Italian Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco is among the masterminds behind one of the most important projects in cryptocurrency: The B Foundation. Launched in September 2018 during the Baltic Honey Badger Conference from Riga, the initiative seeks to raise funds in order to educate and support the next generation of developers.
Unlike the defunct Bitcoin Foundation, this new project doesn’t aim to represent Bitcoin and has no lobbying purposes in relation to governments or trans-national corporations. Furthermore, the founders of The B are mostly developers and influencers who have been around for a long time and have a deeper understanding of the Bitcoin philosophy. These differences have also been explained in Crypto Insider’s article “The B Foundation vs The Bitcoin Foundation“, which was published last month.
The 7-minute interview that we’re presenting to you is both reassuring and enlightening. On one hand, we get the confirmation that The B will not make the same mistakes of its spiritual predecessor. On the other hand, we get to find out more details from behind the curtains, which is always great in this industry where transparency and honesty are key components.
Here is a full transcript of this interview segment:
Vlad: I feel sorry that this is the last topic that we discuss because it should have been earlier in the interview. But I really liked your presentation with the B Foundation, even though it’s not supposed to be called a “Foundation” and it’s going to be “The B”. And I had an interview with Jameson Lopp and he had very kind words to say about you and your involvement in Europe, and he said that he wanted to do the same in the USA, but didn’t have the same legislative framework to work with. What do you have to say about this project? Do you think that if it will grow in time, the next generation of blockchain developers will get educated through The B? Do you think that at one point you will actually lobby for Bitcoin in countries, or are you trying to stay away as a purpose?
Giacomo Zucco: So we will stay away on purpose from lobbying. That was not the… so I appreciate that you liked the presentation. Many people in Riga liked it, but many people abroad, just like in the case of the maximalist presentation, the partial information was very easy to misunderstand. So many people didn’t perceive the jokes and sarcasm in some of the choices of the name and some of the slides, so they started to assume that we are going to create something to officially represent Bitcoin (which is not the case), or to lobby for Bitcoin to the governments (which is also not the case). But we want to create a way to match demand and offer for open-source development donations. That’s all I’ve done for the last 3 years. I mean, outside my for-profit job. For profit, I was consulting and teaching, and non-profit I was basically donating to Bitcoin projects, no strings attached. So hopefully, the B will continue what I’ve done for 3 years with a bigger set of people, with a bigger reach and a more sound legal structure that Alena and I talked about.
So I’m super happy that Jameson chose to be part of it, I think I will use Jameson mostly as what we call a “reviewed”. So the idea of the B is that there will be a hierarchical tree of projects, and then there will be donors donating to some node of the tree, and there will be developers claiming the donation like a bounty because of the world of some developers. So we need people, so that the donor itself doesn’t have to directly manage a project or directly assess the code or pass it. They want to donate. Often times, they are not even technical people.
We need to get people to get the money operating as an escrow, and when the developers submit a proposal, they can evaluate the proposal and release the bounty or not (or ask for modifications). Jameson Lopp will be one of these guys in my expectations, and so far he accepted. There were a lot of misconceptions about the roles of the famous people I called on stage. It doesn’t mean that we’ll have everybody in the same company centralizing, with Blockstream or Casa HODL. Everybody will keep their normal job, Jameson will work for Casa HODL which is a very cool company by the way, Alena will work in Casa HODL as well, I will work on my for-profit business, Adam Back will work on Blockstream, and everybody they will work on their project. And there will also be requests to evaluate bounty claims inside The B website.
So we discussed The B with a lot of people in interviews and podcasts, and they started to feel a little uncomfortable because I’m talking a lot, and I’m not delivering anything yet. I will feel much more comfortable to talk about The B when we finally have the legal entity in Lichtenstein incorporated, and the software of the donation flow out up and running. I look forward to that, I hope we can do that before November, but I’m not committing myself because these things are always unpredictable. When we start to see the first donation flows, I think it will be clear to everybody what the hell we are doing with the B: not lobbying, not representing Bitcoin, but going out to fund development efforts and some efforts in marketing to debunk myths and misconceptions and lied. Which is basically what I’ve tried to do during this interview as well.
Vlad: That’s great and I’m happy that we had this interview. Grazie, Giacomo!
Giacomo Zucco: Prego, optimi italiano!
Vlad: Parlo un po d’itaiano.
Giacomo Zucco: Perfetto.
Vlad: You wrote for Crypto Insider a while ago?
Giacomo Zucco: Just once, unfortunately, a few months ago. I’ve wanted to do more, but I’m good at giving talks. But when I try to write, I rewrite every sentence 100 times. I’m so slow and perfectionist, so I wrote something which I think was a good article about UASF and all the stuff, I like the article that came out of that, but I promised to Crypto Insider a lot of other articles that were never delivered. So hopefully I will start writing again, but I’m so slow at it. I will need like a ghost writer recording me talking all the time, and writing it down.
Vlad: It’s okay, because this interview will be transcribed, so everything that you said will appear in text. You can get, you can use it for articles, do whatever you want with it.
Giacomo Zucco: Great, thank you very much.
Vlad: Okay, so have a great rest of your day and thank you for this interview!
Giacomo Zucco: Have a great day too, and thank you! Goodbye!