Now that the official launch is fast approaching and the world is increasingly taking notice of IOTA and its core innovation: the Tangle; I am calling for the creation of an IOTA Foundation.
The IOTA Foundation has always been on the roadmap, but made no sense to establish until the time was right. Now the time is right.
When we created IOTA we chose to not include ANY premine allocated for a foundation for a couple of reasons. The first is that we don’t want IOTA to become victim to cognitive phenomenons like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_loafing and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect where people don’t contribute and instead just assume others will, or become dependent on the founders of IOTA. We want IOTA to continue to evolve as a open community where “you get what you put in”. Secondly, we firmly believe that the community should be able to choose to support their own leaders, even though we created the technology we have no plans of being dictators over it. It was and still is very important to us that IOTA originated grassroots style and evolve organically into a mature technology that will be integrated throughout the technological landscape of IoT.
Why create a foundation?
As we have seen with other projects: having the best technology is not enough. Open source technology can be ignored, cloned or come to a halt due to lack of sufficient or organized incentive for maintenance and growth. The crypto landscape is littered with these projects that had a good idea but never gained momentum to make any use of it. IOTA is not going to end up like this.
Our community is great
From day 1 the integrity of IOTA was very important to us, we refused to pay a single cent for paid PR, we refused to do any cheesy marketing and we were negative towards speculators with no other motive than short term profit. We did this precisely so IOTA holders would be the sort of people that make projects great and successful, people who are in it for something greater than just their own immediate potential gain, people who actively participate and understand that this is not magic, results will only come through hard work.
I am very proud and happy to inform you all that this seems to have worked. So far virtually every single person I have talked about regarding potential deals and the foundation has been completely open and in agreement. It should inspire everyone and make everyone optimistic and motivated about the future of IOTA.
Who will be in the foundation?
The Foundation will consist of hard working, dedicated and talented people with a proven track record of getting things done and plenty of time to dedicate toward the cause. Of course the founders of IOTA (Me, Sergey/CfB and Serguei/Mthcl) will participate, no one wants IOTA to succeed more than us. In the beginning I will be the leader of it (which will just be a continuation of my role in IOTA in general), while CfB and Mthcl will be consultants on the tech specific side. Dominik Schiener and Stas Oskin will also be part of it from go. Both of these have a proven track record of getting things done in the real world on behalf of IOTA and going to events to promote IOTA. We have other great potential community members of IOTA that have volunteered for this kind of foundation which we’ll discuss with to see what sort of role and capacity they have if the foundation is formed.
Although we will keep the foundation lean in order to keep it as organized and efficient as possible, it will in general be very open to new members that want to contribute. Everyone can submit a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with their application to participate in the foundation after it’s formed. Include a short bio on yourself and what your skillsets are including how much time you have per week (it’s very important that this is time you KNOW you have).
Even though the Foundation is a central body acting in the best interest of the ecosystem, the effort behind IOTA is still community-centric. This means that anyone can (and should) help to promote IOTA and ensure its success - whether they are part of the Foundation or not. The real value for IOTA will only be created if we have a serious community behind it that is showcasing its potential to the world.
What will the Foundation do?
The foundation will essentially be a continuation and expansion of the work that the founders of IOTA has already done including networking, branding, marketing, land deals, getting companies to pilot / adopt IOTA, go to conferences to present IOTA and in general keep the momentum of IOTA going and ensure long term success of the project. The foundation overall will be a deliberate effort to establish IOTA as a standard in the IoT world for machine-to-machine interactions. Through the foundation, it will be possible to bring corporate support on board and ensure that IOTA will become the go-to solution for IoT development.
Additionally we will be a body of real people to represent the project to the world. Remember IOTA is not some esoteric political ‘decentralize the universe’ movement, so having faces tied to the project going forward will be imperative for adoption.
Where will the Foundation be?
The exact location of the Foundation has yet to be determined. The goal is it to place the Foundation in a strategic location that brings us close to the potential adopters of IOTA. We are currently assessing the best option, but we think that either Germany, Norway or Switzerland offer a great location to establish the Foundation.
Even though the Foundation will be registered in a specific country as a non-profit, the Foundation itself and all of its members will be internationally distributed to increase the reach and to make it possible to get users from all over the globe on board.
After some analysis I have decided to only establish this foundation if we raise close to. 50 million IOTA, which is only ~5% of total iotas. In comparison Ethereum had a ~17% premine. We need such a substantial amount to afford doing all the things we have planned over the coming year (travelling and attending and presenting at the important conferences costs upwards of hundreds of thousands alone).
Every donator will have their honorary mention on IOTA’s official website.
Perspective / TL;DR
The math is quite simple:
If everyone put 10% of their total iotas into the Foundation and community efforts this will in return ensure that the remaining 90% you hold will be worth 100s if not 1000s of % more in terms of both utility, longevity and sheer value over the coming weeks, months and years.
So far the overwhelming majority has agreed to pledge ~10% of their iotas toward this effort, so I hope this continues and we reach the goal and can get started!