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Topic: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ? (Read 320 times) previous topic - next topic
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Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Dear developers of Artix,

I really love your distro and have considered making a donation a couple of times, but have been always stopped by a lack of no-Paypal donation options. Recently you have added a Liberapay - but it also goes through a Paypal. Reasons I am so anti-Paypal :

  • Paypal company has scammed a lot of people by closing their accounts for invalid reasons and stealing all the money on these accounts, see http://paypalsucks.com/ for more details
  • Paypal is one of the worst tech companies when it comes to respecting your privacy
  • Paypal started demanding a government ID info (maybe that depends on a country) even if you don't want to open a Paypal account and just want to make a single donation. I'm not okay with sharing my gov ID info with a foreign company which is also so horrible - and afraid that, if I'd input the random numbers instead of ID, the donation may be stolen by Paypal
  • Paypal high commission fees are a robbery by itself

So, I'm looking for the alternative donation ways, but the cryptocurrency is a bit hard to me. Maybe you know a good trustworthy Paypal alternative which doesn't require a government ID ? Or, if you're comfortable with publicly disclosing your address (which may be not a real physical address but a mail forwarder or P/O box, or your friend's address - for your additional privacy), I could simply order some computer parts of your wishlist from AliExpress to your address : I have a really good experience with AliExpress for my personal purposes, they never ask a government ID, and I've successfully donated to another developer by ordering the AliExpress stuff directly to his address. What's good about "AliExpress donation" - there are ZERO commission fees, a lot of inexpensive stuff to choose from, and a person who is donating - isn't disclosing his personal address (a donation is "indirect"), so there's some extra privacy. Although, only known good items from the trusted sellers should be donated this way - because, in case of a problem, there will be a hassle of AliExpress dispute which is much easier to resolve if you've ordered this item for yourself (could collect and upload the proof of a problem without spending a valuable time of Artix developer).

What do you think about the Paypal alternatives and "AliExpress donation" ?

Wish you the happy & productive times, much health and happiness,
Best regards,
Ivan Ivanov

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #1
Unfortunately, there aren't many (read: any) anonymous ways of accepting monetary donations. Even cryptocurrency can't be used for our team's infrastructure costs as-is; it has to converted to fiat currency, which in turn requires a strip-naked verification process at a crypto exchange that not many are willing to undergo.

On the other hand, alternative payment ways like skrill and paysafe also require a bank account to be linked and the commission fees are high, in both the services and the bank transfers.

Liberapay was initially more privacy-friendly but I think they encountered issues with their payments processor and had to switch to their current model, which is, well, not much better.

Aliexpress only requires a confirmed credit card to operate and can charge/refund to the user-selected currency; in contrast, eBay issues refunds in the original seller currency even when the purchase was made in the buyer's currency (at an extortionate rate no less), thus skimming them both ways: every time I've got a refund, I found myself robbed by 5-10%. Thus I now use Aliexpress almost exclusively.

The problem is, I can see no clear way of using such a market for the team's needs. All our infrastructure is hosted on the cloud, with the notable exception of our build server. Very recently we used some donated money to upgrade the build server's storage by 2x1TB SSDs and considering its earlier RAM upgrade to 64GB, it seems quite equipped for at least a couple of years. Perhaps we could upgrade its CPU later, but it's not really a priority right now.

Also, the current administrative paradigm of Artix doesn't channel donation money to individual developers, like Manjaro does. As stated in our donation page, the donations are kept in a paypal account and used to cover our hosting expenses or, as written above, hardware upgrades to our bare-metal server (so, the slaves team offer their services to the community without receiving a cent).

To conclude, while using Aliexpress to donate to the team is not possible, donating to individual team members is not a bad idea and could help some of them get more productive with an upgrade. We shall discuss it and decide if/how we open up this possibility.

Thank you for your proposal.

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #2
To conclude, while using Aliexpress to donate to the team is not possible, donating to individual team members is not a bad idea and could help some of them get more productive with an upgrade. We shall discuss it and decide if/how we open up this possibility

Thank you very much for your reply! I think there is a way to "AliExpress donate" for the common needs, it's just indirect: i.e. a team member was going to buy some item from AliExpress for himself, however - someone decided to donate by buying this item for a team member and notifies him about that donation, so now that team member has the spare money and could decide to donate some of them to a team's shared Paypal for the common needs.

Thank you for your proposal.

Please inform the people when these new donation ways become possible. Despite being a silent lurker, I've already benefited a lot from Artix (real savior from SystemD + really fresh software and great distro overall) so will be happy to make a donation in the new ways you could offer.

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #3
Please inform the people when these new donation ways become possible. Despite being a silent lurker, I've already benefited a lot from Artix (real savior from SystemD + really fresh software and great distro overall) so will be happy to make a donation in the new ways you could offer.
I'm not sure how to handle this. Perhaps with a wish list of the team members who have needs in hardware? That being said, I don't feel comfortable with someone wishing for gadgets irrelevant to the project; e.g. a RAM upgrade would fit the description but a smartwatch wouldn't.

We need more feedback here. Team, feel free to state your opinions and - why not - your needs.

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #4
You don't need to have a PayPal account to send money to a PayPal account, if that was the problem. And there are services like Western Union who can make a transfer if you have no account, although you need ID I think. There's laws about anonymous transactions, although there are intermediary services that pass on donations without passing on your details to registered charities for a fee, not sure if they could help in this case.  Explaining embarrassing donors later coming to light is something to consider for recipients...  ;D  Goods are (potentially) unsold cash anyway.

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #5
I don't feel comfortable with someone wishing for gadgets irrelevant to the project; e.g. a RAM upgrade would fit the description but a smartwatch wouldn't.
Really intelligent Artix people would never want a smartwatch or something equally stupid  ;)  So expect the wishes to be "good enough"

You don't need to have a PayPal account to send money to a PayPal account

Depending on your country: even if without a Paypal account and you just want to make a single donation by a debit card, Paypal asks your gov ID numbers and maybe to share a scan of your gov ID if a Paypal requests - otherwise (i.e. put the random numbers and don't show a scan confirming them), Paypal could steal your donation for themselves - I wonder how it's legal and they are still in business  :P . Also, sharing a gov ID scan with third party companies, even the foreign ones, could be dangerous - because, if it ends up in wrong hands, someone could get a huge bank loan on your name and there'll be lots of trouble to argue this in a court.

there are services like Western Union who can make a transfer if you have no account, although you need ID I think.
Western Union is also a foreign multinational company, although maybe less scammy than Paypal , so not a solution.

There's laws about anonymous transactions, although there are intermediary services that pass on donations without passing on your details to registered charities for a fee, not sure if they could help in this case.
If you could set up an anonymous charity in Artix name, that would be great

Explaining embarrassing donors later coming to light is something to consider for recipients...  ;D  Goods are (potentially) unsold cash anyway.
Well, I would like to donate by AliExpress goods - this is the only anonymous donation I could think of right now, and without a transaction fee. Yes, there could be embarassing donations by some jokers, but I promise not to order any dildos or gorilla shit  :D  People interested in Artix are smart and above that, I strongly believe

Re: Donation to Artix - but not through a Paypal ?

Reply #6
Other possible options I saw were setting up a GoFundMe / Patreon page or similar, but I'm not sure how that would be in practice. By embarrassing donors, possibly you didn't know, but Richard Stallman did not fall out of favour just because of some remarks related to Epstein, rather it transpired he had accepted large donations from him. I haven't read any evidence that he has done anything wrong but it damaged his reputation. It seems that totally anonymous transactions tend to not be legally desirable because they are misused by criminals. Also if a mistake happened, say extra zeros get added or a kid uses their parents credit card, if there is a record it can be put right again. It's difficult to say without knowing your circumstances and location, but PayPal is basically just another bank account and most bank accounts should be able to transfer money to it. And any bank account would require proof of ID just like PayPal does, although the exact nature of the ID required can vary. Another suggestion I saw for making an anonymous donation was to ask a trusted person like a priest or whatever to make the donation for you. Perhaps you could do something old fashioned like mail a cheque / postal order etc. using a suitable shipping method that allows / insures this, if you arranged it first with the devs. Surely that's too low tech to cause problems, and wouldn't incur much in fees. I don't doubt your motives are good of course.