Topic: Re-launching the Dogecoin Community Forums - Posted: January 2, 2015
First of all this: The Foundation has continued to be rather quiet, as several Shibes have noticed, not because we want it to be, but because the legal situation with regard to cryptocurrency (charities) in the US is currently complicated. Among other things, this means that we cannot properly help with fundraisers, because the recent FinCEN rulings make it very likely that this would make the Foundation a money service business, with all that it implies in terms of licenses and compliance costs.
In a sense, this scrutiny which the Dogecoin Foundation and other cryptocurrency organisations are facing is one of the disadvantages of creating a degree of “centralization” for cryptocurrencies, but at the same time, it is far better that such agencies face scrutiny and be exposed to legal risks, than individual shibes/cryptocurrency users. Furthermore, such points of contact are vital as a nexus and communicator towards regulators and other organisations. However, let’s go with the good news:
We are presently (re-)launching the Dogecoin Community Forums which were previously hosted under discuss.dogecoin.com, using new software. While the /r/Dogecoin subreddit is the undisputed core of the Dogecoin community, Reddit lacks certain features to track and file information we need to keep so as to ensure the proper administration of the Foundation.
When pondering how to best organize internal communications among members of the Foundation we kept coming back to forum software and it seems the most natural fit for a more persistent and modifiable platform than Reddit and will allow for exchange and cooperation amongst the members and project groups. Regrettably, the forum software originally used for discuss.dogecoin.com has some stifling limitations, which is why we eventually settled on vBulletin as a replacement. A special thank you to /u/42points and /u/peoplma who have been kindly helping with a design. If you want to sign up for the new Dogecoin Community Forums, please head over to forum.dogecoin.com and sign up there. Note that you will receive a PM immediately after signing up, informing you about how to formally join the Foundation proper.
The Dogecoin Foundation has been working with regulators to find a way in which community initiatives may be run again without fear of potential legal repercussions. To this end we’ve also submitted comments to legislative and regulatory initiatives such as those in New York as well as the UK Treasury RFC. The submission to the NYDFS is perhaps the best summary of our position. We’ve also been asking FinCEN for rulings on multiple questions related to soliciting donations and collecting donations with cryptocurrency as well as fundraising and the commonly held cryptocurrency “crowd sales” generally.
The Foundation has furthermore been in talks with a US exchange that is working within the proposed NYDFS framework, as they may be an option to restart public fundraisers again, with the Foundation acting as a legal intermediary and legal shield for shibes; /u/jwiechers met with their CEO two weeks ago and has also met with the great people at Yacuna multiple times. In Yacuna’s case, the fact that they’re only licensed for banking services in the EU makes it difficult to work with them, since the majority of shibes are US-based and the Foundation is a US non-profit organisation. However, we’re understandably wary about working with a single entity for these purposes.
While we don’t know when the aforementioned problems will be addressed satisfactorily, we haven’t been idle on other fronts. We have been trying to help out where we could, providing (legal) advice to shibes who wanted to run campaigns, serving as a legal point of contact for grant initiatives such as those submitted to the Gates Foundation’s grand challenge on payment systems and acting as a formal nexus, bringing together Shibes with special interests and initiatives with organisations inside the cryptocurrency community, such as the College Cryptocurrency Network and the Cryptocurrency Research Group, as well as organisations outside of it, such as UNESCO, UN-Water, the Grameen Creative Lab, the World Economic Forum and others.
It has been vexing to all of us to frustrate you shibes here and everywhere with our relative silence, but then, FinCEN, the SEC and other authorities are watching this space closely and we’d much rather see the Foundation do more legwork now, while still helping where it can, instead of risking investigations and trouble for shibes later on.
We hope that having a permanent location and an easy way for shibes to join the Foundation and be kept abreast of what is happening will make things much more transparent, however.
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