[tor-dev] staking donations

Jeff Burdges burdges at gnunet.org
Thu Mar 25 09:53:10 UTC 2021

I realize this would be the wrong part of the Tor project to which to suggest this, but I know the people on this list and I do not know the people elsewhere in Tor, and there is some small technical content here, so..

There are now a bunch of proof-of-stake cybercoins aka crypto-currencies, like polkadot by my employer, cosmos, cardano, etc.  As a rule, these have the property that people who own the currency for one reason or another can lock their currency to help deSybil some special nodes, usually called validators.  This earns them some rewards because doing so usually makes them liable for misbehavior of the validator.

This is very different from bitcoin where five guys in China and one guy in Island take all the rewards, and those six guys spend a lot of real money doing so.  Now quite a lot of people are claiming these reward, and the real work they are doing is running one server, or even merely saying “I know that dude and he seems okay”. 

This means a lot of people suddenly have an income stream on which they need to pay taxes, but for which the taxes are complex.  At least a few of these people do not yet stake because they do not yet know how to handle the taxes, like maybe they need time to set up a company or whatever. 

At least a few of these should’ve a somewhat flexible key infrastructure like I had us do in polkadot, and in particular users can simply point their rewards at another address besides the one from which they stake.

If you’re a non-profit that can avoid the tax complexities, then it’d be a good time to accept donations in these new crypto currencies, because aside from regular donation some people might just skip thinking about their own taxes for a while by point their rewards at someone like Tor who’d spend the money usefully.. at least temporarily. 

I realize there might be other complexities of course, but if this were interesting then I could likely convince someone around here to implement some partial rewards division thing, which might enable people to contribute longer term.


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