We have reached out to the candidates for the upcoming Bitcoin Foundation Elections and asked each candidate a set of questions. In the interest of fairness, all candidates were asked the same questions at the same time, and all responses (that did respond) have been received before the publication of this article.
He is running for one of the Individual Director seats of the Bitcoin Foundation.
Tell us a little about your involvement in the Cryptocurrency (or related) sector?
I have been involved in cryptocurrencies, beginning with Bitcoin, since early 2011, just before bitcoin came to parity with the US dollar. I was asked to evaluate Bitcoin in Jan. 2011 by protest organizers who advocated for bitcoin use due to their thoughts on its potential for communication, censorship resistance, and alternatives to centralization. (Some organizers participated in Occupations on June 14, 2011, including a Zuccotti Park occupation which preceded and merged into Occupy protests that began Sept. 17, 2011.) My earliest experience with Bitcoin led me to distrust MtGox (which I never used), to use Core, and redefine “transactions.”
What is your primary reason for running for a Director seat?
To ensure that choice for the users is emphasized and protected in any decision that the Board makes. There are over 13,724,525 bitcoins in circulation at the time I’m writing this. The Board helps fund development, and in decisions, on this and other matters, user choice must be a primary consideration. This will minimize the potential for coercion in what is arguably a nascent system.
How do you plan to achieve this goal?
I will first examine the progress that has been made on the issue of minutes, which is a necessary progress area in order to ensure transparency and documentation of what the Foundation is doing. Then I propose to improve on that by ensuring that both minutes and agendas are made available. However, I also would be considering user choice in any decision I make with the Foundation, so it’s not just about minutes and agendas.
Once achieved what would be your secondary aim(s) as a Director?
- Bitcoin development
- Privacy and anonymity
What are your thoughts on the free market?
My thoughts on the “market” are available as part of a general transcript I’ve provided at the Bitcoin Foundation forum from when I spoke on the Ben Swann show. One thing we learn from the ‘dark markets’ and SystemD is that terms are less important than the choices we make (and ensuring that not only that we consider the importance of respecting others’ agency, but that we re-examine what are “right choices” and not get stuck in our old ways as we navigate “free markets”). Also, we should not assume we are free, otherwise, we create new prisons for ourselves.
Should there be interaction from the Foundation with regulatory bodies?
No, unless (regulators) are to “arrive” at a Foundation regular meeting (such as those held by virtual conference) and be willing to have their interaction documented (via Foundation minutes – the Foundation does not currently have agendas posted in advance of meetings – that needs to change). Also, there must be no private meetings, and no Foundation lobbying anywhere. Finally, no proposals for bitcoin development funding (or any development anything) from regulatory bodies or banking coalitions. I will vote against it and such proposals would be rejected by everyone in the bitcoin community anyway, so no consensus and thus zero adoption.
What is your reasoning for the above answer?
This should be clear, but it is a waste of Foundation member’s money to have Board members travel to any one of the headquarters of several hundreds of governments around the world. If regulators are interested in Bitcoin or about the Foundation particularly, they should be willing to be open enough about their inquiry to perhaps join a Foundation meeting virtually and have a record of their inquiries displayed in Foundation minutes for transparency.
What do you think about alternative coins?
Some will fail spectacularly. On the other hand, 2015 will involve the possibility of zerocash finally emerging and becoming able to be exchanged (with bitcoin or other coins) as an anonymous alt on a sidechain with its own consensus system distinct from bitcoin. Bytecoin (BCN) has had an interesting rise, and it has ‘levels of anonymity,’ that can be set by the user. We see also discussions of paracoin concepts and the gradual inclusion of concepts such as the Kimoto gravity well for adjusting and decreasing computational difficulty, in a variety of alts. It’s an interesting, diverse ecology~ fascinating to watch.
What do think about the international efforts of the Foundation?
The Foundation has developed an initial International effort involving chapters, but also must determine how to use membership to respond to assault on freedom of expression online by political leaders which are in fact an international assault. Here, of course, we are looking at the recent actions or collusions by persons such as Putin (Russian Federation, “ban on bitcoin”), Cameron (the UK, “attack on encryption,”) Obama, (the USA, “latest version of CISPA, etc.”), amongst others. The Foundation must stand up to them unflinchingly and not cower.
What is your contact information for interested parties?
Website: https://abisprotocol.github.io/ABIS/ (Colin owns & runs this site)
Candidate Thread: Colin Gallagher / Area Man, Random Member
The Distributed Opinion: https://bitcoin.consider.it/colin-gallagher
Yes. In the middle of the Bitcoin Foundation’s February Election, a group of bankers will conclude some efforts they have been laboring about mostly quietly in an attempt to get numerous aspects of bitcoin activity under the control of banks and appointed bureaucrats (needless to say, I don’t think this is a very good idea) in all 50 states. You can learn more here and if you like, write in to oppose their nefarious efforts.