Adam B. Levine (Let’s Talk Bitcoin): Please introduce yourself and give a brief overview of what you hope to accomplish with your candidacy.
Elizabeth Ploshay: My name is Elizabeth T. Ploshay and I am running to represent you and the Bitcoin community on the Bitcoin Foundation board in the open individual seat. Having previously served as a scheduler and Middle Eastern policy assistant for a US member of Congress I am now privileged to work alongside the Bitcoin Magazine team as the Manager of Communications.
With a background in public policy and a keen desire to promote limited government and free market principles, I am fascinated by the multiple opportunities Bitcoin peer-to-peer currency has to offer.
As your representative on the Bitcoin Foundation board, I will strive to promote an organized decentralized approach of the Foundation towards Bitcoin. I plan to:
- Increase international outreach.
- Work to bridge the gender gap.
- Work with the Bitcoin Foundation board members to ensure that the community is prepared for any government intervention in the Bitcoin space.
- Help transform the Bitcoin Foundation into more of an information aggregate system for individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations.
- Maintain a decentralized approach to development.
- Support and strengthen educational materials.
- Be mindful of the next generation of Bitcoin users.
- Strategize how to continue to increase the size of the Bitcoin community.
And most importantly, I’m willing [to] invest the time and talent that is needed to be available to the community and other board members. I plan on working to preserve and protect the principles of Bitcoin, which make this currency the success is today.
LBT: Why do you want to serve?
EP: As a member of Bitcoin Foundation and Manager of Communications for Bitcoin Magazine, I’m running for the open individual seat on the Bitcoin Foundation Board to represent you and preserve and protect the merits and future of Bitcoin. Time is of essence and the Bitcoin Foundation needs a take-charge leader who is willing to put in long hours until the job is accomplished. And most importantly someone who has a solid plan to take not only the Bitcoin currency but the Bitcoin Foundation to the next level.
The Bitcoin currency brings together the best technological advancement, ingenuity, individual responsibility, and most importantly limited government principles. Since my first exposure to Bitcoin, I’ve been fascinated and have wanted to do all I can to continue to bring the Bitcoin currency to a place of prominence, utility and long term success. It would be an honor to share my communications, political, lobbying, organizational skills, and passion for the bitcoin currency in service on the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors.
Let’s face it. Bitcoin is a phenomenal innovation as a digital decentralized crypto currency that can reach the ends of the world and back in seconds and has a potential to not just help people around the world, but rebrand money as we know it. For this reason, I am seeking your support to serve you on the Bitcoin Foundation Board to preserve and protect the founding principles of Bitcoin, which have made this phenomena the strongest digital currency and if not currency to date.
LTB: What makes you qualified for the position?
EP: The Bitcoin Foundation has an opportunity to elect someone with not only experience in public policy, but also someone with first-hand lobbying experience. Having first lobbied a member of Congress at the end of my senior year in High School, I have an understanding stemming from experience of how to best communicate a message, and when needed, press for legislation to be passed into law.
In addition to serving in an advocacy role, I also have experience meeting with lobbyist[s] and learning through observation best practices for clearly and concisely communicating a message.
As the only female candidate, a recent college graduate, former congressional staff member with a background in grassroots organization, public policy, and public relations, I plan on leading with a model of organized decentralization. As your representative on the Bitcoin Foundation Board I will strive to promote outreach to men and women within and outside of the Bitcoin community international growth and outreach of Bitcoin communities around the world and understanding of the non-partisan cross cultural and international characteristics of Bitcoin. The use of Bitcoin for charitable purposes a decentralized approach to development organization of Bitcoin related media and educational resources an outreach to the next generation of Bitcoin users.
The Bitcoin community is a force to be reckoned with, but must be organized and purposeful. Time is of essence and the Bitcoin Foundation needs someone with the energy perseverance and most importantly the know-how to provide the full picture of how Bitcoin is an asset to each policy maker in the US and around the world
LTB: Do you believe there is a right and a wrong way to use Bitcoin?
This question could be rephrased as, ‘do you believe there is a right and a wrong way to use money?’.
My response would certainly be, of course as money can be used for good or evil. In terms of specifics, Bitcoin can and already has been used in illicit transactions. Yet the majority of Bitcoin users do not intend to engage in illegal activity. With Bitcoin payment processing companies such as BitPay, Coinbase, and BIPS having thousands of law abiding merchants now transacting in Bitcoin, it is clear that the main use of Bitcoin in the community is to buy and sell products already legal in the marketplace, but in a more efficient way. As a member of the Bitcoin Foundation Board, I would highlight the many benefits of Bitcoin use and specifically the value Bitcoin has to the non-profit realm. It is evident that Bitcoin is the optimal catalyst and vehicle for charitable contributions and already has accomplished much good to date.
LTB: What are your views on Bitcoin’s software development?
EP: I support a decentralized approach to software development. To some, consolidating and controlling Bitcoin may appear to be an attractive option, but we must be cautious of any attempts to alter the distributed nature of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin-Qt open source project. With decentralization comes greater opportunity for the growth and development of ideas based on their merits and encourages ingenuity.
The Bitcoin related companies also hire developers to work on the core development of Bitcoin and many developers donate their valuable time effort and expertise.
This process protects the decentralized nature of Bitcoin and provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses within the Bitcoin community to positively influence the future of Bitcoin while maintaining a safeguard against changes that compromise the characteristics that make Bitcoin so valuable. It is constructive for businesses to give back to the community by hiring individuals to solely work on the Qt client.
Open source software is definitely vital to the preservation and strengthening of Bitcoin. With decentralization of the development community there is greater room and leverage for an increased number of individuals to enter for the community to contribute.
There is value in the marketplace of ideas as trial and error and diversity of thought inspires the development of the strongest wallets payment processors and software. There’s definitely too much risk in entrusting all the development and protocol to a few. So we must continue our commitment to an open source idea that makes Bitcoin the resilient system it is today.
LTB: Should the Foundation hire a lobbyist? If yes, why and where should they lobby? If no, why isn’t lobbying important?
EP: It is vital that the Bitcoin Foundation stay ahead of the game in advocating policy makers in Washington D.C. and around the world. It is crucial that all members of the Bitcoin community learn how to and in turn educate their policy makers. As the Bitcoin Foundation continues to expand the Foundation leadership should also to expand with the government relations team in the US and in key cities around the world. Each growing Bitcoin community should have at least 1 pinpoint individual who has knowledge of the inner workings of the government structure within that specific nation and municipality. Here in the United States, members of the Bitcoin Foundation have already stepped up to the plate to meet with policy makers in Washington, but we need a mobilization of the base of the Bitcoin community members to also follow suit.
Should the Bitcoin Foundation have the budget to hire a full time lobbyist in the US and for targeted cities around the world such as Berlin, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Tel Aviv, and London, I stand in full support.
Having experience as a congressional staff member and lobbying experience as well, as your representative on the Bitcoin Foundation Board I will look forward to working with the members of the Bitcoin Foundation and community and a lobbying team to share my experience in educating members of congress and also best practices in lobbying in D.C. and around the world.
LBT: If you had to change one thing about the Bitcoin Foundation, what would it be and why?
EP: The Bitcoin Foundation can increase outreach and focus on broadening the Bitcoin the Bitcoin community membership base. The Bitcoin community is only as strong as its leadership and membership base. Should I have the privilege of serving on the BItcoin Foundation Board, I would work to increase the diversity of the Bitcoin community.
To date, the Bitcoin community is lacking strong support and involvement from half of the global population: women. After first learning about Bitcoin, and now investing my entire career and work to promote the Bitcoin currency, I see a clear need for a shift in mindset of the Bitcoin community to do a better job of sharing the value of Bitcoin to all people, men and women.
With thousands of merchants and small businesses now embracing and accepting, there’s a need for men and women to learn how applicable Bitcoin is to everyday life. As one of the handfuls of females currently working to promote Bitcoin, I hope to foster a greater understanding and embrace of Bitcoin to an extent that crosses geographic and gender based boundaries. The Bitcoin Foundation must also be intentional about international outreach and fostering the growth of Bitcoin communities and meetup groups around the world. In order to succeed, Bitcoin must continue to grow in utility around the world. Additionally, the Foundation should also work to reach out to the next generation of Bitcoin users.
LBT: Do you have plans to work with the Bitcoin community? If so, how will you deal with the diversity of opinion?
EP: I definitely plan on working with and continuing to get involved with the Bitcoin community regardless of the election results. I plan on promoting a model of organized decentralization to encourage grassroots activism within the community and fostering an open marketplace of ideas.
Diversity of opinion in the Bitcoin community is key, as member of the Bitcoin community serves a unique role and a direct voice and part to play in keeping the Bitcoin currency on a pathway to success growth, value, and utility on a global reach.
The Bitcoin Foundation has an opportunity to foster leadership on a local level and grassroots activism to promote the spread and utility of Bitcoin. As a member of the Bitcoin Foundation board, I would hope to not only work to improve our layout of resources for leaders within the Bitcoin community to expand the utility and reach of Bitcoin, but I would also take the initiative to encourage individuals to step up into leadership roles within the community.
In order maintain a decentralized approach in moving forward the Bitcoin currency, the Bitcoin Foundation must mobilize leaders within the community in all sectors. While encouraging individuals to take responsibility and expand their outreach efforts to expand the size and scope of Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Foundation will strengthen the decentralized nature in an organized fashion.
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