Bitcoin Foundation Holds $4 Million in Bitcoin, Spends $150k Each Month
Bitcoin Foundation discusses its expanding operations and past controversies at its annual members meeting.
The Bitcoin Foundation has released its annual Members Meeting Transcript, a 22-page document that provides a broad overview of the non-profit's recent initiatives as well as its future plans for promoting bitcoin around the globe.
Perhaps most notably, the Bitcoin Foundation revealed new details about its finances, with Executive Director Jon Matonis indicating the company is now spending $150,000 per month on its operations, or roughly $1.8m per year.
Matonis went on to note that the foundation has $4.6m equivalent in assets, and that 90% of its assets are in bitcoin. However, he suggested at the height of bitcoin's price increase, the foundation had accumulated roughly $7m in assets.
The Executive Director said that the foundation is likely to pursue plans to continue to improve how it uses the funds it earns from individual members, corporate members and anonymous donations, stating:
At present, Matonis said the foundation is not cashflow positive, and that it is borrowing about 40% from its endowment each month.
The board discussed its progress on one of its main initiatives for 2014, spreading awareness for bitcoin abroad through the addition of affiliate programmes, which most recently included new chapters in Mexico, Germany and the Netherlands.
Matonis indicated that the foundation is currently aiming to grow to 18 affiliate programmes by the end of the year, noting that the approach provides the organisation with a low-cost way to expand its footprint.
Overall, Matonis suggested the foundation and its members may adopt a more active approach that targets key global markets, stating:
He reiterated that these local chapters need not change their rules or by-laws to join the programme and that all appointments are subject to a two-year agreement that either party can terminate.
Addressing the need for more favourable bitcoin regulation, board members suggested that the foundation may see this as more of a long-term goal.
For example, Matonis noted the lawmakers must be first educated about bitcoin and its potential benefits before tackling any policy issues. This isn't to say that the foundation doesn't intend to expand its efforts to increase awareness of bitcoin among global lawmakers, he said.
Matonis continued, saying that the foundation is currently in the process of taking what it learned from dealing with regulators in the US and replicating it in key jurisdictions:
In regards to criticisms about the board members' own interactions with the community, the foundation noted that it would like to see a greater use of its online community forum, which is currently only used by roughly 10% to 15% of its membership.
Further, Matonis said the foundation is taking steps to ensure the community that does use this channel has its concerns addressed in a timely fashion, stating:
Future for conference series
The foundation revealed that it is not currently earning proceeds from its annual conference, the most recently of which – Bitcoin2014 – took place in Amsterdam last weekend.
Matonis suggested that the foundation is exploring the idea of licensing out future conferences, but that it would seek member input on such decisions.
Board member controversies
Matonis also discussed the controversial resignations of former board members Charlie Shrem and Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, stating that the board was fortunate that both members resigned voluntarily:
Board members also briefly answered a member question relating to the recent appointment of venture capitalist Brock Pierce, with unidentified one board member stating:
Bitcoin image via Shutterstock
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