[Dev] Some doubts about Parabola's donations

Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic tct at ceata.org
Wed Apr 5 16:51:29 GMT 2017

On 05.04.2017 19:47, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic wrote:
> Hello,
> On 05.04.2017 13:30, André Silva wrote:
>> We've received the GNUcash file [0][1] from our delegate (fauno [2])
>> with our current expenses, assets and profits. I have a few questions
>> for you, since I have some confusion and I think you could could help us
>> clarify. There are several users worried about our donations and gains.
>> We also have a policy about transparency for our community which donors
>> feel were neglected. Here are the questions:
> The GNUcash file you refer to was created by me to help Parabola keep
> track of donations and expenses related to the Parabola fund handled by
> Fundația Ceata. Before that, I was monitoring the Donations wiki page
> and helping fauno and you to keep it accurate and up-to-date, and also
> improve it (as it can be seen in the page history, e.g. [4][5][6]). For
> each notification of a new donation for Parabola I have received, I have
> informed fauno promptly and I'm sure he can confirm this.
> [4]
> https://wiki.parabola.nu/index.php?title=Donations&type=revision&diff=16404&oldid=16333
> [5]
> https://wiki.parabola.nu/index.php?title=Donations&type=revision&diff=16750&oldid=16404
> [6]
> https://wiki.parabola.nu/index.php?title=Donations&type=revision&diff=16752&oldid=16751
> I've created the GNUcash file after the first big expenses (with the
> occasion of the FISL conference) to further help Parabola. Since then
> I've regularly updated and sent the GNUcash file to fauno. I consider
> all of this proof of the transparency I've showed Parabola.
> Besides this, I've helped Parabola get sponsorships from companies, like
> Robofun (BeagleBone) [7], Gandi (domain) [8] and Technoethical, having
> noticed that the donations Parabola receives are mainly from individuals
> (and some of them are also volunteering time to Parabola).
> [7]
> https://www.parabola.nu/news/robofun-sponsors-parabola-arm-port-with-a-bbb-board/
> [8] https://www.parabola.nu/news/gandi-sponsors-parabola-domain-name/
> I have tried to make available to Parabola as many donation methods as
> possible, including PayPal.
> I've also helped promoting Parabola at conferences such as FOSDEM and
> Coliberator [8].
> [8] https://www.parabola.nu/news/gandi-sponsors-parabola-domain-name/

This should have been [8']


> I never took credit for any of this, and because you have insisted, I
> told you you can credit Fundația Ceata instead. Also, I've never used my
> position and my help to influence the internal affairs of Parabola.
> This introduction I made is to help people reading this public thread to
> get the picture.
>> * Why were all of our BTC converted to RON?
> Parabola hackers have decided that Fundația Ceata should handle all
> Parabola assets, including and specifically also donations in the
> cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Faircoin. Below are excerpts from my
> communication with fauno on the matter:
> On 24.11.2015 01:07, Tiberiu wrote:
>> Have you decided, will the virtual coins be handled by Ceata?
> On 24.11.2015 01:09, fauno wrote:
>> apparently, i'll send you the details as soon as a i can.
> On 24.11.2015 01:11, Tiberiu wrote:
>> Okay, meanwhile I'll setup a new Bitcoin wallet for Ceata and I will
>> document myself about Faircoin to create an account for this currency
> On 24.11.2015 01:15, fauno wrote:
>> i can send you the electrum seed so you can regain control of the
>> existing btc wallet.
> On 24.11.2015 02:13, Tiberiu wrote:
>> I have set up Faircoin with Electrum. How should we go about
>> transferring control for this currency?
> On 24.11.2015 02:23, fauno wrote:
>> i don't have a seed for this, give me the new address and i'll
>> transfer you the fair and change it on the wiki.  you have to
>> exchange it for ron, no?
> On 24.11.2015 09:01, Tiberiu wrote:
>> That's correct.
> On 24.11.2015 14:25, Tiberiu wrote:
>> I have no experience with faircoin. How
>> long does confirming take and how can I convert them into RON (or
>> USD/EUR)? Should I convert them to bitcoin first? Or there is a direct
>> way too. I haven't researched yet, maybe you know.
> On 24.11.2015 16:29, fauno wrote:
>> is it really needed to exchange them to ron?
> On 24.11.2015 16:48, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic wrote:
>> Sadly, yes, for accounting.
>> I found an email about it
>> letting us know it was being done [3].
> That's incorrect. I wasn't letting you know "it was being done", rather
> that _it has to be done_. I was replying to a donor in Bitcoin who was
> expressing his concerns about the "legal headaches" that his donation in
> Bitcoin can give to a nonprofit (Fundația Ceata).
> In the e-mail you mentioned I've publicly explained on this mailing list
> the reason why Fundația Ceata cannot handle BTC without having to
> convert them into the national currency of Romania, RON.
> On Tue Nov 3 13:45:45 GMT 2015, Tiberiu wrote:
>> For sure it's not a problem the originating currency is BTC. It will,
>> however, raise the question in the authorities' eyes: where did you have
>> USD to pay for that product? No bank statement showing you had that
>> money. Next question from the authorities: do you have a separate
>> deposit you are not declaring? The answer would be yes, we have a
>> separate wallet, in BTC. :-P
> I would also like to remind everyone that as per §5 of our Fiscal
> Sponsorship Agreement [9]:
>> 5. **Parabola Fund Management / Performance of Tax-exempt Purposes.**
>>    All of the assets received by Ceata under the terms of this Agreement
>>    shall be devoted to the purpose of Parabola, within the tax-exempt
>>    purposes of Ceata.  The Parties agree not to use its funds or operate
>>    in any way which would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of Ceata.
> [9]
> https://git.parabola.nu/ceata-agreement.git/tree/Parabola+Ceata_Agreement.markdown
>> I remember, we agreed about it with you for legal reasons 
> Yes, you (Parabola hackers, including fauno and you) were aware that BTC
> needs to be converted to RON and you have agreed with this for the
> reasons I mentioned above.
>> (at that time I wasn't an investor, and
>> didn't understand about economics).
> I wonder how this is relevant to running a nonprofit. Or is it just
> self-glorification.
>> However, I don't remember when it
>> was done, if it was **all** or just some of the BTC, for expense, annual
>> declaration, etc.
> There is no mystery about this. Check the GNUcash file and see the
> screenshot attached for verification.
>> Could you let us know if there was a consensus about this and if there
>> are references from Romanian laws stating that it is mandatory? I
>> realize this was a long time ago, but it is an important question for
>> our community.
> Bitcoin is not a recognized currency in Romania and few countries in the
> world give it a legal status [10].
> [10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_bitcoin_by_country
> A donation in Bitcoin received by an individual becomes donation for
> Fundația Ceata only when it is deposited in its bank account. Until
> then, it doesn't exist in Ceata's accounting, can't be declared, can't
> be used for covering expenses.
>> * What is the issue if we were to keep donations inside our bitcoin
>> wallet (a.k.a. "limbo") until we would declare it (eg. annual
>> declaration or when someone will use it for expenses) to avoid wasting
>> our gains?
> Here you are assuming that the Bitcoin price only goes up and that it
> doesn't vary dramatically at times. You assume that the best practice is
> to exchange BTC at the end of each fiscal year.
> Anyway, this is exactly what I've done in December 2015, as everyone can
> see in the screenshot attached and in the GNUcash file. I have exchanged
> BTC in RON at BitcoinRomania [11], to my knowledge the only Bitcoin
> exchange in Romania.
> [11] https://trade.bitcoinromania.ro/
> In January of 2016, Parabola has received a donation of 2 BTC, which was
> double the amount of bitcoins Parabola had received by December 2015. To
> avoid any risk to be judged for waiting too long to exchange BTC while
> its price could have dropped, I have exchanged the ~2 BTC the same
> month, in January 2016. I considered it's safest to exchange in January,
> so that the exchange rate is closest to the one I exchanged BTC one
> month earlier.
> Finally, there is minimum amount of RON that one can sell BTC for, and
> since the BTC donations Parabola has received by end of August 2016 were
> only 0.15 BTC, I have exchanged this small amount of BTC the same time I
> have exchanged my own BTC.
>> * If all money converted from bitcoins (BTC) to RON was for legal
>> reasons, then why weren't our faircoins (FAIR) converted too?
> As you can find in the excerpts from my communication with fauno on
> setting up cryptocurrency donations for Parabola, we couldn't find a way
> to exchange FAIR to any intermediary currency to be exchanged in the end
> in RON. Considering that the amount of 1100 FAIR (see second screenshot)
> had and still has a small value, now being less than $50 USD [12], I
> didn't consider it's relevant to anyone for me to lose more of my time
> on finding a solution. This was my evaluation back in December 2015 and
> I haven't checked later if the situation has improved and if now there
> are any options to exchange FAIR to BTC/EUR/USD intermediately or to RON
> directly.
> [12] https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/faircoin/
>> * If converting our crypt-coins to any currency such as RON, is needed
>> we would like to receive references from Romanian laws for better
>> clarification and to avoid misunderstanding inside our community.
>> Several anon donors asked me for references in private. Could you give
>> us references about those points from Romanian laws?
> The answer to this question is included in my explanations above. Since
> BTC is not regulated in Romania, I can only point you to accounting
> questions on forums such as this one [13].
> [13] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=699556.0
>> * Why did we convert our assets to RON instead of EUR? Is it a better
>> currency than EUR (we have an account in EUR too)? Is it for some legal
>> reason? Could you give us references about this?
> All fiscal declarations are in national currency, RON. Fundația Ceata's
> EUR bank account exists for the sole reason we accept donations in EUR.
> If it doesn't exist, our bank opens an EUR account and charges a big fee
> of €15 EUR for the emergency opening of an account in foreign currency.
> This is why we keep EUR and USD accounts for Ceata.
> Romanian national currency RON is quite stable, 1 EUR = [4.3,4.6] RON in
> the past 2 years [14]. That is a €0.05 EUR variation (a ¢5 variation).
> [14] http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=RON&view=2Y
>> * We would like to receive money as paid hackers (not only for
>> non-profit things) since we have plans to offer services such as
>> technical support, pentesting, webstore, videogames, etc. Is it possible
>> to still do this with Ceata since you are a non-profit entity?
> Our agreement has been signed on 24 September 2015 for a term of 1 (one)
> year and it has been automatically renewed on 24 September 2016. I
> remind everyone that Ceata doesn't charge Parabola any fee for handling
> its donations and expenses.
> Any other free software nonprofit offering fiscal sponsorship (such as
> FSF and SF Conservancy) charges the projects under their umbrella with a
> standard fee of 10% of income. That is around €250 EUR for the income
> Parabola has received so far.
> Considering that there is a number of Parabola hackers/donors
> unsatisfied with Ceata's fiscal sponsorship, it is our decision to
> terminate the current agreement. Please consider this the "sixty (60)
> days written notice" I send you on behalf of Ceata, as per §7.
>> * If it isn't possible, then we should open a legal entity (eg.
>> offshore) for Parabola and declare our gains in our residential
>> countries or another similar legal ways (eg. micro-business), then my
>> question is: Could be it a trouble for you since we will receive profit
>> assets and your non-profit ones? Could help us giving us references from
>> Romanian laws to help understand it better?
> As per §7(a), as of now you are free to look for a "Fiscal Sponsor
> Successor", which has to be "another *nonprofit* organization which is
> tax-exempt". As per §7(b), we will only transfer the Parabola fund to a
> nonprofit, that communicates "its willingness to sponsor Parabola in
> writing to Ceata".
> As per §7(c), "Termination Without a Fiscal Sponsor Successor" by the
> end of the 60 days, will render the Parabola fund "inactive for any
> motive other than transference to a Fiscal Sponsor Successor".
>> * Since we have our GNUcash file already sent by fauno, could you send
>> to fauno all paperworks, bills, invoices, currency exchange copies
>> declared by Ceata about our expenses? It's very important, since
>> Parabola has a policy about transparency for our donations. These should
>> be posted on our wiki so that donors are no longer worried.
> No problem. I believe most of the bills and invoices are already public,
> and I will look in the archives for the rest of them. It will all be
> ready by the time we transfer the Parabola fund to the Fiscal Sponsor
> Successor.
> Tiberiu
>> [0]:https://repomirror.parabola.nu/other/parabola-accounting/monetary-donations/20170111/
>> [1]:https://git.parabola.nu/accounting.git/
>> [2]:https://www.parabola.nu/people/hackers/#fauno
>> [3]:https://lists.parabola.nu/pipermail/dev/2015-November/003456.html

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