

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Bruce Fenton    110

Thanks David,

 

The Redidt AMA wasn't meant to replace this...but rather this thread will be the main and central thresd and the Reddit piece was one but of data which will be posted here. I anticipate posting more here including an official platform as we get closer.

 

In the meantime, happy to answer any questions.

 

Thank you

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Bruce Fenton    110

There is a variety of criticism - as mentioned, some is the type of standard things we can expect in a fast growing space, some warranted, some unwarranted.

 

I think the unwarranted criticism for example would include the attacks on the foundation for having Charlie Shrem as a board member. I know Charlie and believe he made a major mistake that he profoundly regrets. I also think he was targeted in large part BECAUSE of his foundation position and who he is as well as for a media show for the Bitlicense hearing which occured the week of his arrest. I would have liked to see a lighter sentence and wrote to the judge a letter to that effect.

 

I understand the reason for criticism - but I don't think it is well placed with the foundation. I think it was the right thing for Bitcoin and the foundation for Charlie to step down and I think that the way it worked out is as good as we could hope under the circumstances.

 

Other unwarranted criticism I think comes from some who do not understand resource allocation and expect the foundation to do things like Super Bowl ads.

 

Another area I think is unwarranted is the argument of "well Bitcoin is decentralized, we don't need a foundation or centralized organization" -- I think that sounds nice and at first glance appears to make sense but is harder to implement than it might seem. Certain activities such as interaction with lawmakers and core dev make sense when done by a central organization. Also, much of the world we want to interact with: universities, various organizations, think tanks, government, the media etc. is used to central organizations- it is a harder road to try to convince them that so such thing is needed than to simply have a centralized source.

 

Warranted criticism includes some of the issues surrounding Karpeles -- for example having his cat listed as a member even after the collapse of Gox, this is silly, embarrassing and unprofessional and there isn't a great excuse for it.

 

Also, many people have complained about transparency. Personally the transparency issues did not bother me...I think the foundation has been pretty transparent relative to other organizations I have observed. HOWEVER if it is clearly an issue for many others then we should be even better. When we have someone like Andreas, who is an influential and well respected figure, publicly call out the foundation then we need to at least consider that this can be improved on.

 

All my career I've tried to build consensus and help create better relations. For example, I've spent a lot of my career trying to build bridges between the U.S. and Middle East. I'm also transparent and, in this space, very active on social media (Reddit score of 9000+ all in Bitcoin, 7 million YouTube views on my channel and 83,000 Facebook fans, many Bitcoin related) ---

 

If elected I'd use these skills and platforms to build bridges: I'd go back to the detractors and ask what they'd like to see me as a board member do, I'd be accessible, open, fair, transparent and frank -- just like I was on the Reddit AMA -- and make every effort to have productive dialogue and input that helps Bitcoin. When we have detractors, whether they are regulators, individuals or the media I believe that good open communication can be a very effective tool for increasing understanding.

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Mike Hayes    172
....

Another area I think is unwarranted is the argument of "well Bitcoin is decentralized, we don't need a foundation or centralized organization" -- I think that sounds nice and at first glance appears to make sense but is harder to implement than it might seem. Certain activities such as interaction with lawmakers and core dev make sense when done by a central organization. Also, much of the world we want to interact with: universities, various organizations, think tanks, government, the media etc. is used to central organizations- it is a harder road to try to convince them that so such thing is needed than to simply have a centralized source.....

 

This may be your opinion but the entire history of substitute currencies moving in around and into economies (thousands of years, hundreds of cases) refutes your opinion.

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David R Allen    318

All honest criticism is warranted, but not always welcomed, especially if it exposes weakness or corruption.

 

Bruce, I don't doubt your intentions are good, but I think I will still put my vote behind Olivier and Colin, who have a better grasp of freedom to speak. If elected you would be a politician, and I think we have enough of those already.

 

And of course, I would be curious to know if you think my criticism is unwarranted, or like Brian Goss (The censor) , refer to me as a troll.

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Bruce Fenton    110

Mike - fair point. Historically new currencies have not needed a foundation to become adopted.

 

For those who don't believe a foundation is a net positive (not sure if that is you) then I can't really address that much other than to say that I think the foundation can perform a net benefit to Bitcoin.

 

Could Bitcoin succeed without a foundarion? Of course. But I think we are in a precarious spot and can use all the help we can get - I think overall this organization can help.

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Bruce Fenton    110

Thanks David -- since I'm not a fan of government I'm not a fan of the label "politician" -- but I understand your point....maybe "diplomat" would be a better one.

 

If so, yes, I'd seek to be pretty diplomatic. We have a lot of infighting and contention within...while being a very small and fragile community. We all believe in the technology but great ideas don't always work and become adopted. Until this thing definitely works then I think all effort should be focused on making it work, and building in a positive manner.

 

I don't know Colin but do agree with much of what Olivier has said, I spent some time with him in Amsterdam - particularly his ideas to crowd source and move things to a more decentralized process.

 

So yes, I'd seek to be diplomatic -- but I'm also not afraid of controversy or a fight if someone has priven to be an enemy of the space such as my actions related to Ben Lawsky.

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Mike Hayes    172

Mike - fair point. Historically new currencies have not needed a foundation to become adopted.

 

For those who don't believe a foundation is a net positive (not sure if that is you) then I can't really address that much other than to say that I think the foundation can perform a net benefit to Bitcoin.

 

Could Bitcoin succeed without a foundarion? Of course. But I think we are in a precarious spot and can use all the help we can get - I think overall this organization can help.

Through the short history of adoption of bitcoin to this point, various companies and individuals have shown themselves to be in precarious spots. As has this BF.

 

Short story, BF does not represent me. Neither to state, or federal law or admin, or to the public at large. That's it, period. That's not going to change.

 

Why?

 

If BF did, then I would have to accept that the likes of Karpeles was my spokesman. Or that the next Karpeles was. Clearly that's unacceptable.

 

Personally I think that BF represents it's industry members - and not the individuals. I don't think that is changeable. I don't even think that's a bad thing. That's not "dissension in the rank and file."

 

It's a debate about the question of a foundation being silent or actively supporting the injection of trusted intermediaries into a trustless algorithm, for the financial benefit of said trusted intermediaries.

 

It's clarity.

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Brad Wheeler    296

Hey Bruce --

 

Here's a series of questions. Would love your input on any of the following prompts:

 

What are your thoughts about decentralized autonomous organizations? I know the Bitcoin Association is branding itself this way, but I'm generally unfamiliar with its operations. At this point I'd like to know what that a DAO means in practical terms.

 

How might a DAO structure fit within the Bitcoin Foundation? Can its parts function within the current board-based structure?

 

Given the history of how things are done around here, any thoughts on which moving pieces represent good targets for broader structural change under a DAO model?

 

Any thoughts on decentralized concensus for steering the ship and what that means in terms of the member participation we see?

  • A look at the github conversations re: bylaws changes reveals some disagreement, some long-winded discussion/ tirades (I'm immune to reading these, btw), and some committed changes to the bylaws. However there are only a handful of individuals participating. While a few folks bring truly non-member/ outsider voices, the representing membership happens to be mostly veterans who also participate here on the forums. The forum-participating members are self-selecting and are likely not representative of the rest of the outstanding membership IMO. Substantial change to the organization would probably come through these governing documents and the process

  • Any thoughts on what can make the foundation a more compelling "investment" worthy of member participation? Right now there are few visible hands on the controls (board, executive, committees, even my handling of the forum), which I think poses a risk of its own. Any ideas of what will help to fill the bleachers and expand the base?

Thanks for any input on these questions!

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Brad Wheeler    296

My second question for all the candidates is on the topic of institutional memory and leadership orientation...

 

Would you be in favor of a Board of Directors Code of Conduct/ Code of Ethics statement (separate from the bylaws) that describes principles you believe Directors of the Bitcoin Foundation should be sworn to during their tenure?

 

Would you take an active role in the creation of such a document?

If yes, what principles should be promoted by the leadership?

If no, why not?

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Mike Hayes    172
.....Personally I think that BF represents it's industry members .....

Does Bruce Fenton represents industry?

 

https://bitcointalk....?topic=934599.0

 

******** following is copy of his announcement re industry meeting and get together ******

Hi,

 

The event is basically full for this year but I thought Bitcoin Talk might still want to know about it in case anyone would like to request a wait list invite as well as to plan for next year.

 

Satoshi Roundtable is a private Bitcoin and crypto retreat taking place Feb 6-8 at a private resort in the Caribbean. Invitation only and limited to 60 attendees.

 

http://satoshiroundtable.org

 

 

Confirmed attendees include:

 

Steve Beauregard, CEO, GoCoin

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum

Michael Cao, CEO Zoom Hash

Dave Carlson, Mega Big Power

Nic Cary, CEO Blockchain

Reeve Collins, CEO, Tether

Tuur Demeester, Bitcoin Economist

Anthony DiIorio, Bitcoin Decentral, CrytpoKit, Ethereum

Bruce Fenton, Atlantic Financial / Bitcoin Association

Paige Freeman, Co-Founder, Women in Bitcoin

David Johnston, DApps Fund, Mastercoin, Factom

Charlie Lee, Coinbase/ Creator LiteCoin

Vinny Lingham, CEO Gyft

Marshall Long, CEO Final Hash

Trace Mayer, Author, investor, early adopter

Ira Miller, CEO, Coinapult

Patrick Murck, Executive Director, Bitcoin Foundation

Joel Monegro, Union Square Ventures

Brock Pierce, Crypto Currency Partners

Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO BitPesa

Matthew Roszak, Tally Capital

Marco Santori, Pillsbury Winthrop

Craig Sellars, CTO Mastercoin

Paul Snow, Texas Bitcoin Alliance and Factom

Nick Sullivan, CEO ChangeTip

Peter Todd, Core Developer

Roger Ver, Memory Dealers

Erik Voorhees, Coinapult

And many others …

 

 

Sorry it is full. If you want to be placed on the wait list in the case of a cancelation you can send an email to [email protected]

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Yes, I'd be glad to attend! I'll also keep answering the AMA as long as there are questions.

 

Bruce,

 

Thanks for your offer to attend my reddit AMA. I am now answering questions for my AMA and I invite you in whenever you are available. At some point in the next day or three Peter Todd may be weighing in as well as I had been communicating with him some while back to see if he could participate as a mod - that as it turned out wasn't needed, but it looks like the participation will be diverse, even if the pace will be slow, and I'll be taking questions through the 19th, right here.

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David R Allen    318

Bruce,

 

In listening to the debate on Let's Talk Bitcoin, you mentioned in your final comments that there are (board) members should never have been board members, following an endorsement of Charlie Shrem.

 

Who are these board members who should never have been? And of course, why?

 

https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/lets-talk-bitcoin-186-ltb-e186-the-bitcoin-foundation-2015-candidate-debate

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I'm with Bruce. I've met him at several conferences and he has struck me every time as intelligent, insightful, experienced, and approachable. I support his stated positions and I will be voting for him tomorrow.

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Bruce,

 

I just caught wind of a press release via the Bitcoin Foundation's twitter account.

 

In it, CNBC / BusinessWire were used as a press release medium and Jinyoung Englund was the staff person.

 

This was dated as announced from the Bitcoin Foundation twitter account, February 12, 2015.

 

I see this as problematic for a variety for reasons:

 

One is that the Bitcoin Foundation staff, and industry representatives, have clearly been involved in a press release which have been designed to elevate your campaign just one day prior to the beginning of elections. If that is not problematic, I do not know what is. I do not think that Foundation staff, for starters, should be involved in press releases involving candidates, for obvious reasons. Post election we need to examine how this can be prevented in future as I think it represents a kind of corruption in the Foundation that apparently is considered to be acceptable by some Foundation staff, and candidates for the Board, but is not acceptable to me.

 

It would seem that Industry (BitFury, BitGo, Tally Capital, ChangeTip, and theAudience), who have their own arguably high levels of skills and unique skill sets for media, publicity, and engagement, have been used by you in a fashion to utilize Industry influence to make it much more likely that you will win in an election that is intended for Individual members to vote and have influence. Consider the timing: This was released on the 12th, you feature prominently in it, and the election is the 13th - 19th. I feel as though this is but one of the factors that is compromising this election. The Foundation staff and Industry involvement in this press release on the 12th so proximate to the election itself clearly never should have happened, Bruce, and was not merely inconsiderate of other candidates, but in my view creates problems for the election process ~ especially considering the relatively small number of voting members there are.

 

I would also submit that there has been no consultation with EdComm whatsoever (I know I haven't heard anything of this and I chair EdComm). The best way to do it would have been to consult more broadly (including with EdComm) and defer any announcements until after the election.

 

Secondly, educational and outreach matters as conveyed via EdComm are not corporate run matters and they are open to everyone, and include material that can be modified by anyone (individuals, representatives of companies, members, nonmembers, and so forth) ~ this has methods for ensuring the material as published is of high quality but can also be modified if something changes in the future to merit it. So therefore, my concern outside of everything else is that this proposal as represented in the recent press release I have expressed concerns about, may represent a proposed attempt to exclude the current open model, and I would not accept such a proposal.

 

These concerns remain and I will discuss them further with you post-election.

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Woah now, let's not get so competitive in this election that we discourage good work from taking place!

 

I see that Bruce is working with the Foundation, but there are two ways to make this fair:

 

1. Discourage ALL candidates from working with the Foundation publicly during election season

2. Encourage ALL candidates to work with the Foundation publicly during election season

 

Why not vote for #2?

I'd love a world in which everyone did MORE great stuff!

Election season would be like Christmas!

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I disagree, Michael, and I made a point of stepping away from my use of EdComm social media (for the period of my campaign and the election) as soon as I had committed to a campaign; as the social media is aligned with the Foundation and the Foundation should not be used to promote any Candidate. Please don't insult our intelligence; that Jinyoung and Bruce have done this indicates not that they have not thought it through, but that they have, and they don't care, which itself is a sign of corruption and undue influence from Industry.

 

As stated, my concerns remain and I wish to bring this up with Bruce and Jinyoung, and Patrick, following the elections, and that's what I commit to.

 

In the meantime, as I have before in this thread, I still encourage Bruce to join my reddit AMA. He is more than welcome to join me there and ask any questions about my campaign / platform as I have previously invited him to.

 

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Mike Hayes    172

Woah now, let's not get so competitive in this election that we discourage good work from taking place!

 

I see that Bruce is working with the Foundation, but there are two ways to make this fair:

 

1. Discourage ALL candidates from working with the Foundation publicly during election season

2. Encourage ALL candidates to work with the Foundation publicly during election season

 

Why not vote for #2?

I'd love a world in which everyone did MORE great stuff!

Election season would be like Christmas!

Bull, and it's quite obvious, your preference for top down control of events. The analysis as done by Colin seems reasonably accurate.

 

But I have a slightly different take on it than Colin. The obviously answer to your lame effort at misframing the argument presented and then answering your own made up question is timing. I'd like to stop my argument at this point and see how you answer.

 

The issue is broader than this singular event, and there are other serious gaffes by Jinyoung Englund.

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Bruce Fenton    110

David -- when I said that certain board members should not have been board members I was mainly referring to Mark Karpeles. Also it seems that Peter V was polarizing and not a positive. I believe Charlie S was targeted because of his position in Bitcoin and think his sentencing does not serve justice in an ideal way - unfortunately there was negative publicity surrounding this -- I don't fault Charlie or the Foundation for this.

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