Bitcoin Foundation

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The Bitcoin Foundation is an American nonprofit corporation. It was founded in September 2012 with the stated mission to "standardize, protect and promote the use of Bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide."[1] The organization was modeled on the Linux Foundation and is funded mainly through grants made by for-profit companies that depend on the Bitcoin technology.[2] The Foundation and its leadership have been criticized by the media.[3]


The Bitcoin Foundation was announced on September 27, 2012.[4]

According to its founding documents, the Bitcoin Foundation's original members included Gavin Andresen, Charlie Shrem, Mark Karpeles, Peter Vessenes, Roger Ver, and Patrick Murck. Current board members are divided into one of three categories: Founding Members, Industry Members, and Individual Members. The board is made up of a combination of elected members of the aforementioned categories.Gavin Andresen is employed by the foundation as "chief scientist."[2]

California DFI error

In June 2013, the foundation received media attention when it published a letter from the California Department of Financial Institutions requesting that they "cease and desist from conducting the business of money transmission in this state,"[5] and again when it published their detailed response to the regulators.[6] The California DFI had erroneously considered the Bitcoin Foundation to be a money transmitter.[5]

United States Senate assessment

In November 2013, Patrick Murck, general counsel of the Bitcoin Foundation, testified before a United States Senate committee convened to assess digital currencies, at which the reception of Bitcoin by lawmakers was generally positive.[7]

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