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Re: Can I donate in bitcoin?

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On 30/06/14 06:46, martin f krafft wrote:
> Dear Greg,
> I am sure we can make this work, although we do not (yet) have an 
> official Bitcoin address that I know of.
> However, we're thinking about accepting Bitcoins for donations for 
> DebConf, our annual conference, so this would be an indirect way
> of sending money to Debian, and your donation would force me to
> make a move on this. ;)
> You can read more about our conference here: http://debconf.org/
> If you're okay with that, then you can send your BTC to
> 15y83YUtzautMdZ6Si1QrAybGasdtPmb9F
> and I will make sure to have the books updated properly and keep
> you in the loop. Debian does support DebConf financially, and
> surplusses flow back to the Debian project, so it's not too far off
> donating to the project.
> If you have any questions, feel free to reply on- or off-list. I'd 
> also be happy to discuss other ways…

Lucas just raised this topic in bits from the DPL:

"Specifically, would it matter to you that Debian tries to keep and
use those donations as bitcoins? Or on the contrary, would you prefer
Debian to convert them into USD or EUR to limit the risks raised by
the higher volatility of Bitcoins?"

A few thoughts that come to mind (these are my personal opinion only):

- - Many people feel a strategy of holding assets in the currency that
aligns with future expenses is helpful.  If, for example, 60% of
Debian's annual expenses were in USD and 40% were in EUR, then it
would seem sensible to convert any other donations to those
currencies.  Whether the donations are from a volatile cryptocurrency
(BTC) or just some other currency like Australian dollars or Canadian
dollars, if Debian doesn't actually need those currencies for any
known expense, then holding them is a form of speculation.

- - Greenpeace recently tried speculation.  It wasn't pretty[1].  Even
if Debian made a profit from speculation, it still may lead to
controversy in the public perception of the organization.

- - Bitcoin's volatility is well known.  At present, just holding the
BTC for a few hours can be volatile.  If Debian chooses to avoid
speculative holdings, then it is probably necessary to have a
procedure in place to ensure they are converted as quickly as possible
after being received.  Can anybody provide specific suggestions about

- - Conversion requires choosing a reliable Bitcoin exchange or having
some private arrangements in place with members or third parties who
are willing to give Debian cash for BTC.  Can anybody comment on such

- - If Debian finds ways to spend Bitcoins then the situation changes a
lot though.  All of the comments above are based on the assumption
Debian has nothing to spend them on.

- - China banned Bitcoin[2].  NY state and UK regulators are apparently
looking constructively at whether it can be regulated.  Whatever the
situation, will it lead to controversy that may undermine Debian's
primary mission or the position of Debian members in any particular

There are people who can legally invest in Bitcoin and may choose to
do so for some specific objective.  Does Debian itself have any
objectives that can be facilitated by Bitcoin and where Bitcoin is
better than any other possible speculative investment opportunity?

In short, I personally think it is probably possible for people to
donate them but Debian would need to be converting them.



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