The Bitcoin Foundation has announced the launch of its International Affiliate Program, a commitment to empower local Bitcoin communities around the world, with the opening of its London office, led by Jon Matonis, executive director.
“Bitcoin is an open source protocol with a global presence,” says Matonis. “We are experiencing rapid adoption worldwide and are excited to welcome Bitcoin Association of Australia and Bitcoin Foundation of Canada as our first two affiliate chapters. In addition, we are engaged in talks with India and Argentina and have received strong interest for collaboration from countries like China, Germany and the Netherlands.”
Guillaume Babin-Tremblay, executive director, Bitcoin Embassy, adds, “It’s with great pride and excitement that the Bitcoin embassy announces that it will host the Bitcoin Foundation’s Canadian chapter. Considering how similar our respective missions are, this is a logical collaborative and strategic partnership. We look forward to pooling our resources and ideas to continue promoting and supporting Bitcoin in Canada.”
When asked why the Argentina Bitcoin Foundation was interested in the program Rodolfo Andragnes, vice president and a founding member of the organisations, says: “We actually don't need any specific help from the Foundation, our approach is actually the other way round. We’re looking at how can we help them to accomplish their objectives in all aspects such as development, promotion and standarisation. Generally, we are willing to donate part of our effort and income for helping Bitcoin global promotion and development.”
However, he adds that the program can be beneficial to Bitcoin foundations as it helps to provide global recognition and credibility of them to the media and international businesses.
Since it began the foundation’s membership has grown to over 1,000 members with over 50% from outside of the United States. This support has enabled the foundation to build a model infrastructure as well as finance teams and initiatives crucial to Bitcoin’s adoption, all in fulfillment of its mission to protect, standardise, and promote the use of Bitcoin worldwide.
“Strengethening and equipping local Bitcoin communities worldwide is at the core of the foundation’s International Affiliate Program and a priority for 2014. London is one of the most international cities in the world and the foundation will be best positioned to represent and support the inherently global Bitcoin community from there,” claims Mantonis
The Bitcoin Foundation has claimed that the London office will provide strategic support as well as a “turnkey operation” and “organisational toolbelt” for countries to quickly and seamlessly establish the necessary infrastructure, credibility and presence to lead localised educational, media and outreach efforts.
Each affiliate will be governed, led and managed locally by its own board of directors and team while benefitting from the collaborative relationship and shared resources and connections and support from the Bitcoin Foundation’s international office.
“We share a common goal – the adoption of Bitcoin worldwide. This unification of world-class teams across continents, working in a co-ordinated and collaborative effort, best positions Bitcoin for success,” said Jason Williams, president of Bitcoin Association of Australia’s board of directors.
In addition to the international team of core developers, public affairs professionals and attorneys the foundation also provides sponsorship of talented individual developers, hosts conferences and workshops around the world and supports a quarterly grant program that supports projects that strengthen the core infrastructure of Bitcoin in broadly useful, but not necessarily commercially viable, ways.