Adam B. Levine (Let’s Talk Bitcoin): Please introduce yourself and give a brief overview of what you hope to accomplish with your candidacy.
Dmitry (Rassah) Murashchik: Well, I’m Dmitry Murashchik. I’m known as Rassah on the forums, reddit, and pretty much everywhere else online. I’ve been into Bitcoin since Spring of 2011. I’ve been mining since about the Summer of 2011 until just a few months ago when it became unprofitable.
I also sell through localbitcoins throughout the Baltimore/D.C. area, and I participate in meetups with locals. I’m also the guy who has a Prius with the Bitcoin license plate, which has been great at getting people to come talk to me and ask questions.
I also try to live as much on Bitcoin as I can. Basically, I convert my entire paycheck to bitcoins after all the retirement stuff gets taken out. I use bitcoin for whatever I can, and where I can’t, use I use credit cards. Then I basically only sell coins to pay off my credit card bills.
I’m very much involved with the Bitcoin community. And I guess I’m pretty well trusted there since I was selected as one of the forums treasurers and I’m also the treasurer for the Bitcoin 100 charity fundraising organization, which I was recently put in charge of.
And regarding what I hope to accomplish, I hope to be a liaison for the community, and basically, keep the community informed of what the Foundation’s goals and actions are, and as a community representative for the Foundation, to gather opinions, concerns, and general interests for the Foundation to act on.
LTB: Why do you want to serve on the Foundation Board?
DR: I wish to represent the Bitcoin community, many of whom are involved with Bitcoin, but are not involved in any businesses and don’t really have any ties outside the social networks they participate in.
Basically, the gist that I get from the community is that the Foundation is more of a group of insiders that doesn’t really answer to, or doesn’t allow outsiders to participate; common users and such.
So, I’d like to be a voice for the common user, the hobbyist, customer, and newbies who have recently discovered it, but also at the same time I’d like to be able to advise and consult the Foundation on the general opinions and trends within the Bitcoin community.
LTB: What makes you qualified for the position?
DR: I’m a well known and very well trusted member of the Bitcoin forums, subreddit, and various other social media. I also try to keep on top of everything Bitcoin related. I basically read and discuss Bitcoin articles, news, opinion posts, and all that stuff every single day.
And I spend a lot of time discussing, correcting, and teaching many people about Bitcoins, and that’s both online and in person.
So, basically, the position is for a representative of the Bitcoin community, and I’m very much involved in that community.
LTB: Do you believe there is a right and wrong way to use a Bitcoin?
DR: The wrong way to use Bitcoin is on a malware infested Windows computer that has your wallet.dat with a password set to 123.
Otherwise, Bitcoin is just an inanimate tool that allows people to do whatever they want or believe is ethical or right. If they are breaking the law or defrauding people, that’s really for the laws and the people to decide whether what they are doing is wrong, not for Bitcoin itself.
And if there’s a law that happens to be wrong, or somebody considers something to be wrong which is actually not wrong, it’s pretty much up to the people and the community to educate others and change the laws. Bitcoin itself, not really.
LTB: What are your views on Bitcoins software development?
DR: I think it’s working well as is. The discussion and debates and suggestions for improvements are quite active. And I don’t think there are any issues with it. Gavin mentioned his top priority right now is personal wallet security so I think he’s definitely got his priorities right.
And at the same time there’s plenty of others working on different aspects and issues of Bitcoin so there’s really no shortage of ideas or development.
LTB: Do you have plans to work with the Bitcoin Community? If so, how will you deal with the diversity of opinion?
DR: Well I already work with the Bitcoin community. I discuss and contribute to various community forums and media daily, and I love diversity of opinion since they make for very lively discussions.
I mean if we were all like cypherpunk anarcho-capitalist exclusively-Bitcoin supporters, our community would be rather boring and stagnant. And with different opinions, they allow us to learn from others or to explore our own opinions from others point of view, and either change them or refine them to make them stronger.
So I pretty much welcome diversity of opinion and I welcome discussions.
LTB: Should the Foundation hire a lobbyist? If yes, why and where should they lobby?
DR: Yes, of course. Bitcoin is evolving into a major business segment and I think it really needs representation in the government. Basically, considering all the misinformed articles and opinion posts that are coming out all the time, with that being their only source of information, I wouldn’t be surprised if most politicians held rather misinformed and biased opinions of Bitcoin.
So it would be good to have a voice speaking directly to the politicians, representing this new market, and teaching them how it works.
Basically, so they don’t do silly things like accusing the Bitcoin Foundation of being a Money Transmitter.
As for where, I’d say anywhere where the impact of politicians would be greatest. So, I guess, D.C. to start, then London, and Berlin. Though England really needs help with their Bitcoin environment, since it’s really hard to get it and sell it there. Maybe it would be even better to start it there.
LTB: If you had to change one thing about the Bitcoin Foundation, what would it be and why?
DR: I think the Bitcoin Foundation may be too new to answer this question ‘cause things are still constantly changing and evolving so it’s kind of hard to pin down anything specific.
So I would just keep it growing and keep it changing as new ideas and obstacles come up.
If you have enjoyed this interview, you can find the other candidates interviews here:
The Bitcoin community has shown me that nothing can stop a group of people who are passionate in their beliefs. In our case, we believe everyone in the world deserves the right to financial freedom. My goal is to make sure everyone can see that this Bitcoin movement has the power to change the world for the better through every story we publish. Before working with Bitcoin Magazine I was involved in freelance writing, illustration, renders, making electronic music, and 3d print designs (http://www.behance.net/urbenz). I'm also a married dude and a father of 2 who loves to have fun with his family, cook, and travel. Contact me by shooting a message to: ruben [at] bitcoinmagazine.com