The Bitcoin Alliance of Canada will launch today, aiming to assist users and promote the currency nationwide.
Based in Toronto, the Bitcoin Alliance was founded by Anthony Di Iorio, a bitcoin entrepreneur who sold the online gambling site Satoshi Circle in August. The Bitcoin Alliance of Canada (BAC), designed to unite bitcoin businesses and users across Canada, will provide resources and outreach services for bitcoin members.
Di Iorio conceived the Alliance when the price of the cryptocurrency skyrocketed back in April, although he had been organising bitcoin events long before that. The entrepreneur said:
“I got the concept for the Alliance when I realised that representation for bitcoin was lacking.”
The BAC has made some public statements in the interim, like announcing its board in July, but today sees the official launch of its website and membership structure.
The Alliance will offer free memberships alongside a paid two-tier model. Free members will get a 10% discount on bitcoin events, as well as access to educational resources.
There will be two other membership tiers; premium, at the BTC equivalent of CA$25 per year; and a lifetime membership, for CA$125 in BTC.
Premium members will get a 15% discount on events, and will be able to participate in forums and Q&A sessions with the board. Lifetime members will receive a 25% discount, plus the other benefits and surprise promotions. All paid members are eligible for voting rights.
Bitcoin Expo 2014
One of the first events in the BAC's calendar will be Bitcoin Expo 2014, a conference running from 11th - 13th April in Toronto.
Users can register in January to see a number of speakers, including; Cody Wilson, a DarkWallet developer and the founder of 3D weapon printing advocacy group Defense Distributed; Charles Hoskinson, founder of the Bitcoin Education Project; David Bailey of YBitcoin; and CoinKite’s Rodolpho Novak.
The Alliance is taking pro bono legal counsel through its general counsel Stuart Hoegner, and it hopes to reach regulators to cement bitcoin’s position in Canada, Di Iorio said.
The Alliance was developed at arm’s length from the Bitcoin Foundation, which has been busy setting up international chapters.
Di Iorio had originally discussed becoming a chapter of the Foundation, but negotiations fell through. The Foundation sent through an agreement that would have required the Alliance to merge its membership with the Foundation’s own. Di Iorio said:
“The board unanimously decided not to go forward with that agreement. When we got it, we were really disappointed with it. We had to push ahead with our membership structure, but still left the door open for some kind of working relationship with them.”
“We are looking forward to working with them in a friendship role, in a way that we retain our independence,” he added.
The Alliance’s next step is to reach out to groups in other countries and collaborate with them in a spirit of decentralised cooperation.
Board members for the Alliance are; entrepreneurs Eric Spano, Howard Patosh and Curtis Albrecht; telecoms investigator Michael Perklin; community technology advocate Jeff Coleman; and Reed Holmes, the business development manager for incumbent Canadian bitcoin exchange Virtex.