BountySource Salt Fundraising

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biolizard89
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BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by biolizard89 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:19 pm

We've discussed funding a bit on IRC, but I'd like to get some discussion happening here too.

We would very much benefit from a fundraiser campaign. Some people have suggested Lighthouse, while others have suggested BountySource.

BountySource has invited us to join their new fundraiser platform, BountySource Salt. Salt is designed to provide monthly income to open-source projects, and is in beta invite-only status at the moment. Salt fundraisers can set multiple tiered monthly goals, but get to keep the money even if a goal is not fully reached. You can see the existing projects that have signed up for Salt at https://salt.bountysource.com/ . The BountySource staff have been very responsive whenever I talk to them, which is encouraging. Salt doesn't charge any fees for fundraising if the money is spent on BountySource bounties. The bounty recipient can spend it on additional bounties for free, or can withdraw to USD, Bitcoin, or Ripple for a 10% fee. We can also withdraw for a 10% fee if we don't want to spend something on a bounty. For reference, Indiegogo charges roughly 13% once fees are applied. Donors can pay in USD, Bitcoin, or Ripple. I think allowing both USD and Bitcoin payments is a major benefit, because there are a lot of people who can only use USD, while there are also a lot of people who strongly prefer Bitcoin. Salt also gives us a significant amount of transparency regarding what we're spending the money on (since the bounties are public), without the graph analysis privacy problems of exposing everyone's Bitcoin transactions. In addition, Salt removes our obligation to pay taxes on bounties that we award, since we're not holding the money ourselves.

For deciding the goals, I would lean toward picking the most significant goals outlined in indolering's grants. UNO commitments and associated lightweight clients, Armory support, Unbound integration, Firefox/TorBrowser TLS integration, and Tor/I2P integration seem like reasonable starting points.

The drawbacks would be the 10% fee on withdrawals, and the fact that BountySource could, in theory, seize our funds. 10% fee isn't much, particularly given that taxes would probably be higher than that if we're holding the funds ourselves; Indiegogo costs more, and Software Freedom Conservancy would charge 10% in return for tax exemption. I also think it's unlikely that BountySource would seize funds -- they're enthusiastic about Bitcoin and have actively encouraged us to use them, so I doubt that they would do to us what PayPal did to WikiLeaks. Hypothetically, the US government could send them a court order to seize our funds, but given that we're not doing anything remotely illegal and that the US government has been pretty favorable to Bitcoin businesses, I don't think this is at all likely. (There's also the fact that the US government could just seize money from the bank accounts of myself, indolering, and Ryan, or arrest us, if they wanted to play that game -- going after BountySource doesn't get them much new.)

Why not use Lighthouse? It's all-or-nothing fundraising, which doesn't really match our needs (we can still get things done with partial funding, it's just slower). We could use standard Bitcoin donations (which NMDF does), but this is limited because it can't accept USD and because exposure is very low (Salt gets much higher exposure, and BountySource spends effort on publicity, which we basically get for free).

BountySource admits that documentation on Salt is sparse (that's why it's in beta, so that they can work more directly with the projects using it). If anyone here has questions on details of how Salt operates, let me know and I'll pass them on to BountySource.

So... thoughts on this? Is Salt something that we should look into more? I'm happy to handle the majority of the work on this if we do it.
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

somename
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Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by somename » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:44 pm

I like the idea (better than nothing, as they say) but I also dislike the high 10% fee.

A project I contribute (non-dev) work to has BountySource integration, but the issue is it's too difficult for the average coder to contribute and I think Namecoin is in similar situation. But a lot could be done via BountySource in terms of demos, tutorials, docs, and such. That could be BountySourced.
In terms of Github integration, it is hard to get anyone who really knows how to code to say "Ah, $25, I'm now going to deep dive into Namecoin and fix this" (if it was that easy, it would have been fixed). So that part I think BountySource can't solve (not unless you make it $250).
As long as there's no exclusivity, it doesn't hurt to have this option.

What I mentioned on the other page (before I saw this post), I think what would work well is to "auction" features, such as integration with 3rd party software. For example, you allow the community to vote for 5 most wanted features. Let's they come up with features 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 that they want to see in the next release. You post 5 features with BTC addresses next to them and tell people that top 3 with the largest amount of BTC in them by Oct 31 will be implemented first.

biolizard89
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:25 am
os: linux

Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by biolizard89 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:38 pm

somename wrote:I like the idea (better than nothing, as they say) but I also dislike the high 10% fee.

A project I contribute (non-dev) work to has BountySource integration, but the issue is it's too difficult for the average coder to contribute and I think Namecoin is in similar situation. But a lot could be done via BountySource in terms of demos, tutorials, docs, and such. That could be BountySourced.
In terms of Github integration, it is hard to get anyone who really knows how to code to say "Ah, $25, I'm now going to deep dive into Namecoin and fix this" (if it was that easy, it would have been fixed). So that part I think BountySource can't solve (not unless you make it $250).
As long as there's no exclusivity, it doesn't hurt to have this option.

What I mentioned on the other page (before I saw this post), I think what would work well is to "auction" features, such as integration with 3rd party software. For example, you allow the community to vote for 5 most wanted features. Let's they come up with features 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 that they want to see in the next release. You post 5 features with BTC addresses next to them and tell people that top 3 with the largest amount of BTC in them by Oct 31 will be implemented first.
This is good feedback.

I don't think the 10% fee is really avoidable -- if we keep the money ourselves, then we're responsible for paying taxes on it, which comes out to more than 10% in most cases. (I have no idea how tax policy applies to multisig coins, but I assume it doesn't absolve us of responsibility.)

I would love to see bounties for documentation, and I agree that that's probably the lowest barrier to entry. But, I do think that there is some sufficiently low-hanging fruit in Namecoin coding that we could attract some talent there too. For example, NMControl has a bunch of PyLint warnings -- submitting fixes for a few of them would probably be within the skill set of many Python programmers, and would let the core dev team focus on more complex things. We were able to get a new developer to rebrand the Namecoin Core Qt GUI for a bounty of 0.1 BTC, I think -- and Qt dev is fairly complex stuff. For very complex things that require specialized knowledge, we could have bigger bounties -- but keep in mind that it could fund the core dev team too. (I'm a poor college student, if I had some income coming in from bounties, I'd be spending a lot more time on Namecoin.)

In terms of prioritizing features based on donations, yes, I think that would be awesome. Should be pretty easy to do using BountySource (both Salt donations and ticket-specific bounties).
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

phelix
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Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by phelix » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:33 am

somename wrote: As long as there's no exclusivity, it doesn't hurt to have this option.
this

It is possible the 10% is a good investment because of the additional visibility.
nx.bit - some namecoin stats
nf.bit - shortcut to this forum

biolizard89
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:25 am
os: linux

Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by biolizard89 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:59 am

Okay, so the response in this thread seems to be positive. Last call for anyone to object before I confirm with BountySource that we're interested -- I'll talk to BountySource in a few days assuming no objections are raised.
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

somename
Posts: 80
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Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by somename » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:04 am

biolizard89 wrote:Okay, so the response in this thread seems to be positive. Last call for anyone to object before I confirm with BountySource that we're interested -- I'll talk to BountySource in a few days assuming no objections are raised.
Biolizard89, I think you just go to their Web site and register, no need to ask for their permission.
But I guess they may be asking for yours, because of people complaining about "unauthorized" contributors registering and receiving bounties on behalf of open source projects, or against the commercialization of their projects.
One example:
https://github.com/bountysource/frontend/issues/930

biolizard89
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:25 am
os: linux

Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by biolizard89 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:10 am

somename wrote:
biolizard89 wrote:Okay, so the response in this thread seems to be positive. Last call for anyone to object before I confirm with BountySource that we're interested -- I'll talk to BountySource in a few days assuming no objections are raised.
Biolizard89, I think you just go to their Web site and register, no need to ask for their permission.
But I guess they may be asking for yours, because of people complaining about "unauthorized" contributors registering and receiving bounties on behalf of open source projects, or against the commercialization of their projects.
One example:
https://github.com/bountysource/frontend/issues/930
The Salt (fundraising) platform is invite-only, being able to handle bounties is open to everyone without permission.
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

biolizard89
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:25 am
os: linux

Re: BountySource Salt Fundraising

Post by biolizard89 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:17 pm

I just got an email from BountySource; Salt is now open to everyone without an invite. So I'll be looking at setting that up soon.
Jeremy Rand, Lead Namecoin Application Engineer
NameID: id/jeremy
DyName: Dynamic DNS update client for .bit domains.

Donations: BTC 1EcUWRa9H6ZuWPkF3BDj6k4k1vCgv41ab8 ; NMC NFqbaS7ReiQ9MBmsowwcDSmp4iDznjmEh5

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