one moth ago, at the end of Libre Graphics Meetings 2003, we announced
our Bitcoin address as a new donation possibility:
Since then, a few things have changed:
- we've reordered our donations page, moved the more popular option to
the top and added a small navigation menu
- Jakub Steiner (jimmac) has designed a Bitcoin donation button for the
main side bar
- and we got donations
As I wrote in the first follow-up to the announcement, it is quite easy
to tell how much we got so far - go to either of
and you'll discover that we got exactly 6.8347141 BTC.
Both sites will also tell you that none of this has been spent yet. In
our case, this would mean that the money would be transferred to the
GNOME bank account (the one of the wire transfer donation option).
Now, why is that? Are the GIMP developers speculating that the exchange
rates will get much better again, and try to exchange to e.g. US dollars
at the best possible rate?
That's tempting, I guess - the maximum total value I remember was around
USD 940 instead of the current USD 780. The actual reason is a bit more
mundane, and it is one part inconvenience and one part hope for innovation:
I could certainly got about the transfer as follows:
Sell the coins at an exchange, get the revenue transferred to my
account, then wire the money to the GNOME account. Adds delays, manual
steps, fees and is a last millennium method to transfer funds collected
via an innovative currency transfer system. Bah
2. Hope for Innovation
GNOME, who are handling the funds for GIMP, are currently accepting
donations via PayPal, wire transfer and cheque only. Transferring the
monthly amount from Flattr to that PayPal account is easy, but I'm wary
to try the same with Bitcoin - read too many stories about PayPal
suspensions when the accounts are involved with BTC trading.
So, what I did was to ask GNOME if they'd consider to use one of the
US-based Bitcoin payment handlers, namely https://coinbase.com/merchants
If they'd set up an account there, donating BTC would be just like any
of the other options for all parties involved, conversion to fiat money*
included. Unfortunately, this is still necessary, as most of the
expenses - travel, accommodation for e.g. LGM attendees - can't be done
in Bitcoin yet.
Karen Sandler, executive director of the GNOME Foundation, has told me
that they are looking into it.
P.S. this announcement coincidences with an incident that could be the
first serious move of a government agency against Bitcoin - the
Department of Homeland Security has issued a court order, preventing
Dwolla to transfer funds to and from the company behind one of the
larger BTC exchanged, MtGox. I'm curious to see how this is going to
Regards & Thanks for the donations,
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