Patrick Murck - Bitcoin.pl - Polski Portal Bitcoin

Happy New Year: Presenting the long overdue Bitcoin Foundation 2014 financial results!

Hi,
Today we continue our coverage of the glorious Bitcoin Foundation by assisting them with their own transparency goals. Just like any tax-exempt non-profit the Foundation has to file Form 990 annually, and so they did on 2015-07-23. The website with transparency goals actually previously stated "2014 will become available once filed in the spring of 2015". Par for the course Bruce 'FENTON!' Fenton figured he may as well hide it after realizing the return may reflect poorly on the Foundation. Luckily our shills over at the Foundation Center are kind enough to provide us with a copy.
Bear in mind this is the fiscal year dated 01-01-2014 ending 12-31-2014, the year Bitcoin took a massive hit. For context; the Bitcoin Foundation has one primary asset: BTC-coins. At the beginning of the year BTC-coins were still worth quite a bit (some $800), while shortly into the year they traded slightly closer to fair-value (ending the year at $316). Perhaps you would expect the Foundation to curb expenses, however that goes against the libertarian school of thought (fuck you, got mine!).
Now on to the good stuff, here's how our favorite group of libertarians spent the majority of donated funbux in one year, knowing the Foundation's assets were depleting rapidly. As Reddit is known for bullshit doxxing rules we'll stick to what is written on the return, which is very much open to public inspection. Now, without further ado;
As we discovered in 2013 the Foundation's primary goal is rewarding their board of directors & officers, as we all know they work very hard:
And there are some contractors:
And the breakdown of the functional expenses, oh, so many expenses:
The revenues improved a lot of course, as you would expect with the increased expenses:
At the end of 2014 not much was left: $366k. Of course some membership fees were coming in early 2015 which allowed the board to continue their rampage a little longer. In the board meeting minutes of 7-21 you can read that the party is over ($59k left) and expenses have been cut to $14k/month. Meeting minutes of October show "Brock says that it looks like things were going well from a revenue standpoint until February and we've lost the remaining cash since then" (LOL). Desperation strikes near the end of the meeting with Bruce 'FENTON!' Fenton asking all participants to individually raise $10k before the next board meeting. Olivier Janssens doubts this is possible, and also states he isn't happy that financials haven't been published yet. Well now they are.
In fairness to the Foundation there have been some roster changes and most (if not all) people mentioned above are no longer involved. Which may or may not have something to do with that fact they could no longer get paid by the Foundation (kidding, of course it has everything to do with that).
tl;dr Libertarians are bad at managing finances.
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States put heat on Bitcoin. (WSJ - 6/26 - article cut & Paste for w/o Subscription)

By ROBIN SIDEL and ANDREW R. JOHNSON State regulators are warning virtual-currency exchanges and other companies that deal with bitcoin that they could be closed down if their activities run afoul of state money-transmission laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
According to people familiar with the situation, banking regulators in California, New York and Virginia in recent weeks have issued letters telling the companies that they need to follow the state rules or prove that the rules don't apply to them.
The warnings fall short of formal "cease and desist" orders, which would demand that the companies immediately stop engaging in their business, these people said.
Still, the moves show that state regulators have moved beyond merely scrutinizing virtual currencies and now are taking steps to prevent people and companies from using them for illegal activities. Federal regulators already are cracking down on virtual currencies.
Similar actions are expected from other states in coming weeks and months, according to people familiar with the matter. California, New York and Virginia are three of the 48 states that require the companies to obtain money-transmission licenses to operate. South Carolina and Montana don't have such rules.
The money-transmission rules vary among states, but most require detailed financial data, business strategy and information about the company's management. States also typically require companies to put up a bond that could run as high as several million dollars.
Bits and Pieces
Read about Bitcoin's evolution.
The actions aren't related to the announcement last week that Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin trading exchange, has halted withdrawals of customer funds in U.S. dollars. The Tokyo company said it was making system improvements.
Unlike dollars or euros that are backed by a central bank, bitcoin users can create the units in a process called "mining." Users also can trade the currency on a number of exchanges or swap it privately.
The state actions come three months after federal regulators issued guidelines placing virtual-currency exchanges under the same comprehensive anti-money-laundering requirements as traditional money-transmission businesses such as Western Union Co. Since then, a handful of bitcoin exchanges have registered with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The California Department of Financial Institutions has issued at least three warnings to bitcoin-related companies in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the actions. One of the recipients is the Bitcoin Foundation, an industry-backed group that promotes the digital cash.
Patrick Murck, general counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation, said it is a nonprofit organization and doesn't engage in money transmission. The group is formulating its response to the letter it received from regulators last week.
A spokeswoman for the California banking department declined to comment on the warning letters, saying the communications are confidential and "the goal is safety and soundness and compliance with the laws that DFI enforces."
California is particularly important to the bitcoin community because many of the startup companies that are tied to the virtual currency are based there. California and New York are known for having stricter money-transmission laws than other states.
Bloomberg News Bitcoin supporter Peter Vessenes
"Bitcoin businesses are spending a lot of time and energy figuring out how to stay out of California," said Peter Vessenes, chief executive of CoinLab, a Bainbridge Island, Wash., company that has registered as a money-services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. CoinLab is waiting to launch any exchange-related services until it gets its "state licensing strategy sorted," said Mr. Vessenes, who also is chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation.
The New York Department of Financial Services issued a similar letter to BitInstant, a New York company that allows customers to buy and sell bitcoins. The company earlier this month alerted customers on its website that it wasn't accepting cash deposits "as we make steps to transition to our new website."
Charlie Shrem, chief executive of BitInstant, couldn't be reached for comment. The company has registered as a money-services business with federal regulators.
"Virtual currency firms inhabit an evolving and sometimes murky corner of the financial world," Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, said in an interview.
"The extent and nature of their operations morph constantly, so it's important for regulators to ask the hard questions and stay ahead of the curve in order to root out dangerous or illegal activity," he said.
In Virginia, a company called Tangible Cryptography suspended the purchase of the currency through its service called FastCash4Bitcoins after receiving a letter from state regulators who received a complaint that the company was operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, according to a notice on its website. Company representatives couldn't be reached for comment.
Tangible Cryptography said on its website that its activity is exempt from licensing requirements and that the commission's initial assessment contained factual errors.
"While we respond to the commission's notice, the prudent action is for the company to suspend all new transactions," the company said.
A spokesman for the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions declined to comment on whether it has issued similar notices to other companies.
Write to Robin Sidel at [email protected] and Andrew R. Johnson at [email protected]
A version of this article appeared June 26, 2013, on page C1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: States Put Heat on Bitcoin.
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Fraudsters and losers: Five greatest cryptocurrency flops in history

Bankruptcies, lawsuits, thefts and information leaks are inseparable companions of any big business, and cryptocurrencies are no exception. CoinFox recalls the most scandalous failures of the blockchain industry.
Every child learning to walk and run will be falling, and sometimes quite painfully. The teething problems of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency industry – gullibility, fecklessness, incompetence, overestimation – resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. As we will see, even successful and reputable startups are not immune from this risk.
Mt. Gox: A company that nearly buried bitcoin
The Japan-registered exchange used to be the biggest online platform for BTC/USD operations, brought to the world in 2009 by Jeb McCaleb as an online marketplace for wizard-themed playing cards (its name stands for “Magic: the Gathering Online Exchange”). Just like an evil wizard, it made a vast sum of money disappear without a trace. Some of its clients lost a fortune.
The trading platform, which in 2013 processed 70% of all bitcoin operations, collapsed due to a flaw in its code that allowed hackers to steal digital currency from customer accounts. Over 2011- 2014, the violators managed to drain 744,408 bitcoins, including 100,000 belonging to the company itself. At that moment, the loss was estimated at over $450 mln and amounted to 7% of all bitcoins in circulation.
The company admitted the losses in February 2014. And it came as little surprise to people who had knowledge of the Tokyo-based company’s inner work. “Gox is the worst-run business in the history of the world,” said bitcoin advocate Roger Ver, who tried to help the company to sort out an earlier hack, which also resulted in a large bitcoin leakage. No wonder, the Wired magazine ruthlessly criticised Mt. Gox as a “messy combination of poor management, neglect, and raw inexperience.”
So frustrating was the money loss and so vast was the scale of the scandal that many people believed it would undermine public trust forever and drive cryptocurrencies totally beyond the law. Up until the crisis, bitcoin had been gradually gaining world acceptance, and the damage to its reputation could have destroyed it for good.
It is notable that on 20 March 2014, Mt. Gox declared it “found” 200,000 bitcoins worth around $116 million in an old digital wallet from 2011. In April, suffering from a lawsuit avalanche, the company that had nearly buried the world’s most popular cryptocurrency gave up its plans to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and asked the Tokyo court to allow its liquidation.
KnCMiner: the short journey “to the skies”
The Swedish company KnCMiner had an extraordinary start. In the beginning, it managed to raise $32 million of investments. Business Insider UK included the miner in the list of top-21 most influential bitcoin companies. In June 2015, KnCMiner implemented the new powerful Solar ASIC that was supposed to boost the efficiency of mining, but that turned out to be useless due to the anticipated bitcoin block reward halving.
“We knew that there were risks related to doing this in Sweden. We aimed for the skies, not to build a mediocre medium sized business. We got big investors on board and took a chance. But it hasn’t paid off,” said CEO Sam Cole.
Early in 2015, a scandal broke out around the quality of KnCMiner’s products and services. According to Swedish media, more than 100 clients accused the company of fraud and sent a collective complaint to Swedish authorities. As the dissatisfied clients claimed, the mining device called Titan did not work well and caused ignition, whereas the company refused to return the money for it. Besides, it was reported that the company refused to communicate with the lawyers that represented the interests of the clients.
“All the while we were having huge problems with their machines (fires, burnt-out cores, random shutdowns, etc.). [At the same time], KnC was making press/Twitter, etc. releases about how happy their customers were with the junk they had sent them,” wrote one of the enraged clients.
The Swedish court ruled in favour of KnCMiner, refusing to satisfy the claim of the applicants, but that did not help the company: due to the abovementioned reasons, the KnC was unable to cover its own expenses. Besides, the lawsuits brought in by its American clients are still being considered by courts in the USA.
Cryptsy: how to lose $6 million
The operation of the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptsy ended in January 2016, also in a flop. According to the company, that was caused by a hacker’s attack that resulted in Cryptsy losing 13,000 bitcoins and almost 300,000 Litecoins (which equalled more than $6 million in January). However, in reality, the theft had happened eighteen months before – on 29 July 2014. The management of the exchange decided not to report the large cryptocurrency leak from the users’ “hot wallets”, hoping to recompense the stolen money with their own reserves.
But the exchange failed to make up for the loss. In October 2015, rumours began to spread regarding the hard financial situation of the platform: users started noticing problems when trying to remove their money from exchange wallets. But Cryptsy CEO Paul Vernon denied any financial difficulties faced by the company.
The exchange blamed the hacking on one of the platform’s developers, Lucky7Coin. However, some of the clients have a different opinion: they suspect the owner Paul Vernon and his ex-wife Lori Ann Nettles of removing the funds and cashing them out. Now they are involved in court proceedings in Florida.
The collective lawsuit to Vernon and his former spouse reads that the money removed from Cryptsy was cashed out and spent to buy a $1.5 mln villa on the Florida coast and an Infinity QX80. A temporary sale ban has been imposed on this property following the investors’ demand.
Bitcoin Foundation: the weakest link
Lost credibility – that is the situation the Bitcoin Foundation ended up in. Initially launched to spread the knowledge of cryptocurrencies and popularise bitcoin, the foundation was supposed to act as a link between the bitcoin community and the conventional industries and governmental bodies. But the practice has shown that companies can perfectly do it on their own without any help, while the fund’s monthly budget, as big as $150,000, would make for a modest crowdfunding campaign of an emerging cryptocurrency startup.
The financial position of the Bitcoin Foundation has got worse during the last eighteen months. First of all, the foundation has lost part of its funds due to the high volatility of bitcoin. Secondly, the inflow of the donations to the not-for-profit organisation by bitcoin companies has considerably dwindled. That happened due to the fund being increasingly accused of inefficient spending of its money. For instance, the community was outraged to learn that Board Member Patrick Murck had spent $12,000 to visit a seminar in London.
In October 2015, at a board meeting, it was announced that the organisation has funds only sufficient to operate until March 2016. The board members had to donate money from their own pocket: the head of the Foundation Bruce Fenton, as well as Board Members Bobby Lee and Brock Pierce, contributed $10,000 each. About $65,000 was also received from a miner who chose to remain unknown.
Still, the foundation has failed to return the main investment – the trust of the industry. The letter Fenton wrote in May in which he tried to encourage Bitcoin Core developers to enhance cooperation with the fund was scorned by the community. The Core team was not convinced either: Peter Todd noted that Bitcoin Foundation is not the organisation that people want to be associated with. “I personally would like to distance myself from it,” he added.
After Bruce Fenton quit his position of CEO, it was occupied by a South African venture investor Llew Claasen. He will have to make a difficult choice: whether to try and return the trust of the industry with more investments, or follow the advice of some bitcoin activists and shut down the organisation.
The DAO: the tragedy of “not-so-smart” contracts
For a long time, the community only preferred to talk about the advantages of decentralisation: resistance to fraudulent schemes, saving on intermediaries, a more transparent governance system where every participant has a voice that will never be ignored in the voting. True democracy.
Now we know what the ticket costs that brings you to this democratic paradise: $60 million. This is the sum lost by The Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (The DAO), albeit not completely, due to a loophole in the platform’s code. Earlier this year The DAO triumphantly raised about $150 million attracting investors by its innovative design.
The smart contract turned out to be not so smart: the fraudster managed to outsmart it and make use of a vulnerability in The DAO’s architecture. On 17 June, 3.6 million ethers were removed from the DAO’s main account, which at that moment equalled $60 million. Formally, though, the thief has done nothing illegal, it was not even a hack: he made use of a legitimate function provided by the smart contract itself.
Now Ethereum developers are hastily proposing various decisions: from “doing nothing” to temporarily freezing all the funds in The DAO (including those rescued and removed to safe accounts) and even calling off transactions in the whole Ethereum network. Although the latter can certainly return the funds, it will give the industry an irreparable reputational blow. One of the advantages of the blockchain – irreversibility – will be discredited. And whenever you allow yourself to pull back and change the name of the game, there will be always room for fraudsters.
by coinfox.info
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MIT Bitcoin Expo 2020 - Regulation and Compliance Panel

2:00 pm Bitcoin & Standards – Joshua McDougall, Patrick Murck, Michael Perklin 2:45 pm Quick Hacks - How to Build Developer APIs on the Block Chain – Cory Fields, Kevin Houk, Tim Lee 3:50 pm ... Money & Tech's Jered Kenna interviews Patrick Murk General Counsel of the Bitcoin Foundation at CoinSummit in San Francsico about their various regulatory efforts and observations on a US, state ... Noob's Guide To Bitcoin Mining - Super Easy & Simple - Duration: 11:37. ... How To Speak by Patrick Winston - Duration: 1:03:43. MIT OpenCourseWare Recommended for you. 1:03:43. Building a 3.5kWh ... Patrick Likes Bitcoin uploaded a video 6 years ago 14:48 Everything you need to know before Buying, Selling and investing in Bitcoin -A book reveiw - Duration: 14 minutes. Patrick Murck (Chief Legal Officer, Transparent System), Neha Narula (Director, MIT DCI), and Lindsay Lin (Counsel, Stellar Development Foundation) participate in a panel discussion moderated by ...

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