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Re: [Debconf-team] PayPal donations, and fees

Brian Gupta <brian.gupta@brandorr.com> writes:

> Let's not lose sight of the fact that these donations will be matched so
> even though so small percentage of the donations will be eaten in fees, the
> net contribution to Debian will be on the order of 197% of what one
> pays.

Given that there are people who'd prefer to avoid Paypal, one possible
alternative is BitCoin -- it would be trivial to create a wallet
specifically for this purpose, so that donations could be matched (once
converted back to CHF/EUR/...).  Less trivial is keeping the wallet
secure, but we're mostly quite good at that sort of thing. :-)

Explaining BitCoin to the Swiss accountants might be tricky, but if we
only account for the donation once it pops out the other end in the form
of a normal currency that should be OK (you wouldn't want to be
promising to match bitcoin in the current market anyway, so the matched
funding would have to be after they were sold).

There is also the fact that there is much speculation going on with
bitcoin at present[2], which means that donors might pay for their coins at
a peak, only to see the value collapse before we get to cash them in,
but that's really the donor's choice.

On the other hand, if past performance were any guide (which it isn't)
then we'll be able to sell the bitcoins for rather more than they cost
the donor.

There is also the fact that the markets take a cut in one way or
another, and are mostly unregulated, so there's always a risk of fraud,
but then again PayPal seem to freeze accounts on pretty dubious grounds,
so I wouldn't necessarily trust them more.

At least with BitCoin there is the choice of who one deals with, unlike
with PayPal -- we could even sell direct to individuals we trust, assuming
we can match coins to people that wanted to buy them anyway.

Oh, and the main market for BitCoin is MtGox[3], which is based in Japan,
which is convenient given what prompted this thread.

Cheers, Phil.

[1]  http://bitcoin.org/
[2]  http://bitcoinity.org/markets?currency=EUR&exchange=bitcoin24
[3]  https://mtgox.com/
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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