EFF Reverses Course on Bitcoin

by on May 17, 2013 · 5 comments

Tim Lee is right. The Electronic Frontier Foundation post announcing its decision to accept Bitcoin is strange.

“While we are accepting Bitcoin donations,” the post says, “EFF is not endorsing Bitcoin.” (emphasis in original)

They’ve been using dollars over there without anyone inferring that they endorse dollars. They’ve been using various payment systems with no hint of endorsement. And they use all kinds of protocols without disclaiming endorsement—because they don’t need to.

Someone at EFF really doesn’t like Bitcoin. But, oh, how wealthy EFF would be as an institution if they had held on to the Bitcoin they were originally given. I argued at the time it refused Bitcoin that it was making a mistake, not because of the effect on its bottom line, but because it showed timidity in the face of threats to liberty.

Well, just in time for the Bitcoin 2013 conference in San Jose (CA) this weekend, EFF is getting on board. That’s good news, but it’s not as good as the news would have been if EFF had been a stalwart on Bitcoin the entire time. I have high expectations of EFF because it’s one of the great organizations working in the area of digital liberties.

  • dimitri

    To be honest i lost all respect for that organization. If your protecting civil liberties online well do so, espicially if thats your stated purpose. Will stand for something when its safe EFF pssst who needs them…

  • http://twitter.com/ErrataRob Robert David Graham

    I assumed it was because when the government finally cracks down on Bitcoin, the EFF is afraid the government will prosecute them first. On the other hand, being the EFF, I’d’ve assumed they’d want to be at the head of the line.

  • derezzed

    EFF is in a unique position as being founded as the only legal organization to defend hackers, so I guess their reasoning in declining to accept BTC was out of the very real threat when the govt comes after bitcoin, EFF can still remain legitimate.

  • Jimmy B

    dont bit the hand that feeds you

  • mom

    Seems to me , that EFF, is a fair weather friend that will sell you out as soon as FinCen knock on the door with questions. NOt getting a warm fuzzy with EFF. besides who cares what they think or do , Bitcoin is NOT theirs to accept or reject. either come on board , or get the hell out of the way.

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