SiaClassic: Declaration of Independence
Today, October 11, 2018, we are excited to announce the official launch of the SiaClassic Foundation as a registered non-profit organization under Federal and State law. We have painstakingly developed an organizational structure that will promote transparency in funding, governance, and development.
We are proud to be a part of a truly committed community that understands the value of utilizing a non-profit foundation to ensure impartiality and openness of a coin. Moreover, we are proud to be a part of a decentralized platform that is structured to ensure that its own internal governance enhances community development and involvement in decision making.
We would be remiss if we did not begin by acknowledging those that have come before us and have devoted tremendous time and energy to this community and its code. We would like to thank our forward-thinking community members who have supported and understood the importance of the Sia project and have built the technology to what it is today.
At first glance, creating a non-profit foundation in furtherance of the original Sia chain may seem counterintuitive, especially considering that a for-profit business can raise capital and sell equity. After all, the founders of the original chain sought and received significant funding and investments from large companies like Raptor, First Star Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, and more. However, the decision to consent to mandatory and public oversight as a tax-exempt non-profit will give the SiaClassic Foundation unmatched legitimacy.
After David Vorick, CEO of Nebulous, Inc., announced the decision to reset Sia’s proof-of-work function, many in the community questioned how transparent this decision had been. In light of these facts and others, the SiaClassic Foundation will be steered by its Board of Directors, Supervisory Board, and Advisory Board. More information about the structure, elections, quorum, and tenure of members will be provided after the Foundation adopts by-laws, scheduled for October 15, 2018.
The cryptocurrency and SiaClassic communities can rest assured that as a tax-exempt organization, the SiaClassic Foundation will be required to make available for public inspection certain annual returns and applications for exemption, and must provide copies of such returns and applications to individuals who request them. Copies usually must be provided immediately in the case of in-person requests, and within 30 days in the case of written requests. The IRS must also make this same information publicly available. Generally, it may take the IRS up to 60 days to process these requests.
To make a request for such returns in person or in writing, please use the following address:
8601 Six Forks Rd
Raleigh, NC 27615
Tel: +1(919) 676–5270
Fax +1(919) 676–5305 — ATTN: SiaClassic Foundation
Why Create a Non-Profit Foundation and Why Now?
The idea for the SiaClassic Foundation was no snap decision. Following David Vorick’s Blog Post and the Sia core team’s decision to reset the Sia Proof-of-Work function, many of those in the Sia community were admittedly scared of potentially losing thousands of dollars in mining hardware and nervous about the impact on the coin. A brief history of Siacoin mining is helpful in understanding this problem as we saw it and why the SiaClassic Foundation is a natural solution.
Sia began its life in September 2013 as a project by David Vorick and Luke Champine. Its original purpose was shifted away from typical cryptocurrency projects, which focused on digital assets as a medium of exchange, and instead focused on using the Sia token as a payment for decentralized file storage. Vorick created Siacoin “to provide infrastructure that nobody, including [Sia], has the control over… something with no failure points, where there is no place of leverage and no company, country, jurisdiction, person who can decide that they don’t like you or they have ulterior motives…"
Nebulous and Obelisk
Vorick and Champine created Nebulous, Inc., a for-profit Delaware Corporation and the parent company of Sia, to develop and bring Siacoin to market. In June 2017, Sia announced that they would be working to manufacture ASIC miners and that Nebulous was creating a wholly-owned subsidiary, called Obelisk, to develop and manufacture these ASIC miners.
Unbeknownst to Nebulous, Sia, and Obelisk, competition was mounting. Bitmain and Innosilicon were also actively developing ASIC miners for Siacoin mining. The community reacted swiftly with many supporting the idea of third party manufacturers producing affordable and efficient mining equipment. Others , who were less supportive, threatened a hard fork and a division in the community began to grow. However, the crisis was averted when the community agreed to not fork the coin.
Obelisk, which was new to the scene for manufacturing ASIC miners, experienced significant delay in delivering their product to market. Initially slated to be delivered in early 2018, shipping was delayed and finally began in late August, 2018. The hard fork conversation once again reared its ugly head once the Obelisk ASIC miners joined the network.
The Hard Fork
Little did the community know, however, that Obelisk incorporated a secret extra circuit into the mining chip. By manufacturing their ASIC at great expense with this secret extra circuit, Nebulous could hard fork the coin to ensure that third party miners would be bricked. Now that Obelisk has finally delivered a working product to market, the Sia developers have planned to initiate the hard fork on October 31, 2018 to the detriment of all Sia miners and the community.
What Will Happen to the Community?
We believe that Nebulous’ planned fork happened for a reason. More importantly, we stand opposed to those reasons and to any decision that places profits over people. Undeniably, Vorick and Champine have held privileged positions with the Sia community. These positions were hard earned as the founders of our chain. However, the idea that a process for ensuring that decisions adequately represent the will of the community is absurd and unfortunate. (See Sia Fork FAQs — Fork Decision).
It is somewhat untenable for a CEO to claim that this Sia hard fork was a recent decision when their own ASIC mining system has “[a] failsafe. In the case of Sia, Obelisk built a tiny, secret extra circuit into the mining chip that would allow the Sia developers to perform a hard fork that breaks manufacturers without that extra circuit, but does not break the Obelisk machines.” While mining centralization is the bane of any proof-of-work algorithm, it is our opinion that Nebulous’ decision to brick all non-Obelisk miners by hard-forking is incongruent with the best interest of the community and the coin.
We believe that any decision that substantially or significantly affects the community should be made considering the best interests of the community and with the community’s involvement. We, along with a majority of the community, cannot conceive of any legitimate argument that would explain preemptively adding secret or hidden chips to a community-funded hardware project.
We know that a healthy majority of miners on the Sia network are not medium or large-scale mining operations. That is not to say that medium or large-scale miners do not exist. But we would be remiss to ignore those individuals who purchased one or two miners in hopes of mining profitably and supporting the network. The pending Sia fork treats every owner of any Bitmain or Innosilicion ASIC in the same way. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that Nebulous has chosen to punish the entire community for actively supporting their coin.
In light of these facts, we believe that the Sia community can survive this fork. We believe that the Sia chain can continue. And more importantly, we believe that the community can self-regulate without weighing equity and profitability over the integrity of the chain and community.
The SiaClassic Foundation was created to honor Vorick’s original vision of a completely de-centralized file storage infrastructure, all running on the Sia network. The decision to hard fork the coin is completely counterintuitive to the original vision; that no central actor could make decisions. This hard fork, as planned, will brick the other miners, essentially creating a mining monopoly through Obelisk, which is wholly owned by Vorick and Champine’s corporation, Nebulous.
SiaClassic Foundation was formed to ensure the future of Siacoin because it appears that Nebulous is no longer adhering to the original vision for Siacoin. The SiaClassic Foundation, a non-profit organization, has a mission to ensure that there is no one central conglomeration of power, but that development and research takes place in an open and transparent atmosphere.
As such, the core of the Foundation and its Board members will and should always be drawn from active community members, miners, developers, researchers and business developers who have invested more than money and time into this project. We believe that passionate members and advisors will drive and promote further adoption by the greater cryptocurrency community.
The registration and operation of this Foundation speak to this community’s dedication to open and forthright projects. Moving forward, we believe that the SiaClassic Foundation will stand as a beacon to other cryptocurrency communities for how governance, project development, funding, and decision-making should function. We look forward to working with you all.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
This foundation is made possible because of a community of people passionate about this project, miners who protect the network, and developers who devote their time and energy to it.
Are you one of those people? If so, please join us.