[Gimp-developer] One month of Bitcoin donations for GIMP, a review


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:

1. Inconvenience

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 or https://bitpay.com/bitcoin-for-charities

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 evolve...

Regards & Thanks for the donations,

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