Commission to Reform WPLUG
The Commission to Reform WPLUG (CRW) is an informal group created to draft proposals that fix long-standing problems in WPLUG. It was created on December 9, 2012.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Operation
- 3 Members
- 4 Meeting Logs
- 5 Upcoming Meetings
- 6 Reform Package History
- 7 Reform Package 3 Ideas
- 8 Accepted Reform Package 3 Proposals
WPLUG is struggling to compete against other technology groups. CRW's purpose is to expedite the reform process so that WPLUG can become competitive again as soon as possible:
- Update the bylaws
- Chart a new direction for WPLUG
- Explore ways to make WPLUG less formal/political
- Bring WPLUG's resources up to par with current technological standards
CRW has no membership requirements. If you decide to join, add your name to the membership list on this page.
Each month, CRW gathers its best ideas into a "reform package" that is formally proposed during the following month's WPLUG general user meeting. Ideas can be proposed or voted on at any time, but it is recommended to propose ideas outside of meetings and vote on them during the meetings so that people have time to think before they vote.
If an idea is approved by a majority of CRW members, it will be added to the current reform package.
Since CRW is not an official WPLUG organization, it doesn't receive official funding and is not governed by the WPLUG bylaws. Members are encouraged to apply the same "free and flexible" mindset to their deliberations: check your preconceptions at the door, be open-minded, and support the best ideas to reform WPLUG. Everyone who wants to present ideas will have an equal opportunity to do so.
- Justin Smith
- Terry Golightly
- Pat Barron
- Vance Kochenderfer
- Joseph Prostko
- Stanley Slomberg
None at this time.
Reform Package History
Reform Package 1: Bylaw changes, presented at January 2013 GUM.
Reform Package 2: WPLUG's general direction, to be presented at February 2013 GUM.
Reform Package 3: WPLUG's operational policy, such as frequency of meetings and how to manage WPLUG's Litecoin assets now that we participate in cryptocurrency mining. To be presented at January 2014 GUM.
Reform Package 3 Ideas
Last year, WPLUG started mining Litecoins as a new source of income. Since cryptocurrency isn't managed in the same way that US dollars are, we on the Commission to Reform WPLUG (CRW) agree that future board members may be confused about how to best use it. Therefore, we recommend drafting a set of guidelines that will help future boards manage WPLUG's cryptocurrency assets. It should be a series of non-binding suggestions similar to WPLUG's Board of Directors transition checklist.
I will begin by providing on overview of what Bitcoin, Litecoin, and cryptocurrency mining are, followed by a few of my own suggestions.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency based on open source software. It was developed in 2009 by someone (or several people) under the alias "Satoshi Nakamoto." In 2010, Satoshi withdrew from public life, and nobody has heard from him ever since. His identity remains a mystery.
It's easier to understand Bitcoin if you compare it to the US dollar, so let's start with that.
When you make a typical purchase using US dollars, there are typically several "layers" to your transaction:
- Dollars in your possession.
- A bank account to hold your money. You have to abide by the bank's regulations and processing fees.
- A credit card or debit card to help you send your money electronically. You have to abide by the card's regulations and processing fees.
- A central authority such as PayPal that processes each transaction and protects against fraud. You have to abide by the central authority's regulations and processing fees.
Now let's compare that how a transaction would proceed with Bitcion:
- Bitcoins in your possession.
- There is no need for a bank account because Bitcoins are stored on your computer in a file called a "digital wallet."
- There is no need for a credit card or debit card because Bitcoins were designed to be sent electronically. They're sent directly from person to person over the Internet.
- There is no central authority such as PayPal to process transactions. Instead, a worldwide network of computer operators processes Bitcoin payments in exchange for a processing fee. People who process Bitcoin payments are called "Bitcoin miners."
As you can see, Bitcoin compresses the four layers of dollar-based transactions into one. It's simpler, less regulated, and less expensive to use. In addition to the features mentioned above, Bitcoin is impossible to counterfeit, your assets cannot be frozen, and there are no charge-backs. There's a lot to like.
Bitcoin is called a "cryptocurrency" because it relies on cryptographic security algorithms to validate transactions. Its slogan, Vires in Numeris, means "strength in numbers."
What is mining?
In cryptocurrency mining, computer operators compete against each other for the privilege of processing each "block" of Bitcoin transactions and earning its processing fees. They work to solve a very difficult math problem, and the person who solves it first gets to process the block. Therefore, the more processing power you have, the more competitive you are in Bitcoin mining.
(Each block is posted to a public ledger of transactions called the blockchain. Miners refer to the blockchain to make sure that every transaction is legitimate.)
Some people link their computers together in a cooperative group called a "mining pool." This helps small operators compete against larger ones.
What is Litecoin?
Remember how I said that Bitcoin is open source? Litecoin (LTC) is a fork of Bitcoin. It's identical in most respects except that Litecoin payments can be processed a bit faster. Litecoin is also considerably less popular than Bitcoin, which means that there are fewer people to compete against in mining.
WPLUG is currently using about half of its processing power on the WPLUG.org server to mine Litecoin. We've got about 2 LTC saved up, and we need to determine how best to use it.
Litecoin could be worth a lot some day. Right now, 1 Litecoin is worth about $38. That isn't a lot, but keep in mind that Bitcoin, which once fetched those prices, now sells for well over $1,000 per Bitcoin.
Justin's Suggestions: General Guidelines
- The WPLUG treasurer should establish an official WPLUG Litecoin wallet.
- At business meetings, the treasurer should report WPLUG's Litecoin balance in addition to its bank account balance.
- The treasurer, or someone he appoints, should monitor market conditions related to Litecoin and advise the board of directors appropriately.
Justin's Suggestions: Market Guidelines
- Save our Litecoins unless you absolutely have to spend them. Unlike the US dollar, which becomes less valuable over time as more dollars are printed, Litecoin will become more valuable over time because only a finite number of Litecoins will ever be created.
- People can buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin and Litecoin at cryptocurrency exchanges. Some popular exchanges include Coinbase (my favorite), Bitstamp, and BTE-e.
- Most exchanges don't allow Litecoin to be sold for US dollars since Litecoin isn't very popular. Therefore, if you'd like "cash out" our Litecoin investment, trade the Litecoins for Bitcoins and then sell the Bitcoins.
- The price of Litecoin tends to follow the price of Bitcoin.
- Watch the news for headline stories related to Bitcoin. When Bitcoin gets exposure, such as a government hearing, it often causes a lot of first-time users to buy BTC, which drives up the price.
- Consequently, a lot of these first-time users sell their holdings shortly afterward when they realize that Bitcoin isn't their golden ticket to prosperity.
- For whatever reason, people who want to sell Bitcoin usually do it on the weekend, which temporarily drives down the price. If you have to sell, do it during the week.
Accepted Reform Package 3 Proposals
- WPLUG has business meetings too often; we recommend having them every other GUM instead of at every GUM.
- WPLUG holds GUMs too often: we recommend having them every other month instead of every month.
- During our "off-months," WPLUG should have a social event.
- Generally, each month should have one activity, be it a GUM or a social event. However, some months could have two events, such as a GUM and a separate celebration for Software Freedom Day.
- In the interest of consistent programming, each GUM and its corresponding off-month should hold to a particular theme. For instance, someone could give a presentation about becoming involved with the Linux community at a GUM, and the following month, we could have a "hackathon" where we work on a community project.