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Bitcoin Foundation
Colin Gallagher

Website "Join Us" section (https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/) lacks easy payment option

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Any organization which has membership levels needs an easy way for members to pay / donate. An excellent example that I've brought up before is how Electronic Frontier Foundation has its page for new members or donors:

 

(The amounts range from $25 USD up to $2500, with option to pay in bitcoin)

See:

https://supporters.e...g/donate/button

 

Currently the Bitcoin Foundation website "Join Us" section can be seen at https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/

It is not too easy to arrive at that section, perhaps there should be a prominent "donate" or "join" button on the page so that it is easier for people visiting the website to get there.

 

Another point to consider is how members renew or how new members pay to join up. Currently there is simply a form field for people to contact the Bitcoin Foundation and inquire regardless of the level they are interested in. There isn't a way to pay directly.

 

(Edit / additional notes: Currently there's also no way for members to discern the date when their membership expires, and they don't get e-mails in advance to remind them to renew.

 

Since the end of January 2015, approximately 300 members were being misinterpreted by the Foundation's system, and even when the members could see that they were paid up (which they could do at that time via https://members.bitcoinfoundation.org/ and now via https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/) ~ the Foundation was (at that time) interpreting members as expired who in fact were paid. Subject to correction through manual updating, it was unknown how many members were kept from voting due to this internal error, but it is safe to conclude the following:

 

1) A report on what happened with these errors was never issued prior to the last election.

2) An unknown, but potentially significant number of errors remains, which would likely either dissuade eligible voters from having voted, or would convince Foundation staff (who had not yet corrected an error) that a certain member is not eligible even if the opposite is true.

3) These errors have not yet been corrected, to the best of my knowledge, unless a report has been developed and released by the Foundation which I am not aware of on the matter.)

 

However, with a little work, and use of tools that are already available, the Foundation website could be improved so that members could renew (or interested persons could join) more directly. Additional tools are available for those website manager(s) / administrators who want to actually install a payment gateway on a Unix machine.

 

For those who currently have admin privileges to the Foundation website and work with the member payments, I suggest integrating this tool to make everything a lot easier.

 

- C.

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As an additional note to this thread, I should mention that since the only way to renew my Individual Annual membership is to go to https://bitcoinfoundation.org/join/ and click on "Join," which takes you to a e-mail webform, I've been waiting for a reply from Foundation for over a day (having asked them to send me an address where I can send renewal payment), and I'd much rather just do it myself (which the website isn't currently set up to do ~ that being my motivation for starting this thread to help solve this problem).

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It is now the 22nd of January, and so I have now been waiting around 17 days for a response to my e-mail that I sent to the Foundation. I should note that, as I have mentioned above, this was an e-mail I sent to the Foundation requesting that they send me a bitcoin address specific to them so that I could send them a membership renewal payment. The Foundation still has not done so.

 

I have been asked if I would volunteer my time and effort to help fix the problems that I have identified in this thread. I volunteered to help, and was told it would be appreciated if I could develop up some text content and perhaps addressing some of the DB issues, but when I asked if I could be given some kind of access to the website itself (access which I had before via login), I received no answer to that question. It's not possible to improve a website if you don't have access to the site panel to actually make changes to it...

 

In the meantime, I have noticed that in addition to myself having received no reply back to my request to renew my membership, nothing has changed, except that a paypal option has been added, which I will not use.

 

Oh, and by the way:

https://www.reddit.c...al_this_is_who/

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David R Allen    318

Colin,

 

I recommend you listen to the interview with Brock Pierce on The Bitcoin Game on the LTB network. (Link posted elsewhere).

 

I truly believe it explains what is going on, and rather than something sinister, it is an explanation that the Bitcoin Foundation has pivoted to what it was always intended to be... A Trade Organization for businesses to maximize their exposure while promoting Bitcoin.

 

The real development work is now being done by BitcoinClassic.com and the variations on Core elsewhere.

 

There is no political discussion here, and you, as an individual, carry no weight in these discussions.

 

These are presented as facts, not opinion.

 

Businesses that I am involved in would need to know more about the plans before considering a corporate memebrship, and I was granted a lifetime individual memebrship because I am old

 

 

 

 

 

It is now the 22nd of January, and so I have now been waiting around 17 days for a response to my e-mail that I sent to the Foundation. I should note that, as I have mentioned above, this was an e-mail I sent to the Foundation requesting that they send me a bitcoin address specific to them so that I could send them a membership renewal. The Foundation still has not done so.

I have been asked if I would volunteer my time and effort to help fix the problems that I have identified in this thread. I volunteered to help, and was told it would be appreciated if I could develop up some text content and perhaps addressing some of the DB issues, but when I asked if I could be given some kind of access to the website itself (access which I had before via login), I received no answer to that question. It's not possible to improve a website if you don't have access to the site panel to actually make changes to it...

In the meantime, I have noticed that in addition to myself having received no reply back to my request to renew my membership, nothing has changed, except that a paypal option has been added, which I will not use.

Oh, and by the way:

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Colin,

 

I recommend you listen to the interview with Brock Pierce on The Bitcoin Game on the LTB network. (Link posted elsewhere).

 

I truly believe it explains what is going on, and rather than something sinister, it is an explanation that the Bitcoin Foundation has pivoted to what it was always intended to be... A Trade Organization for businesses to maximize their exposure while promoting Bitcoin.

 

The real development work is now being done by BitcoinClassic.com and the variations on Core elsewhere.

 

There is no political discussion here, and you, as an individual, carry no weight in these discussions.

 

These are presented as facts, not opinion.

 

Businesses that I am involved in would need to know more about the plans before considering a corporate memebrship, and I was granted a lifetime individual memebrship because I am old ������

 

David,

 

Regardless of what Brock may have said in this interview (which I haven't heard yet, but I'm sure I will eventually), the fact remains that the Bitcoin Foundation has:

 

1) members

 

2) a website, which in part is intended to allow non-members join and non-members renew

 

These above two points are facts. They are not disputable.

 

What is also a fact is that I have been waiting for seventeen days for the Bitcoin Foundation to respond to my e-mail in which I have simply asked them to send me a bitcoin address (receive address) to which I can send funds for renewal. They have not done so. To add insult to this, Paypal has been added as a payment option rather than adding bitcoin as a payment option.

 

As I pointed out before, I volunteered to help fix elements of this situation, was offered by Foundation staff the option to help fix parts of this situation, but then was stymied because there was no movement on my offer and specifically, I was not given any access to the website at all (access I once had, in the older version of the website). I never abused my credentials to the Bitcoin Foundation website and used them only minimally and as necessary to update the website with necessary information and elements relating to the Education Committee. I wish I still had that (administrative) capacity, so that I could periodically continue to do improvements, which are not always needed, but occasionally are.

 

If the Foundation wants its members (regardless of what class the members are in) to be able to renew, or for new members to join, the Foundation staff and the volunteers it has given website access / credentials to need to fix this. At present, nobody (not new / potential members, nor existing members who would like to renew) can possibly pay the Foundation a membership fee, and the Foundation will soon be (completely) bust. This will only change if the Foundation staff fixes the website to include a direct payment option in bitcoin for the various membership option. And would they please, REMOVE PAYPAL! for the love of Mike!

 

I should note here that I am still serving as a Chair of the Education Committee (until I am informed otherwise) and I am a Candidate for Individual Director, but my explainer about that is on a different forum page in the Elections area.

 

Cheers

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David R Allen    318

Colin let me give you the respect you deserve and address your comments directly and honestly.

 

There is not an accurate membership list.

 

1.) According to The Bitcoin Foundation there may be members that fall into one of three groups.

 

A.) COMPANY (or Corporate) Membership - There are 96 Listed on the front page. We do not know how many are paid up members, but we do know that this is the preferred membership type with $1000 to $25,000 membership fees. Even 50 at $1000 each would mean an operating budget of $50,000 pa

 

B.) INDIVIDUAL - Lifetime 486 - These people have paid but their funds up were used in the past 2 years, except for any new LIFETIME members. How many NEW LIFETIME Members would be relevant to understand the makeup of the membership, and reasons why they would want to continue as part of a trade organization could be more easily understood if they were active.

 

C.) INDIVIDUAL - Annual 473 - At $25 each this alone would give you $11,825 pa, but we know this information is incorrect because we all know people listed who are no longer members.

 

You are being ignored, probably because you do not represent a business and you have not done the kind of work the new board wants done.

 

We are all waiting for the new plan.... OR we we have slipped off to other pastures to do real work.

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I have e-mailed a link to my updated comment as posted in this thread at

https://bitcoinfoundation.org/forum/index.php?/topic/1377-website-join-us-section-httpsbitcoinfoundationorgjoin-lacks-easy-payment-option/#entry14562

to Bruce Fenton, Morgan Price, Elizabeth McCauley (prev. Ploshay), and Amy Loughran Dolan, requesting a comment and reply from one of the recipients.

 

Respectfully,

 

Colin Gallagher

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Great, Colin.

 

Let us know if there is some way we can help.

 

David,

 

I actually do need your help, and the help of any members that are reading this.

 

This thread got kicked off because of the fact that I was frustrated that here we are in a Foundation with money issues and yet, we don't have a means for newcomers to join up simply or for people who have been around awhile to renew on their own. Instead, there was just a "contact us" form, and you would have to contact the Foundation and ask them to send you an address (say, a bitcoin receive address) where you could send payment. This was totally ridiculous, because nobody ever answered the e-mails that we sent. In fact, 20 days later after having sent in my request through that form asking the Foundation to send me a bitcoin address (and amount) so that I could send them a membership renewal payment in BTC, I have yet to receive a reply to that e-mail I sent. So obviously, that system of doing things is an epic fail.

 

So that kicked off this thread and after a while I was able to raise Bruce and Morgan and some other folks involved with the website and membership. And at this point, the good news I do have to report is, that I do have access to the website again, and I've made some small changes, or I should say, I've started to, in consultation mostly with Bruce and Morgan.

 

If you go now to

https://bitcoinfound...g/join/payment/

you should see a QR code with a bitcoin address, that wasn't there before, and some text that indicates how to find out how to get the right BTC amount to send. However, right now, the solution is only a very temporary or interim one at best, because it still relies upon someone being able to contact the Foundation (to ask how much it is in BTC to send). If the people at the Foundation side aren't responding to the e-mails then this doesn't work. It isn't a viable solution.

 

One of my suggested solutions was to integrate Mycelium Gear (see the links provided in my original post which started this thread), however, it seems that the Foundation prefers BitPay. So I think what will likely happen is a solution will soon be added to the website that involves BitPay so that the users don't have to communicate with the Foundation staff at all when making membership payment or renewals.

 

There remain additional improvements that I am committed to making, including that I am going to soon be helping to make a system so that there will be a means for members to login (back end login system for members, for them to check expiry, and, to pay) and to helping getting the blank spaces on the website filled in.

 

 

So that brings me to the point where I need your help ~ right now as you see from

https://bitcoinfound...g/join/payment/ ~ PayPal is one of the options. I don't see this as a necessary payment vehicle and I feel if it is to be included we should have the members decide if they want it on the site.

Right now it (PayPal) is there, but I want to get it out in the open that I didn't put it there, I don't support having it there, and that I have serious concerns about the compromises in privacy that PayPal / Braintree have engaged in, and also about including a payment provider or processor featured on the Foundation website, that does not have bitcoin as a core aspect of its operations. So I'm looking for input on that, clearly, as I see that as an issue.

 

Other than that, in the near-to-medium term, for whoever would like, I will need your help to get some information on committees (to make it so there is not just blank space in some of the page areas) and get your suggestions for how some of the pages should be improved now that I'm able to do that.

 

- Colin

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David R Allen    318

What a reasonable approach, Colin.

 

I am going to send a copy of your post above to Brock Pierce, who as the Chair should be aware of your efforts.

 

Along with the request for an updated list of members in both categories. (If not WHO then at least HOW MANY).

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"Are we the PayPal Foundation or the Bitcoin Foundation?"

 

This is still an outstanding issue, with work on it ongoing. As mentioned before,

Previously, (as of Jan. 25, 2016)

at https://bitcoinfound...g/join/payment/

you were able to see a QR code with a bitcoin address, that wasn't there before, and some text that indicates how to find out how to get the right BTC amount to send. However, that solution was only a very temporary or interim one at best, because it still relied upon someone being able to contact the Foundation (to ask how much it is in BTC to send). If the people at the Foundation side aren't responding to the e-mails (which they never were anyway) then this doesn't work. It isn't a viable solution.

 

One of my suggested solutions was to integrate Mycelium Gear (see the links provided in my original post which started this thread), so that decentralized payment processing could be done without having to involve a human in the process, however, it seems that the Foundation prefers BitPay. So, as I mentioned before, I think what will likely happen is a solution will soon be added to the website that involves BitPay so that the users don't have to communicate with the Foundation staff at all when making membership payment or renewals.

 

Since Jan. 25, 2016 (at some point between then and now, Feb. 23, 2016), someone at the Foundation has removed the interim bitcoin QR code solution that I had added at https://bitcoinfound...g/join/payment/ - but no other solution has been added. So at this point, the only way to pay for Foundation membership, is to use PayPal. I find this a terrible state of affairs given that I have raised the issue as a member since early January 2016. I'm not seeking attention as a member for my own interests, but rather, that the system simply needs to be fixed so that anyone who wants to pay (to become a member) or to renew should be able to -- in bitcoin.

 

This is, after all, the Bitcoin Foundation, not the PayPal Foundation.

 

I challenge those involved to fix this. I have been in touch with Bruce Fenton, Morgan Price, Elizabeth McCauley, and Amy Loughran Dolan on this issue, and have received responses. One of the responses I have gotten from Bruce and Morgan previous to this "PayPal only" situation that we presently see with the bitcoinfoundation.org site for memberships or renewals is the following (from Bruce, who wanted the following three things available):

 

"1) the BitPay payment plugin (...)

2) PayPal

3) QR code for donations"

 

I was asked by Morgan on Jan. 26, 2016, to "prioritise looking into member login and expiry" which I took to mean that I should basically stop bugging them about the member payment and renewal payment processor issues with the website. Bear in mind I am a volunteer, and I wasn't happy with the use of PayPal (and still think it needs to be put to the membership to have the members decide whether or not it should be utilized on the site), but in the spirit of collaboration, I told Morgan that "I will now be focusing on working something up so that there will be a means for members to login (back end login system for members, for them to check expiry, and, to link to the place where they would pay) and to help getting the blank spaces on the website filled in." In these messages, copied to Bruce, I assumed that Morgan would be working on getting BitPay API access to use with WooCommerce as that was what was discussed as a solution in the e-mails. Yet so far all I see is PayPal as an option to pay on the Bitcoin Foundation site. Yes, there is a bitcoin QR code up at https://bitcoinfoundation.org/donate/ but I don't think that really does anything significant for revenue. The member payments and renewals are where it counts and that's presently handled only in... PayPal.

 

And, I must absolutely reiterate that I have serious concerns about Paypal / Braintree handling of customer information.

 

So again: Are we the PayPal Foundation, or the Bitcoin Foundation?

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OK, status of this is now that https://bitcoinfound...g/join/payment/ has a way to join or renew by using bitcoin. I think that took four months, and I hope it stays that way. I think the next objective is to poll the membership to see if they want the Paypal payment option to stay or go (I would like to see it be removed, as we are not the Paypal foundation, but in any event I think it should be up to the membership - a poll should be easy enough to conduct).

 

I am still committed to helping work up (as a volunteer) a back end login system for members to check their membership and expiry status, though I think that would be easiest with the help of those who are familiar already with the membership DB (possibly Brad Wheeler or others)?

 

Let me know if you've already been involved in this stuff by replying here in thread.

 

Thanks if you've already contributed in some way to help improve the site. It's been a long haul to see it get improved and has taken awhile and so thanks to those who have gotten it done.

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Brad Wheeler    296

I wanted to mention that I recently gave the two new membership coordinators forum privileges so that they can participate on the forums.

 

Please welcome Megan Duffield and Peter Bergstrom -- they are probably the best people to respond to membership logistics and the workflow related to membership payments. I'll ping them about this discussion and see if they want to chime in.

 

The membership DB and forum member database aren't tied together at this point - so I don't know much about membership status, renewal, and so on. Those used to be handled by a membership system that no longer seems to be operational. As far as other operational questions, I think the best direction will come from Bruce or Amy.

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