The Bitcoin Foundation: Down and Out

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18.12.2015

Recently it became apparent that the Bitcoin Foundation would run out of money by March if it failed to find money for its further operations. Less than a month later two members of the Foundation board left it with a fuss. It may seem that the organization is in big trouble.

The foundation’s main trouble, however, is not in its almost complete lack of money, or desolation of its management board.

The organization’s financial bankruptcy is a direct consequence of a more fundamental bankruptcy in terms of conception, ethics, and psychology. The foundation that does very little, though always bids to be an unofficial supreme council of cryptocurrency, cannot be trusted for a long time.

There is a similar structure found in history books: the Holy Roman Empire established in the 10th century, which, according to Voltaire, was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Officially, it could stretch from southern Italy to northern Germany; however, the whole reason for its existence was reduced to emperors coming to Rome in order to be crowned by the Pope. Eventually, the very city of Rome ceased being its part. The Holy Roman Empire was not so much a country as an incarnated concept of a universal state. The chaos remaining after the fall of the real Roman Empire has left only one idea in the heads of its former citizens: if there can be a great state, it shall be governed from the city of Rome.

The Bitcoin Foundation is the Holy Roman Empire in the cryptocurrency world. Though initially there were many people hoping that the organization will do good, shortly after it became a purely nominal entity. Other companies and firms successfully fulfill the objectives the Foundation was set to cover; moreover, they manage to make money at the same time. The foundation, as practice shows, is incapable of earning anything. Instead, it treats newsfeeds with yet another news on yet another scandal every now and then.

The call for money raising will hardly find much support in the community, as there hardly would be anyone willing to paint the sinking Titanic, while the captain and the commander quarrel about who was the first not to notice the iceberg. The Foundation in its current form will inevitably drown; and there will be only a few people feeling sorry about that.

The board’s members may act in good faith, and most certainly they really do, but they are captivated by the very concept of the Foundation. The organization’s only chance is in complete reloading covering the fundamental principles of its operation and organization. All those principles have proved themselves inefficient, and rejecting them should not seem a terrible thing to do. The community could still use a common advocacy group, as bitcoin and blockchain still have lots of problems.

However, banks themselves are promoting the blockchain. Bitcoin’s propagation and popularization is carried out by startups. There are enormous consortiums to research the issue. Cryptocurrency ceases being a scarecrow for state officials in many countries. However, the Foundation in its current form has nothing to do with all that. As it turned out, all those things may happen without any involvement of the Foundation.

The Holy Roman Empire’s end was invisible. Once, Napoleon came to Germany, and the empire just vanished. On the first Reich’s doomsday, no comets were shining in the sky; across Europe, people were asking each other in surprise, was the empire still existent?

If the Foundation does not reform its fundamentals, it will end up just like the Holy Roman Empire.

By Jenny Aysgarth

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