Author Topic: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )  (Read 2595 times)

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iHashFury

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NDAs by nature can be mutually beneficial to all parties or in some cases may be a direct conflict of interest.

This thread is a continuation of discussions on the Bitshares DEX Telegram Channel which started about Bittrex de-listing BitShares on their centralised exchange ( https://bittrex.com/ )

Using Bittrex as an example, to the best of my knowledge, they have not listed any issues on github ( https://github.com/bitshares/bitshares-core/issues ) which is the normal place for any external exchange to seek help with technical issues.

The following question was asked on Telegram ( https://t.me/BitSharesDEX ) :
"to prevent conflicts of interest is there a list of bitshares committee members, proxies and witnesses that have signed a NDA with external exchanges or bodies?"

I believe this information should be clearly disclosed for full transparency to prevent potential conflict of interests and allow shareholders to vote accordingly.

If you are in a position of influence in the Bitshares community eg:

Proxies
Workers and Developers
Committee members
Witnesses

please declare the following in this thread:

Bitshares name - Position in the community - NDA with Exchange/Company/Body - Date signed - Reason for signing NDA


Shareholders have the right to know what NDAs influential community members have signed and with what companies/bodies.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Offline oxarbitrage

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 02:20:09 pm »
Alfredo Garcia - Active worker - No NDA signed with anyone.

Offline xeroc

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 02:22:48 pm »
Good post .. also because I keep remarking a couple conflicts of interests on my own with a couple things (some unrelated to BitShares).

As it stands, there is contact between BitShares spokesperson and Bittrex Inc.
https://steemit.com/bitshares/[member=73]bitshares[/member].fdn/bitshares-spokesperson-in-contact-with-bittrex-inc-

The content of the discussions are not publicly available and neither I, nor the BitShares spokesperson can share.
It is up to Bittrex Inc. to grant permissions on releasing information.

This OF COURSE puts the spokesperson into a conflict of interest - more even - the position of being a shareholder approved spokesperson demands
free information flow as to what the spokesperson is actually doing for his/her money - this fact has been communicated to Bittrex Inc. and they seemed
to understand that.

Again, no one in this setup wants to keep information away from the BTS holders and we would rather prefer to play open cards.
The nature of discussions with grown businesses, however, makes it necessary to accept THEIR rules of communication - which is why
we cannot unilateraly share information not approved by Bittrex Inc. (or any other business).
Give BitShares a try! Use the http://testnet.bitshares.eu provided by http://bitshares.eu powered by ChainSquad GmbH

Offline pc

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 02:33:35 pm »
As a freelance software developer I'm in contact with various businesses in the cryptosphere, and I am and will be working for other (graphene-based) blockchains.

I have also signed two NDAs, but I'm not going to disclose with whom or on what terms (they're called non-disclosure for a reason, you know).

As someone who is holding a significant number of shares I will of course not act against the interests of bitshares.
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Offline yvv

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 02:46:24 pm »
Quote
I have also signed two NDAs, but I'm not going to disclose with whom or on what terms, they're called non-disclosure for a reason, you know

This is right. It is strange that some people don't get this.

If this is a problem, we could require candidates for committee/witness positions to sign an agreement not to make any NDAs in the future, however, this could create more pita than we want.

Offline fav

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 03:13:53 pm »
Quote
I have also signed two NDAs, but I'm not going to disclose with whom or on what terms, they're called non-disclosure for a reason, you know

This is right. It is strange that some people don't get this.

If this is a problem, we could require candidates for committee/witness positions to sign an agreement not to make any NDAs in the future, however, this could create more pita than we want.

to sign a NDA to not sign NDAs? :]

Offline Thom

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 04:31:07 pm »
Thank you iHashFury for raising this question.

At what point will "we" refuse to accept the terms imposed by an external entity? In the modern world I recognize virtually every business has something they want to keep private (non-public), but this secrecy tool can also bite us in the ass. Many NDAs are written like a boiler-plate house rental agreement - they provide maximum protection for one side only and that is usually the party asking for the NDA signature. I've signed enough of them to know that they can get you into obligations you didn't intend.

John F. Kennedy once said "secrecy is repugnant to a free and open society", and it also applies to a decentralized ecosystem like BitShares. I think Bytemaster was onto something when he discussed the idea of a "blockchain constitution". Issues such as who is allowed to speak or set policy for the entire ecosystem or sign documents on its' behalf could be defined there. However, just like in any form of "representative" governance, the representative can choose to neglect who they represent and go their own way. It's a real risk anytime a human is placed into a position of power. 

Even tho I have huge respect for Fabian (xeroc), I don't think it's good for ANY one individual to hold so much power. It also puts anyone with such power in a targeted position. Such power needs to be considered carefully, and should include at least one way to hold that power in check or remove it entirely and quickly if necessary.

So I ask you, when is it acceptable for any of the parties (witnesses, committee members, others) to sign an NDA? It may also be important to state when an NDA should NOT be signed by a witness, committee member or even "the spokesperson". If BitShares had a "blockchain constitution" it would be the ideal place to define the principles and mission statement that should guide the ecosystem's every decision. IMO no person should be able to obligate this ecosystem to do anything without a shareholder vote, and issues of this magnitude (that can obligate the ecosystem) should be publicized in advance of the vote for some minimum amount of time so as many shareholders as possible will be given the choice to approve or reject the proposal, or change their proxy to align with what they want.

These 2 proposals (spokesperson, foundation involvement) were proposed and "voted in" within a matter of only a few hours. They provided no background info for the people being placed in a significant role of power to sign NDAs and set policy regarding "compliance". If Xeroc wasn't involved I'd have to say it was the quickest coo I've ever seen. Even with Xeroc's involvement I still have reservations b/c I don't know those other people. They could be slick devils that tickle Xeroc's ear with sweet things to distract him from their agenda. OK, ok that's only speculation I know, but consider the level of faith you're being asked to have about these people. Should we really trust in one person (xeroc) that much? Unless you personally know the others that's what this comes down to, to trust young Fabian Schuh to accurately assess the motives of these others to be genuine and devoid of any hidden agenda that would compromise the integrity of BitShares to provide a safe alternative to the corrupt mainstream financial system.

There is too much power to centralize decisions in these roles and we simply MUST NOT loose sight of that fact. We need explicitly stated "rules of engagement" to define the limits on these roles. If "we" don't take responsibility and constrain these roles to explicit dos and don'ts we may wake up one day to find we're not in Kansas anymore and this is no longer the BitShares we want, no longer the "alternative", safe financial system it was invented to be.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 04:56:00 pm by Thom »
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Fox

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 05:41:56 pm »
Ryan R. Fox - BTS Witness: fox

As an independent consultant I am often required to sign a NDA prior to entanglement with a client or a given project. Many remain in force at this time. None of which I feel create a conflict of interest in my role of validating transactions for the BitShares network.

Thank you for your continued support,
Ryan R. Fox
Witness: fox

Offline JonnyB

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 05:52:27 pm »
JonnyBitcoin - Proxy- have never signed one
I run the @bitshares twitter handle
twitter.com/bitshares

Offline Thom

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2017, 06:03:39 pm »
Ryan R. Fox - BTS Witness: fox

As an independent consultant I am often required to sign a NDA prior to entanglement with a client or a given project. Many remain in force at this time. None of which I feel create a conflict of interest in my role of validating transactions for the BitShares network.

Thank you for your continued support,
Ryan R. Fox

Makes perfect sense, I fully understand that position. I too had to sign NDAs as a consultant or 3rd part developer.

Your statement concerning conflict of interest is the crux of the matter, as well as actions that could obligate BitShares in some way.  As a witness it should be easy to avoid such conflicts. As witnesses we are not given the duty or power to contractually commit BitShares to do or not do anything.

These 2 proposals are quite different in that they DO allow specified people to act in such capacities and that introduces new risks to the ecosystem's governance model.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline abit

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2017, 06:09:46 pm »
I have not yet signed one NDA, but there are a few oral agreements. None of them is  against the interests of BitShares IMHO.
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Offline yvv

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Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2017, 06:22:05 pm »
Quote
I have also signed two NDAs, but I'm not going to disclose with whom or on what terms, they're called non-disclosure for a reason, you know

This is right. It is strange that some people don't get this.

If this is a problem, we could require candidates for committee/witness positions to sign an agreement not to make any NDAs in the future, however, this could create more pita than we want.

to sign a NDA to not sign NDAs? :]

Yes!1 Let's make it crazy :)

Offline blockchained

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2017, 07:18:22 pm »
blckchnd - active witness & proxy - No NDA signed with anyone.

Offline virtualgrowth

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2017, 07:38:23 pm »
Good communications on the subject of NDA's.

Idea to throw out there.  What if we require or work towards FDA's as Full-Disclosure Agreements instead.  So as to make agreements in such a manner that all matters may be comfortably disclosed in and towards the spirit of open understanding.  Much of which seems to be what we are progressing to (more) open technologies and ways of doing things.

For example possibly responding to the Non-Disclosure with a Full-Disclosure idea moving our and their ways of doing things in a more open manner so as to not or initially less of ideas of not disclosing some aspects of things.  Rather think and learn what and how to disclosure more still within the proper interests of those involved.  Mostly food for thought as we discover and explore new ways of doing things together.

Best,
Virtualgrowth
iWkjpAW7TLIHr0vO

Offline wackou

Re: BitShares - Conflict of Interest and NDAs ( Non-Disclosure Agreements )
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2017, 08:10:31 pm »
wackou - witness

I have signed NDAs as part of my daytime job which is completely unrelated to crypto, hence no conflicts of interest whatsoever. Have never signed an NDA related to my work in BitShares, and do not plan to.
Please vote for witness wackou! More info at http://digitalgaia.io