Bitcoin is a good technology with a lot of utility. The Bitcoin Foundation is some group that promises association with the good thing, but largely functions as a promotional group for many of the worst actors in the Bitcoin space. Candy is great. Let us consider the example of the Big Rock Candy Mountain as reported by Harry McClintock which was a promised thing with delicious candy in its name:
The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, "Sandy,
I've hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain't seen any candy.
I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I'll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."
So names that promise good things have a precedent set for not always themselves being good. From Mt Gox to Inputs.io to Coinlab the Bitcoin Foundation Stands as an organization where many of the worst actors in Bitcoin can circle the wagons around the cesspool buying time to fish out another turd for sale.1
Something to consider is that out of 80 industry members and 1327 individual members, less than 1.5 percent of them are still interesting in talking and participating with other members on the Foundation's online forum anymore. To understand this by repeating this, only 20 members have posted on the Big Rock Candy Foundation 's forum in the last six months. In the words of the person who posted the numbers first:
1.5% is far beyond my experience. That is not an organizational disease, that is rigor mortis.
Maybe it's time to cast a vote from all members. Send out emails about the vote because most of them probably don't read this site anymore. Set up a poll. Ask all the members if the Foundation should be restructured, and how. Change the bylaws, or maybe just move on? I'm ok with either, but this current construct seems irretrievably broken, ethically.
So what are this foundation's activities then? Well, let us look at the page on their site labeled "Join Us" where we can find right at the top of the page:
Industry members must join by April 15, 2014 to be eligible to vote on the two industry board seats up for election in April 2014. Any industry member with a valid industry membership may nominate an individual to run in the election up to the April 7, 2014 nomination deadline. Because both board seats are industry board seats, only industry members are eligible to nominate individuals for and vote in the April 2014 election.
So to provide a background on how the Big Rock Candy Foundation's board is structured, there are five board seats. Two are industry seats elected and held by "Industry members" for a definition of Industry that includes having purchased some sort of Industry membership in lieu of actually being or creating industry. Two further seats are individual seats, presumably elected by people who thought purchasing membership in this organization was a swell idea. The last seat for all of the information I can find on their page is essentially Peter Vessenes's seat as he is the founder of the organization. His also being the founder of Coinlab puts the balance of the organization's governance at 3 Industry Seats and 2 meh seats.
The problem with supporting The Big Rock Candy Foundation as an individual member is that there is no upside. Conformal seems to be developing a Bitcoin node implementation that is better than the one being offered by the developers the foundation supports in part. People building serious Bitcoin businesses are avoiding the foundation because the scams they have promoted and continue to promote, inflict substantial damage upon the reputations of every other concern listed on their member's page.
The business cycle which has become associated with the Big Rock Candy Foundation's Industry members, and the association shows little chance of slowing down, consists of the following stages:
- Rush the translation of an idea into an implementation
- Market like hell
- Have a few problems
- Market some more
- Outgrow your ability to handle problems
- Introduce "Public Relations" in a form useful to neither the public or your self
- Continue growing
This cycle has repeated itself often enough, even with Vessenes's Coinlab already, that a majority of the Board is always going to be invested in the promotion of the cycle for as long as they can. People who aren't invested in buggering and averse to getting buggered seem to be realizing, if they haven't already that The Big Rock Candy Foundation seems to be associated with a lot of hobo buggery, even if that isn't explicitly the mission of the thing.
- It is kind of amazing the lack of discretion the Foundation shows when scrubbing Gox's affiliation with them compared to their failure to do so for Inputs.io and other turdware vendors. How many failures can you find on their members page. [↩]
- Not unlike having been buggered sore as a hobo's whore. [↩]