Monday, November 19, 2012
Since the nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation launched in September 2012 I have been asked many times by potential sponsors, "Why would our organization want to support bitcoin and the foundation?" The answer lies in the primary benefits that bitcoin enables in society and those benefits are not always so easy to recognize at first.
As a decentralized and nonpolitical cryptographic money, bitcoin acts as both payment platform and unit of account. In other words, it is both the train track and the train which is what gives bitcoin the ability to function smoothly without third-party intermediaries.
Why is this significant? Without intermediaries, bitcoin is not subject to being appropriated or usurped by governments for their political agendas in the way that monarchs assumed the privileges of minting and stamping the gold coins of the realm, which were eventually 'clipped' and later morphed into lower grade metals. Historically, civilized society has not seen an opportunity like this before nor what kind of economic revolution can be sparked by a sustainable, independent monetary unit.
The Bitcoin Foundation is an educational and software research organization offering annual memberships and a standard donation program. The donation program can be anonymous and is open to any group or any individual and the funding is put to work in the same way as membership funding. Corporations from a broad range of industries, NGOs, and other nonprofit organizations are likely benefactors to the Bitcoin Foundation. Through a collaborative alliance, we can extend your organization's reach and enhance your stated mission. Below I outline some of the significant initiative areas where we are already having a measurable impact:
Human Rights and Social Justice
Citizens from many countries are blocked out of the typical payment channels like PayPal and credit cards simply because they lack access to a bank account. Sometimes, even those that have banking infrastructures within their countries are blocked out due to poor credit histories or insurmountable fees. Around the globe and including remote parts of Africa and Asia, bitcoin combined with mobile technology is providing a means for previously disenfranchised consumers to enter the worldwide marketplace. With the liberating power of bitcoin, responsible individuals can take control of their own financial lives and operate as both consumer and merchant. Now that is real financial empowerment.
Financial privacy is a fundamental human right but lately it has become as vulnerable as email privacy or data privacy. You cannot take your privacy for granted -- you have to claim it. As governments and law enforcement increasingly use money channels as a way to track identity, they give up on the original crime that they were investigating and everything becomes a potential monetary crime. No one is immune to getting ensnarled in that type of fishing expedition. The ends do not justify the means. Free speech advocates and political dissidents can be identified and persecuted simply because of a payment that they made to a certain group or company. Bitcoin restores some of that balance back to the individual in that it permits user-defined anonymity and user-defined traceability.
Sound Public Policy
Public policy efforts should aim for freedom of choice in currencies for several economic reasons. Quantitative easing is a sophisticated sounding term made up by the politicians and bureaucrats. It really means inflating the money supply but that phrase sounds too negative and irresponsible. If the sovereign treasuries around the world can endlessly purchase their own debt and inject liquidity into the economy via monetary and fiscal stimulus, then why do they need taxes? Unfortunately, we suffer both taxation and growing inflation. Average working people and the elderly are impacted the most through the inevitable devaluation of the currency. Since Bitcoin is not the liability of anyone else and cannot be devalued, an easy and safe store of value is provided so that someone's life savings cannot be inflated away by the whims of a political class.
Math and Science
Advanced mathematics and science propels innovation and enhances the standard of living for everyone. Technology and the Internet have already made things possible that we never thought we would observe in our lifetimes. I look forward to more breakthroughs and greater accomplishments. Through its freely-available, open source software bitcoin educates individuals about cryptographic money, public key cryptography, and distributed computing. In just under four years the bitcoin p2p project has become the world's single largest distributed computed project.
We welcome your support in advancing the common goals that we share. For further information, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Assistant Director, Lindsay Holland (email@example.com