Bitcoin Association, the global industry organization that advances Bitcoin SV, has become a non-profit association (Verein) in Switzerland (Bitcoin Association for BSV, operating as Bitcoin Association). The Association supports Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) because it is the only project adhering to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s original protocol, design and vision for Bitcoin to become a peer-to-peer electronic cash system and global data ledger for enterprise.
Find out what the organization change means for existing members of the prior organizational structure (which operated more informally under an Antiguan entity).
It’s time for Bitcoin to grow up. The industry, business ecosystem, technology development and regulatory oversight need to mature. This also means Bitcoin Association must take its next steps forward towards its maturity. Switzerland is a renowned global capital for finance, technology and digital currency; it is an ideal base for our global association, as we lead the maturation of the entire Bitcoin industry and significantly increase our international activities to advance Bitcoin SV. We expect more exciting BSV developments to happen in Switzerland.
The new Association is governed by laws applicable to other prominent global non-profit industry organizations, such as the FIFA governing sports body. It therefore intends to use this platform as a way to provide a high-level of professionalism to the BSV ecosystem.
Furthermore, interest in Bitcoin Association has rapidly grown as Bitcoin SV has captured the digital currency spotlight. The BSV blockchain has seen application development explode globally as developers and businesses make use of its greater scaling, data and micropayments capacities. Growing usage has led BSV’s network transactions and average block size block counts to regularly surpass BTC and even surpass the Ethereum network on some days. Given the growing interest and increasingly diverse cross-section of companies and people who want to become members, it is time to bring a higher degree of formality to our Association, plan a revenue-generating path that will require membership fees, while also creating more categories for companies and individuals at all levels to participate.
Who are the initial members and leadership of the new Swiss association?
These are the initial members of the new Association – who are all instrumental in the initial development and growth of Bitcoin SV and its ecosystem:
- nChain – the leading global blockchain technology company;
- CoinGeek – entrepreneur Calvin Ayre’s multi-faceted Bitcoin mining, media and investment business;
- TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, Inc. (“TAAL”) – the publicly-traded Canadian company involved in blockchain transaction processing and infrastructure. Stefan Matthews is the Chairman of TAAL. Mr. Matthews, in his individual capacity, was a founding member who helped create the new Association; he has since withdrawn as an individual member and TAAL became an initial corporate member in his place.
- Jimmy Nguyen, in his individual capacity. Mr. Nguyen is a global advocate for Bitcoin SV and the Founding President of the Bitcoin Association.
nChain, CoinGeek, TAAL and Jimmy Nguyen are now the Voting Members of the new Association.
The new Association’s initial Executive Committee consists of:
- President Jimmy Nguyen
- Vice President Steve Shadders (CTO of nChain)
- Calvin Ayre (Founder of CoinGeek)
- Stefan Matthews (Chairman of TAAL)
- Jodok Wicki, a partner at the CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd. law firm in Zurich, Switzerland and outside counsel to the Bitcoin Association.
The initial Executive Committee has rolling terms, with 2 members appointed to 3-year terms, 2 members appointed to 4-year terms, and the initial President (Nguyen) appointed to a 5-year term. Beginning in the 3rd year (2022) of the Swiss entity’s life, Voting Members of the Association will be able to vote on Executive Committee appointments, beginning with 2 seats to take effect 2023, 2 seats to take effect in 2024, and another seat to take effect in 2025.
What are the participation classes in the new association?
Our prior organization grew to approximately 1500 members from 65 countries – including enterprises, start-up ventures, developers, merchants, exchanges, service providers, blockchain transaction processors (miners), and others in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. To date, membership has been free – thanks to the generosity of Calvin Ayre and CoinGeek, who have financially sponsored the Association’s activities to benefit the Bitcoin SV ecosystem.
The new Association transitions to a new membership structure with Voting Members, Non-Voting Members and Affiliates, in order to provide different ways to support our broad range of constituents. Because we are a business organization, membership is focused on companies and organizations.
- Voting Members – intended for companies, organizations and projects who conduct significant business and activity on the Bitcoin SV network, who have made significant contributions to the Bitcoin SV ecosystem and/or who have demonstrated significant activity in the Bitcoin Association. Individuals will be considered in special circumstances. Voting Members have the right to vote in our General Assembly on high-level decisions of the organization. They also receive access to all Association events and programs at the most favourable cost (if any).
- Non-Voting Members – intended for companies, organizations and projects who conduct or are interested in conducting business and activity on the Bitcoin SV network and/or who have made contributions to the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. Individuals will be considered in special circumstances. Non-Voting Members do not have the right to vote in the Association’s General Assembly. Once membership fees are required in 2021 and future years, Non-Voting Members will pay a lower fee than Voting Members, and will receive access (for a fee when charged) to all Association events and programs. Participation as a Non-Voting Member will be a prerequisite to applying to become a Voting Member.
- Affiliates – intended for anyone who is interested in learning about Bitcoin SV and/or who wants to participate in Bitcoin Association activities. The Affiliate class is primarily intended for individuals – such as freelance developers, students and professionals who are interested in Bitcoin SV, but who are not affiliated with any company or organization which is itself a member. Affiliates will not pay any fee for the foreseeable future. They will receive invitations (for a fee when charged) to many, but not necessarily all of, the Association events and programs.
Participation in all classes requires approval by the Association’s Executive Committee, and is not automatic.
2020 will be a transitional year. For 2020, all members of the prior organization can apply to become either a Non-Voting Member or Affiliate of the new Association, and the Association’s Executive Committee will evaluate applications based upon the criteria set forth above. We will not be accepting any new Voting Members for 2020.
Later in 2020, we will announce a process to apply for Voting Membership for 2021 and future years, as well as provide more detail on the benefits offered to both Voting and Non-Voting Members.
Will there be a fee to participate in the new association?
The new Association will require Voting and Non-Voting Members to pay annual fees. Fees are set at a level comparable to other leading industry organizations, and reflect the Association’s goal to have its Members be businesses who are actively engaged in Bitcoin commerce.
To encourage early participation, Non-Voting Membership will be free for the remainder of 2020, priced at a 50% discount for 2021, and full-priced in 2022.
The Association also wants to encourage participation by as many companies and individuals as possible, including those unable to pay membership fees. Therefore, its Affiliate class will be free for the foreseeable future.
*To qualify as a start-up venture for the reduced Membership fee, a company must meet the following criteria: (1) operated as a business for less than 5 years; and (2) raised total of less than 10 million CHF from third-party investment capital + any self-funding.
I was a member of the Bitcoin Association under its past structure. Do I need to take steps now to remain a member?
If you were a member of the prior organization structure, you will be emailed an invitation to apply to become either a Non-Voting Member or Affiliate of the new Swiss entity. (See criteria above for which class best applies to you).
For 2020, there is no fee to participate in either class. However, you must respond and take action to affirmatively apply (through an online form) to become either a Non-Voting Member or Affiliate of the new Swiss entity, and provide your personal data to the new Swiss entity. If you do not respond by the deadline of June 30, 2020, you will no longer be a member or other participant (such as Affiliate) of the new Association and will not be included in our new entity’s email list. You can however sign up at our website anytime later for either of those participation categories in our new Swiss organization.
Later in 2020, we will announce criteria and a process for Non-Voting Members to apply, if they wish, to become Voting Members of the new Swiss organization effective for 2021 (or future years)
What will Bitcoin Association be doing in 2020 and beyond?
To further accelerate BSV’s growth, Bitcoin Association has an ambitious agenda for 2020 and beyond. This includes work to:
- support BSV infrastructure projects – such as the Bitcoin SV Node team and the BSV Scaling Test Network
- provide industry leadership for standards setting with its new Technical Standards Committee
- host Bitcoin SV conferences and programs – such as its October 2019 “Bitcoin for Business” event in Tokyo, Japan, December 2019 “BSV China” conference in Beijing, China, and March 2020 “Bitcoin SV: The Blockchain for Business” conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia
- launch developer training curriculum and programs across the world – including two major Bitcoin SV Developer Conferences (“BSV DevCons”) in San Francisco, USA and Shanghai, China (subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- support developer bootcamps and workshops – as it has done with DotCamp for BSV in China, CambrianSV in Bali, Indonesia and Lisbon, Portugal, and a Metanet workshop in Berlin, Germany
- host more “BSV Venture Pitch Days” (following events in Seoul, South Korea and London, UK) to give start-up entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to investors for venture capital
- educate enterprises on why BSV is the best blockchain for business use
- continue outreach and support to transaction processing (mining) pools, wallets, exchanges, and service providers to build the BSV business ecosystem
- support meetups and activities of Bitcoin SV supporters in many countries globally
- conduct global media work in multiple languages to educate the finance, technology and business sectors about BSV
- partner with universities and student organizations on BSV educational programs – such as its sponsorship of the Cambridge University Metanet Society
- provide student support, such as with its “Satoshi Nakamoto” scholarship to a PhD student at Cambridge University
- educate worldwide government bodies and advocate for policies that encourage responsible usage of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Bitcoin Association’s efforts are truly global. To carry out its work, the organization has built an international team, including staff from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, and United Kingdom. They are supported by Bitcoin Association Global Ambassadors in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Panama, Russia and CIS region, the Scandinavia region, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and the United States.
If you are a business or developer interested in Bitcoin SV, join the new Bitcoin Association and participate in building the future of Bitcoin and blockchain. We welcome participation by anyone interested in Bitcoin SV, even if you also support or work on other blockchain or digital currency projects.
APPLY TO BE A MEMBER OR AFFILIATE
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