By Timothy Stebbing - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2022
2022 has been a busy time for the Dogecoin Foundation, there have been solid developments and improvements within the Dogecoin Ecosystem, we’ve had a hugely successful Hackathon that’s seen many new people introduced to Dogecoin development, and we’ve been able to grow our team through the kind generosity of some big Shibes who are aligned with our mission and want to see us succeed.
That said there’s been a growing anxiety in the community around a couple of topics which have been taken far out of proportion by a small number of people who seem intent on dividing the community rather than working toward consensus. Recently Fantoumi cut through the noise by asking some open and honest questions, with the aim of ‘clearing the air’ and I’d love to address those here, as well as in a YouTube Q&A session with Shibu (Fantoumi’s adorable Shibe puppet) as soon as we can get that organised.
So without further ado, Fantoumi’s Questions!
Dogepapers: Here's a list of questions for Dogecoin Foundation, I believe it's important and can improve the atmosphere and all the mistrust going on inside the Doge community, Are you willing to answer ? @DogecoinFdn @tjstebbing @jwiechers @michilumin @inevitable360 #Dogecoin pic.twitter.com/wWy4KBbdEr— Fantoumi (@livelikewaves) December 12, 2022
Who are the directors of the DF? Who takes the important decisions?
That’s a great question, and not as straightforward as it sounds, because Directors and Board are (technically) slightly different, let me explain: There’s actually no such thing as a multinational organisation, because every legally recognised non-profit, company, foundation etc. has to exist, ‘technical term: be domiciled’, in a specific country.
Multinational orgs exist by creating distinct legal entities in different countries, which are bound together by agreements and people with a common purpose. So while being a director of one of these legal entities is a real and legally binding thing, the board is a group of people who ultimately sit across a global collection of legal entities. An example of this is Dogecoin Foundation Pty Ltd (Australia) exists as an employing entity for our two Australian staff, and has a single director (myself), Timothy Stebbing, however by policy I can only act according to the voted resolutions of the Dogecoin Foundation Board.
So with that technicality out of the way, I think people want to know Who is on the Board of the DF and how are decisions made?
The current board today consists of Jens, Tim & Michi, with another one or two people under consideration who have been working diligently with the Foundation Board for some time and who we feel will bring critical skills and input to the group (expect an exciting announcement soon on this front). Past serving board members include J. Ross Nicoll and Gary Lachance, who are respected and much-loved alumni. As a non-profit organisation, Board positions are voluntary and unpaid; these people give their time (often upward of 20 hours a week) entirely for free for the good of the Dogecoin community. Ideally, we believe the board should sit at 5/7/9 members with a solid diversity of backgrounds to avoid ‘group think’. If it moves outside of these bounds we act to rectify that by finding Shibes who have been volunteering at the Foundation or within the community and who agree to our guiding principles outlined in the Manifesto and with our strategic objectives, and through a several month process evaluate their suitability before making them an offer of Board membership.
The board voting process is fairly simple, issues which come up have a space created on our internal forum, where whoever is raising the issue explains the details, and then a conversation happens where other board members ask questions, etc. If we feel it’s important, we might engage one or more of our Advisors for their opinion, or reach out to the community for feedback. We always strive for 100% consensus, and if someone is feeling unsure we continue to debate until everyone feels we’ve arrived at the best answer. This, however, is not a blocker. If something is time-critical and we cannot reach 100% consensus a majority vote will allow us to proceed so we don’t get ‘stuck’. This is a process which all of us respect, and has served us well.
Is there any Tipjar problem ? Is it solved ?
This section is being revised.
Does Vitalik send money to the DF ? How much ? Is this money aimed exclusively to pay DF members? Or is it also aimed to reward all shibes doing good things that contributes in the global adoption and technical improvement of Dogecoin ? (Devs, communication through memes / art / awareness / publications etc)
Vitalik has been a strong supporter of Dogecoin for a long time and we were thrilled when he accepted an Advisor role at the Foundation. Vitalik has expressed his love for Dogecoin and his alignment with the Dogecoin Foundation’s objectives, by donating 500 Eth and 20m Dogecoin to the Foundation. Along with other donations from community members and organisations within the ecosystem, this is how the Foundation has been able to continue to operate a small but significant development team to date.
These donations are to help the Foundation establish itself and meet it’s objectives of promoting dogecoin development, and dogecoin adoption. I know it’s hard to fathom, but Vitalik’s donations were not a quid pro quo. They were not payment for an agenda; they were expressions of his support of Dogecoin.
The Foundation has a strong understanding of the importance of the Dogecoin Community and the long history of Community run events, meme culture and charitable giving which make Dogecoin what it is today. That said our focus is on our primary mission: to see Dogecoin become a globally useful currency used by humans everywhere, and we are working toward that through the items on our trailmap.
What are the real contributions made by the DF since it exists ?
I’m sure different people would give different answers, but here is an incomplete list of things that I am proud to say we have achieved in the last eighteen months:
- Defended Dogecoin against a hostile takeover via TM law.
- Re-developed and launched dogecoin.com with a FUD destroying ‘Dogepedia’ and other great features.
- Developed and released initial versions of libdogecoin, which have lowered the barrier to entry for new developers and spawned numerous new projects in the Ecosystem.
- Provided employment for a number of Dogecoin Core devs, with the goal of supporting their valuable contributions to Dogecoin Core and freeing them up to focus 100% on Dogecoin projects.
- We’ve been working hard on GigaWallet, which we believe will open the door for large scale integration of Dogecoin into the business world.
- Run and supported several successful charitable and community campaigns, from ‘#TeamSeas’ where we helped Mr Beast remove trash from the world’s oceans, to the global Doge Community campaign “Bronze the Doge that saw the community get behind building a bronze statue to our beloved Doge, Kabosu, in Japan.
- Assisted with a number of Dogecoin related startups getting off the ground through advocacy and feedback.
- Run the first of many annual Dogeathon events, a hackathon for the whole Doge Dev community.
- In the process of launching dogecoin.org, a developer-focused portal for all things Dogecoin, as well as a related 501c3 Charity which will allow us to help Dogecoin related opensource projects fundraise legally in the future.
- A bunch of other cool stuff that Oonabot will be releasing an End of year wrap-up on soon!
What are the concrete goals of DF? How will that help Dogecoin? And when are they expected to be ready?
Great question, whilst I think we’ve explained these things across our blog, through AMAs on YouTube and other places, it’s a good opportunity to bring those together here.
The Dogecoin Foundation was re-established by members of the Core team, but stands alone as an independent entity within the community, neither ‘in charge’ of Dogecoin, nor subservient to the Core Maintainers who established us. We exist to promote Dogecoin adoption and development to the best of our abilities.
As with any non-profit we quickly established foundational principles which you can read here Dogecoin Manifesto, and tactical objectives which you can read about here Foundation Trailmap.
From these things I would describe our ‘goals’ as:
- To ensure a robust future for Dogecoin as a currency for humanity, via:
- Promoting a strong and diverse, decentralised developer community, with mechanisms for attaining consensus and working collaboratively for the benefit of all humanity, in a safe and inclusive environment that maximizes the potential of all contributors.
- Promoting adoption of Dogecoin as a real, useful decentralised currency, through advocacy to business, merchants, and government, with a strong focus on grassroots adoption at the fringe.
- Promoting the community ethos of ‘Do Only Good Everyday’ in everything we do, from the engagements we promote, to who we hire on staff, to the projects we create. We desire that Dogecoin has a positive effect on the world starting bottom-up rather than top-down (by the people, for the people).
Some examples of how this works would be:
- libdogecoin is primarily achieving the goal of promoting a strong and diverse developer community by providing a library in as many programming languages as possible, to broaden the base of potential developers who can get interested in Dogecoin. It aims to achieve this first through attracting developers to the ecosystem, but ideally moving toward the center adding to the pool of skilled engineers who understand the workings of the Dogecoin Blockchain. It achieves this through introducing new engineers to basic concepts and through it’s documentation, on to the internals.
- RadioDoge aims to provide a means to connect the 2bn+ unbanked humans in the world, no matter where they are, with the ability to transact Dogecoin for goods and services. We believe that the ethos ‘Do Only Good Everyday’ should inspire us to help those at the fringe first, and that this in turn will create a radical, grass-roots lead adoption path for Dogecoin that will move up from the bottom, rather than down from the top. Test transactions have already occurred with RadioDoge, and in 2023 we plan to stand up live beta sites that real community shibes can participate with.
- GigaWallet is being developed as a business integration layer that sits ontop of a Dogecoin Node and provides payment and wallet management services which will allow further integration and faster adoption by businesses around the world. This is fundamentally a technology piece aimed at integration, and will not look much to an end user. However we believe providing robust, opensource building blocks is the best way to increase business participation in the network. Adoption = Utility = Adoption = Utility is the upward spiral we are promoting here. There are already a number of businesses interested in using GigaWallet when it is ready.
- Dogeathons are a key part of our desire to see the development community come together around Dogecoin and to promote collaboration. The ‘trial run’ Dogeathon Downunder which just happened in Australia this year is the first of a yearly event we hope to see move around the globe, with the next being USA in 2023, and then EU in 2024. This is 100% motivated by the desire to expose as many shibes as possible to the dev community and the volunteers, startups, and organisations working in the Ecosystem to make Dogecoin a success.
What are the connections between the DF and the WEF ? (World Economic Forum)
The Dogecoin Foundation has no connection with the World Economic Forum, they have never reached out to us, we have never approached them. This question comes from speculation within the community that Jens, who was once affiliated with them (during his time in an educational youth group), must be promoting their agenda within the Foundation. This is simply not true at all, Jens has been a member of the Dogecoin community since it’s inception and has always acted to the best of his abilities for the community. Furthermore we don’t discriminate on anyone’s ability to contribute based on their gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability, personal beliefs or politics or any other inherent human right, which seems to be where this allegation is aimed.
Are there any big influencers / donators / public and private companies linked with the DF?
There is no formal ‘link’ between anyone and the Foundation, there are no contracts, no obligations, no agreements that say we must promote any person, idea or company. As per our stated goals the Foundation believes that it’s job is to responsibly promote anyone we see actively contributing to the success of Dogecoin, and to this end we have held up some people doing great things for Dogecoin, and done what we can to encourage them and offered any assistance we can for the mutual benefit of the whole community.
We strongly believe that Dogecoin needs commercial adoption to succeed as a global currency for all of humanity. A currency is only useful as it is used to transact. Dogecoin is not a ‘store of value’ or an ‘investment vehicle’, and has never been promoted that way by the creators, Core maintainers or the Foundation. For this reason the Foundation will engage in pointing out companies doing ‘good things’ for Dogecoin, entirely of our own volition; meaning none of these interactions with companies have been “pay for play”, or transactional. While some public observers may have presumed that a marketing agreement was occurring, this is not the case. However we believe that as a currency, not interacting with or enabling commerce is to put it lightly, short sighted. Widespread adoption to bridge the divide between decentralized finance and companies is going to need encouragement, advocacy and assistance.
We also do plan to engage in future partnerships with companies to build and develop products which we believe will be beneficial to the ecosystem, however that has not yet happened. These engagements would be where we see a mutual benefit that would lead to better outcomes for the Dogecoin Community, and also ones that would produce revenue to supplement development. This is not uncommon, for instance the open source Mozilla Foundation engage in joint revenue sharing arrangements with partners to ensure funding for ongoing development of their browser and the health of the web in general. By seeking appropriate partnerships the Foundation hope to create a sustainable future that can continue to promote Dogecoin adoption and development.
The Dogecoin Foundation has also attained significant donations from Vitalik, MyDoge, Marshall Hayner (Metallicus), and are in the process of establishing a 501c3 status charity in the United States which will serve to allow greater philanthropic giving from Dogecoin supporters, to fund many future and existing projects. It is through these kinds of arrangements that we aim to create a sustainable future for Dogecoin, one that will enable Dogecoin to continue to develop and evolve to meet the demands of a global, and one day galactic economy.
– Timothy Stebbing & The Dogecoin Foundation Crew.