Neutrality and the six servants of the community

There is some confusion on how the Bitcoin Association Switzerland is set up, what its goals are, and who is in charge. I hope this blog post will help clarifying this.

The Bitcoin Association Switzerland is one of the oldest and most active non-profit associations around the topic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Since 2013, we’ve been organizing free social and educational events with the number of attendees ranging from a humble dozen to several hundreds. We have been assisting in the resolvement of legal issues and law making, and we educate the broader public by providing a contact point for media inquiries as well as face to face with anyone interested at our regular meetups.


How the Bitcoin Association Switzerland works

I’d like to start with our bylaws:

Art. 1 Objective

     (1) Objective of the Association is to promote digital currencies.

Everything we do is within this objective: the promotion of digital currencies.

Like Switzerland itself, the BAS has a democratic, grassroot setup. There is no king but a board of six  individuals elected by our members, representing different opinions within the community, not unlike the Swiss Federal Council. This setup ensures that all voices of the community are heard and nobody gets left behind. Even though individual board members might not agree with all the decisions made within the board, they are represented as one to the outside.

This worked very well so far and kept our community together, as well as open minded and served as an encouragement to discuss different points of view.

The association's stance on topics such as the scaling debate is to remain neutral, as confirmed on the last general assembly.

The BAS is run by enthusiasts contributing their free time. If someone wants to promote digital currencies and needs help of the association (for example by promoting an event through our group) they can ask any member of the board for support. If the board considers the request to be within the rules of our bylaws, the support will be granted.


Controversial speakers

One of the most important pillars of the Bitcoin Association and our local community are our regular events. Since 2011 there are Bitcoin meetups in Switzerland, since 2013 they are taking place at least once a month (now 2-4 times per month) and since 2014 we also had the privilege of hosting high profile speakers regularly.

Our community is very keen on learning the technological, business, political and legal aspects of Bitcoin. Therefore we endeavor to get the best speakers possible, covering many areas within and around Bitcoin.

In the past we had the following speakers: 
Pieter Wuille, Christian Decker, Andreas Antonopoulos, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, Brian Hoffman, Pamela Morgan, Jonas Nick, Zach & Josh Harvey, Thomas Voegtlin, Mike Hearn, Paul Puey, Jimmy Song, Chris Odom, Tone Vays, and a few others. Most of the talks can be found on our YouTube channel.

Some of the speakers are provoking for one side of the community, some for the others. Often we have heated but civilized discussions, but even when we’re disagreeing on the how, we share the same goals.

Our self-thinking and critical community is very keen to hear all opinions and to passionately discuss different viewpoints.

I hope this helps clarifying things. If you’d like to get in touch with us or share your opinion on the topic please contact us via email (you can find our email addresses here) or comment below.

To the moon!

President Bitcoin Association Switzerland


Update 6th October 2017:

We removed the names of some previous speakers on their request as they don't want to be associated with an organisation that hosts an event with a highly controversial figure. One of those speakers gave a passionate talk against censorship.