The Bitcoin Foundation (also styled TBF or tbf) was created on 22 October 2014 by TMSR's1 founder and leader, Mircea Popescu, who defined its minimal structure, made a seeding donation of 10 Bitcoin and offered the 2 chair positions with full decision power and responsibilities to Shane Kinney (mod6) and Ben Vulpes (ben_vulpes), who happily accepted. Four days later, Juraj Variny (jurov) took on the role of Treasurer2 for TBF. Throughout the whole interval, jurov kept the treasurer position. Mod6 kept his co-chair position until April 2020 when he stepped down and was replaced by jurov. Ben_vulpes remained nominally a co-chair throughout the interval although he stopped being actively involved in any way somewhere in 2019 or earlier3.
As the logs of those early days attest, there was significant public support for the new foundation and this support materialised quickly through donations of bitcoin, signed reference code, development and testing work. A charter was drawn up by mod64 and discussed in the forum within days5. According to the archives of TBF, there was a flurry of activity initially, focusing on patching the bitcoin codebase and setting up a place (the mailing list), format (initially plain patches, eventually vpatches) and clear process for receiving, checking and integrating patches to the code. The first 10.1747 BTC donation was received in December 2014 and recorded in the first treasury statement. The same month, a declaration of sovereignity6 was published as well, setting out TBF in the wider context of the #bitcoin-assets channel and stating TBF to be the intended recipient of a taxation requirement "of 0.1% or a hundred thousand satoshi per full Bitcoin realised"7. Over the next months, code patching and testing proceeded quickly and V as well as its implementation were developed as well. The monthly "state of the bitcoin address" (SOBA) communications noted the need for more people to be involved but did not set out any plans to find new contributors.
One year later, by the beginning of 2016, the SOBAs stopped mentioning even the need for more people involved and the activity as reflected in the mailing list archives seems greatly reduced by comparison with the previous year. The SOBAs focus exclusively on the code work done mainly by mod6, asciilifeform and trinque. Nevertheless, donations are still received during this time, with another 10 BTC recorded in the treasury statement for March 2016. There are no expenses recorded nor do any of the SOBA mention any need or plans for attracting new contributors in any capacity. This trend continues during the following years8, although as early as 2016, the problems and the lack of growth are explicitly mentioned in the forum, alongside concrete suggestions made by Mircea Popescu as to potential avenues for TBF to pursue for growth and exposure:
mircea_popescu: incidentally : it occurs to me we might be well advised to run an advertising campaign along the lines of "No University in the world can rival the Republic's own STEM research lab". would this be something teh foundation might consider sponsoring, ben_vulpes mod6 ? and any of the marketing minded fellows want to make the website ?
mircea_popescu: mod6 the main consideration there, strategically, would be that while foundation's conservative finances are certainly the path to victory, the absence of any and all expenditures is probably by now becoming a drag - why'd someone donate his tax dues when the coin is just going to sit ? he might as well donate it mentally and let it sit in his own pocket. sooner or later something will hafta be done, or else why bother. something like this has the advantage that it's an entirely uninvesting expenditure (exact opposite of what the faux foundation did with its "hiring" of nsa asset gavin andresen), it commits the foundation to ~nothing and can be discontinued at any point. it's good to be able to say you know, here, we have a track record of usefulness, trust us.
mircea_popescu: Framedragger the problem isn't "founding os projects" but quite orthogonal to that : ustards have a significant mental problem whereby they imagine they will separate funding and activity. the existence of a so called "foundation" is the usual macula of this sort of idiocy, much like chancre is the mark of syphilis.
mircea_popescu: btw are you foundation people gonna make a prize gala or something ?
mod6: gala? last we were discussing some sort of university advertising
mircea_popescu: hey i'm just an idea guy
mod6: and we had some ideas regarding the same, but didn't come to any specific conculsions.
mircea_popescu: nething public ?
mod6: not as of yet. working on it.
mircea_popescu: mod6 incidentally, it occurs to me : it might be a good idea for the foundation to have some kind of policy whereby people interested can donate servers ? exactly like freenode, in theory, except they fuck it up so uttertly in practice it's not even funny. but their being retarded doesn't mean we can't do it right.
mircea_popescu: is this something the foundation may maybe consider ? open us an embassy in beijing, hire a chick to sit there 4 hours/day or such ?
By 2018, TBF's failure to grow and matter in the world is pointed out in plain terms and the very goal of the foundation is discussed as well:
mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-09-30#1855821 << imo the only limiting factor in foundation finance atm is the twin perception that foundation doesn't need more money nor has anything useful to do with it if it had more money.
mircea_popescu: the ~only~ thing you get out of "removing obstacles" is another linus debacle, whereby you belabour for however many decades under the false flag of an unredeemable asshole. he will sell you out, and pretend he's doing you a favour.
hanbot: asciilifeform actually in principle i very much am interested. i'm not sure i fully grasp what it's supposed to do beyond making trb available tho'...if "fruit"'s so far unsatisfactory, what's good fruit look like?
mircea_popescu: hanbot you ever heard of stanford university ?
mircea_popescu: stanford university exists because a rich dood took some money out of his pocket, stuffed it in a bag and wrote "Stanford university" on it.
mircea_popescu: however, it ~actually exists~, today. plenty of people interact with it that might not even have heard of the douche in question or his insufferable drowned son
mircea_popescu: or w/e the fuck happened there.
mircea_popescu: this means, to live. if stanford university today were nothing more than an entry in the rich guy's lawyer's workledger, it'd not live. as it is, it lives.
mircea_popescu: (and, amusingly enough, the founding donation was a whole of a lot less than 10 bitcoin, also.)
mircea_popescu: i don't give a shit how. sponsor a sports team, for all i care. god knows the charter's written openly enough to not get in anyone's way who wants to do things.
The foundation's charter is also discussed in detail and this discussion apparently needs to be linked and read again since only recently there was again contention regarding the need for any outreach from TBF:
mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-10-01#1856375 << let's give it a public reading, then. it says : "1. Bitcoin is a far reaching innovation with effects unknown and unknowable. 2. It is altogether probable that its effects will conflict with all currently established human conventions. 3. Maintaining the core values as established by the original author in the form of a reference implementation that is lightweight, coherent and cruft-free in face of this conflict requires deliberate effort involving multiple people, which in turn require management and guidance. 4. ``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' will endeavour to provide these, while fostering community growth and development, under the general principle that if and when any other thing conflicts with Bitcoin, that other thing must either be discontinued or amended in such a way as to no longer conflict with Bitcoin."
mircea_popescu: now, when and how did 3 kill 4 ?
mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-10-01#1856377 << well, the way i read the 1-2-3-4 progression from above is that "it is focused but not limited to trb, supposed to outreach from it". the "focused" part is imo not in dispute. the "limited to" part, though, maybe ?
diana_coman: yes, it's better stated that way: focused but not limited to trb
mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-10-01#1856381 << kinda the idea though -- if uncharted territory stays uncharted... well ? what are we, the folk living across from zanzibar, waiting for indonesians to come over and discover it, because it's easier for them to cover 5k miles than for us 50 ?
By the end of 2018 and throughout 2019, several attempts to revive TBF as a growing and visible entity fail and the entrenched opposition or incompatibility of those involved to the very type of activities required by the notion of "foundation" comes more plainly to light. While the whole logs of those days are worth a read as they pack a lot of relevant discussion, a few highlights would be those:
mircea_popescu: http://btcbase.org/log/2018-01-25#1776346 << i suspect his idea is "ideally, nothing". in any case foundation has not managed to keep up with the rest of the pie despite periodic prodding. Then again growth is hard.
a111: Logged on 2018-01-25 19:15 trinque: what is the foundation's role then?
mircea_popescu: not even entirely sure what precisely we'd be missing if there was no foundation at all, right off.
mod6: Alright. If we disband it, what do we do with the coins?
mircea_popescu: exact same as so far, i reckon. winge and whinge and wring our wrists and worry about it.
mod6: I didn't mean to piss ya off with my comments above, Sir.
mod6: Maybe it is time to give someone else a turn at the helm of the Foundation, or move to not have a foundaiton at all.
mircea_popescu: nevermind the pissing off, that's not the issue. this foundation item, it got a nest egg from me, and some more donations from other people back in the day. it didn't manage to turn these into either a growing stream of more donations or a growing stream of activity.
mod6: This is true, I kicked in 10 BTC of my own, even.
mircea_popescu: it is exactly what it was in its first week, a nomina nuda, bare name, with no more life to it acquired meanwhile than what it starded with. a flying brick.
mircea_popescu: we can kick it as high as we want, no wings, no life.
mircea_popescu: if i have to run a balance sheet putting the active on one side and passive=delayed-keccak-adoption on the other side, it's coming out in the red as it stands.
hanbot: http://trilema.com/forum-logs-for-29-oct-2018#2491231 << not even so much interest, i was more or less drafted. i'm happy to do whatever i can, but i see multiple issues here i don't in any case want to take your seat, and honestly i don't think "outreach" is a splinter of the foundation's operation, fit for a single person. afaik it's the core of what the thing was supposed to do, and the core of its failure to date, and given a potentially unbounded budget and a by now insanely oversaturated market, i can't imagine anything less than hundreds of hours/week is going to save it. i don't have the hours to make it my sole concern, but i do have some to help out. i think it'd be a shame to kinda decoupage some tasks here and there to a floundering ship. as much as i'd like to see it sail, seems obvious to me that here and there won't cut it at all.
mircea_popescu: it's certainly true my hope lo so many years ago was that the foundation will provide the basic material (people, expertise, history, and so on) upon which to construct these days a republican diplomatic service rather than a library.
mircea_popescu: it's infuriating to see movements a la "oh, ima hijack this foundation thingee to crash your standards process", whether meant as that or not.
mircea_popescu: maybe that's the right move here, transform the badly mismanaged foundation, have it start a college. Something's gotta be done about that, too, i dun recall right off but there's however many six figure dubaloos stuck there since last decade.
diana_coman: I'd love to.
mp_en_viaje: http://logs.nosuchlabs.com/log/trilema/2019-10-03#1939760 << oh, well, i figure the people not calling won the stalemate with the people not making a foundation -- so no further use for it. if we re-do it later it'll be a different number for a real foundation.
mp_en_viaje: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-10-08#1942903 << because he has exactly none of the skillsets involved in running anything even remotely like a useful foundation, and no interest in acquiring them (or perhaps no capacity for acquiring them) as proven by years of practical measurements. this aren't fucking onorifics, i dunno how to put it in some form comprehensible to the morgraine fans. these are opportunities to do work. "doing something" is not doing work. if the thing dun work -- you've not been working, there's no subjective-standard basis for arguing this, "oh look how much i sweated" or anything like that. shit gotta work for activity to be called work.
mp_en_viaje: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-10-08#1942906 << don't be an idiot, http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-08-31#1932784 not to even look into "oh but mp, foundation didn't actually have to do anything, as per my inept read of its charter" lulz. what, it says "emplace noads" in there now ?
ossabot: Logged on 2019-10-08 21:51:32 asciilifeform: nao asciilifeform is no one in tbf. but will be sad if it comes to be the case that there is no tbf to fund emplacements of noades, curation of the ref. trb (incl. mod6's very fine build system) .
ossabot: Logged on 2019-08-31 19:15:27 asciilifeform: will put in l0gz, ftr : the only nodes that gave >100 blox of the 46115 :
ossabot: Logged on 2019-10-08 21:47:31 asciilifeform: incidentally i dun agree w/ mp's verdict that tbf is somehow broken (aside from 1 of the 2 chairs having gone awol.) charter reads, clearly, 'This charter establishes the existence of a virtual organization whose mission is to maintain the Bitcoin reference implementation.' this was carried out .
mp_en_viaje: "oh, it'll be sad to not have a thing we don't have, to do things it didn't do anyway that i just argued i tshouldn't have been doing in any case".
mp_en_viaje: what is this!
mp_en_viaje: yes, it'd have been perfectly fine to say, YEAR+ AGO WHEN THIS CAME UP, "well mp, maybe we don't do other things, but we have a donations program that's growing an average 0.2% per month, predicated on building trb nodes, which we do built, at the rate of ~one per quarter".
mp_en_viaje: this -- was not said, then. don't fucking cpome to me with your insulting infantile narrative bullshit today, as if i've fucking forgotten, they sat on ass and sucked each other dicks about how important they are for bitcoin "Because mp says so" while bitcoin went exactly by them, like all other plowing flies. but like EXACTLY.
mp_en_viaje: this ground was covered already, and in the exact terminology, of "your whole relevancy to this space is my say so, you've built nothing out of it, and if tomorrow i do not say you do not fucking exist, idiots".
mp_en_viaje: attempts to re-approach this without addressing the central fucking problem will result in what pantsuitism always results in -- ima fucking cut the involved heads and move on.
mp_en_viaje: no outreach = no foundation. forget about it.
The closure of TMSR in March 2020 did not result in any clarification of TBF's status. So far, there's neither clear closure for TBF as a part of the now non-existing TMSR nor a clean restart as an independent entity unencumbered by past failures and unresolved issues. As mod6 stepped down and ben_vulpes remains so far only nominally a co-chair as far as it can be discerned by any public records, jurov took the co-chair position and is aiming by his own statement to "carry on" and maintain the same narrow focus on the code base.
At least so far, there is no public sign of any consideration of the full history nor addressing of any of the points raised in all the forum discussions linked above9. There was however a repetition of the argument that the charter doesn't include outreach as such, without any rebuttal of the answers to that as they have been already given and can be read in the logs linked above. The interpretation of the "fostering community growth and development" part of the charter remains also to be inferred from future events, as is the actual re-definition of TBF and possibly of the very term "foundation" from its title.
Here's the content of the treasurer contract in full:
..::[ CONTRACT FOR BITCOIN FOUNDATION ACCOUNTING SERVICES ]::..
0x0] INTRODUCTION ; RESPONSIBILITIES
DATE: OCTOBER 26, 2014
The virtual organization known as ``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' [R.1], as
represented by #bitcoin-otc entities mod6 and ben_vulpes, hereinafter The
Juraj ''jurov'' Variny, as identified by GPG fingerprint:
BBB0 A999 5003 7551 F533 850A 677A BD62 D0AE E7D7
``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' seeks a Treasurer to secure The Foundation's
assets, and issue monthly statements of receipts and expenditures.
jurov is a member in good standing of the #bitcoin-otc Web of Trust,
capable of and willing to secure Foundation assets and issue monthly
statements of The Foundation's receipts and expenditures.
The parties hereby solemnly commit to the following:
``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' will accept donations in the form of Bitcoin
only, contributed anonymously to address:
1FundZy7m7b8begbh9haCguKJcAdFopRJ9 (The Foundation Address),
an address controlled exclusively by jurov.
jurov will remit Bitcoin as unanimously directed by both directors to
addresses of their choice.
jurov will prepare and issue statements each month no later than the 5th of
each month, detailing all receipts to and expenditures from The Foundation
For his services, jurov will be paid 1% of The Foundation's receipts up to
a 1 Bitcoin maximum per calendar year.
Either The Foundation or jurov may cancel this contract by GPG-signed
notice, no less than 25 days before the next statement's due date. After
the Treasurer issues his final statement, he will remit the balance of
secured Foundation funds to an address of the Foundation's choice.
Signed: B71EADAF, D2D031DA, D0AEE7D7.
If anyone has the exact date on this, please let me know in the comments, as I wasn't able to find a clear announcement as such. ↩
The charter in full:
..::[ THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION: CHARTER ]::..
THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION
ESTABLISHED: OCTOBER 22, 2014
Shane ``mod6'' Kinney
(identified by GPG fingerprint):
027A 8D7C 0FB8 A166 4372 0F40 7217 05A8 B71E ADAF
Ben ``ben_vulpes'' Vulpes
(identified by GPG fingerprint):
4F79 0794 2CA8 B89B 01E2 5A76 2AFA 1A9F D2D0 31DA
This charter establishes the existence of a virtual organization whose
mission is to maintain the Bitcoin reference implementation.
0x1] BACKGROUND ; SCOPE ; OBJECTIVES
Bitcoin is a far reaching innovation with effects unknown and unknowable.
It is altogether probable that its effects will conflict with all currently
established human conventions.
Maintaining the core values as established by the original author in the
form of a reference implementation that is lightweight, coherent and
cruft-free in face of this conflict requires deliberate effort involving
multiple people, which in turn require management and guidance.
``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' will endeavour to provide these, while fostering
community growth and development, under the general principle that if and
when any other thing conflicts with Bitcoin, that other thing must either be
discontinued or amended in such a way as to no longer conflict with Bitcoin.
``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' is governed by unanimous decision of its two
At any point during the lifetime of the foundation, either co-chair may
announce his decision to step down, through the publication of a GPG signed
document to that effect. It is the responsibility of the outgoing chair to
announce his retirement at least six months in advance of circumstances that
make his continuation as chair unfeasible.
Consequently, the two co-chairs will unanimously appoint a third, and for a
period of six months the newly appointed chair and the remaining chair will
govern through unanimous voting, except should they be unable to reach
agreement the remaining chair together with the outgoing chair may decide.
0x3] ACCOUNTING ; DONATIONS ; EXPENDITURES
``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' will accept anonymous Bitcoin donations
only. ``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'' will publish monthly reports detailing its
intake and expenditure. Donations collected are to be spent as decided by
The co-chairs promise and warrant to only expend the Foundation's Bitcoins
on that which is necessary to achieve its objectives.
The Foundation's chairs shall retain the services of a Treasurer to issue
monthly statements and secure Foundation assets. The Foundation shall
publish an address under that Treasurer's exclusive control to which
interested parties may donate Bitcoin.
In the event of expenditure, the co-chairs shall instruct the Treasurer as
to the quantity of Bitcoin to send, the address to which the Bitcoins shall
be sent, and a description of the foundations goals in expending said funds.
Every month, from these authorizing notes and transactions inbound to the
Foundation address, the Treasurer shall generate a Statement of Account
detailing receipts and expenditures.
0x4] LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
Neither ``THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION'', the present or any future co-chairs, or
any other person or entity in any way associated with ``THE BITCOIN
FOUNDATION'' assume any liability for any losses suffered or alleged to
have been suffered by any third party as a result of the execution of this
Signed: B71EADAF, D2D031DA.
asciilifeform doesn't see the point of a charter for the foundation and considers it "cruft" though he didn't voice this opinion when the request for a charter was initially made:
asciilifeform: mod6: why we need the charter thing, again ?
mircea_popescu: asciilifeform what can it hurt ?
asciilifeform: mircea_popescu: what can it hurt << cruft
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
BITCOIN DECLARATION OF SOVEREIGNITY ;
PROPER VENUE FOR ALL FILINGS ;
DISPOSITION OF TAXATION
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.13 (FreeBSD)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
-------------- next part --------------
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Title: BITCOIN DECLARATION OF SOVEREIGNITY ; PROPER VENUE FOR ALL FILINGS ; DISPOSITION OF TAXATION
In #bitcoin-assets, November 8th, 2014.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with the human herd, and to assume among the powers of the world the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature entitle them, a modicum of respect to their own intelligence requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident : that no men nor women are created, but born ; that nothing ever is or could be equal to any other thing ; that each man and each woman are sovereign entities and the sole sovereign entities ; that sovereigns and sovereigns alone are entitled to anything they may take for themselves, but nothing more ; that "rights" are a poor substitute of liberties much like railroad tracks are poor substitutes of wings, for on wings one may soar and on his liberty one may soar, but on the railroad tracks of alleged rights one can but trudge ; that things made not born have no liberties, nor are nor can ever become sovereign, but must remain subjected to the will and disposition of those sovereign in the world and limited by their rights as granted by their sovereigns, like slave is limited by his chains and computer programs by their language.
To secure our liberty from the encroachment of virtual entities, devoid of substance, deriving their pretense to power from the pretense of consent, that is in the ideal a shameful subversion of the sacred principles of sovereignty and in fact absent, we find --
That whenever any one or any thing becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that things long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such nonsense, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of the Internet ; and such is now the necessity which constrains us to reject the pretense to power of obsolete forms and fictions left over from a time long gone. The history of the present fiat governments of the world is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over us. To prove this, no facts shall be submitted, you may research on your own.
We, therefore, free and independent of any bond or link of loyalty or fealty, in #bitcoin-assets assembled, appealing to no one ; recognising nothing above and the whole world below us, do, in our own name, and by our own authority, solemnly publish and declare, that we are and of right ought to be free and independent ; that we are absolved from all allegiance to any entity, whether it styles itself a "crown" or a "state" or a "government" or however else ; and that all political connection between them and us is wholly imagined, by them ; and that as free and independent we have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which sovereigns may of right do.
For the support of this declaration we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred rating.
THEREFORE, it is established that the Web of Trust, the #bitcoin-assets deeds registrar and the channel itself are the proper venue for all filings, of whatever type and to whatever end, to be dealed with according to our laws and customs.
THEREFORE, it is established that any Bitcoin company, or trader or merchant or other entity deriving a worldly profit from the otherworldly workings of Bitcoin, is to pay a tax in sum of 0.1% or a hundred thousand satoshi per full Bitcoin realised, into the coffers of the Bitcoin Foundation ( http://deeds.bitcoin-assets.com/deed/9ULZPc7yeZ9fQEA1aZ73H6mcv1s2C4gYFAbNTb5urovj ) as the sole and complete public contribution that may be required of him ; that such payment satisfies the total burden of taxation upon him, and no further payments may be required, in any form nor for any reason or under any title or pretense, by anyone ; that the satisfaction of this obligation is a moral requirement, and outside of the oppinion of the sovereign people it will not be enforced.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.13 (FreeBSD)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Previous message: [BTC-dev] The Bitcoin Foundation November 2014 Statement
Next message: [BTC-dev] UPDATED v0.0.2: Creating, Naming, and Submitting a Patch
Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
More information about the BTC-dev mailing list
Given recent discussion regarding taxation received or not by TBF, I'll note here that there was at least one instance of taxation received although it was indeed as a result of the liquidation of a business rather than the success of it:
davout: jurov: can you give me a foundation address? foundation will be owed .1337 btc after the bitbet receivership is done
Unless the addressing is meant to be this statement:
jurov: And I pay no heed to TMSR anymore, because it behaved to my clients worse than any government.
Comments feed: RSS 2.0