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Reaction to Is Bitcoin Money Campaign

Both the Dutch Bitcoin Foundation and Bitcoin Wednesday aim to be grass roots, community-driven efforts. Bitcoin Wednesday is the largest monthly conference on the digital currency revolution in the Netherlands, and is open for anyone to attend to voice their opinion and be counted.

The Foundation’s project decisions are conducted as transparently as possible during Bitcoin Wednesday, with open debates and regular in person polls. The results of the poll taken on 4 February are online here.

This poll shows clear opposition from the community to the campaign in favor of promoting the non-financial applications of digital currencies. In addition, the poll can also be seen as a call for us to promote a level playing field for continued open tech innovation in this sector.

Bitonic did not wait for the poll results and as such did not have the Foundation’s or the community’s authorization to proceed. The Foundation has asked Bitonic to remove all reference to the Foundation in their campaign. The two board members who were in favor of the initiative have already resigned from the Foundation, and their replacements, Robbie Hontelé and Alwin de Romijn, strongly oppose the campaign as well.

Bitcoin already has a very favorable status under Dutch law as granted by the official statement Finance Minister Dijsselbloem gave to Dutch parliament in 2013. This classification equally protects both financial as well as non-financial uses of Bitcoin. The current classification of Bitcoin under Dutch law does not prevent the court from applying a monetary value to bitcoins. In fact, in its verdict the court already did apply a financial value up until the date that the buyer himself cancelled the agreement.

An appeals court decision on this matter would probably be limited to the question of compensation for the seller’s failure to refund the euro promptly. Appellant judges would have no need to rush into a revised legal classification, certainly not now when the technology is still new.

The “Bitcoinisgeld” campaign is simply misleading. As Bitcoin is much more than just money, and the financial applications of decentralized Blockchain technology are just the tip of the iceberg.