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Apache Software Foundation logo.

Apache Software Foundation logo.

In a new post on the Apache Software Foundation blog, the massive open-source initiative announced that it is now accepting bitcoin. The ASF said that the decision was made in response to a simple email request from a member on August 26th, with the implementation (by an admittedly expert team of web developers) taking mere moments. The ASF said that more than 5.35 BTC (around $2,600) where donated within the first 48 hours alone.

The ASF already accepts most commonly used forms of online and real-world payments, including PayPal and Amazon Payments. In some ways, it’s surprising that the foundation has taken this long to accept bitcoin, given the ASF’s support of open-source software. One reason for this might be the relative lack of tax rules for accepting digital currency, a situation that is only now becoming less murky for non-profit organizations. ASF Vice President of Fundraising Upayavira said in the press release:

Accepting Bitcoin allows donors to The Apache Software Foundation the benefit of digital currency exchanges, no matter where they reside. As a United States 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, we welcome donations of all amounts from our global community of users, developers, and enthusiasts.”

The ASF is a relatively small organization, run on an entirely volunteer basis and with only around $500,000 in annual revenues. That money is used to fund developments on over 200 open-source projects, including the Apache HTTP Server software. It’s almost impossible to overstate how vital a role the Apache HTTP Server software plays in today’s internet. The open-source, consensus-based, community-supported project for serving web pages is arguably the backbone of the modern internet, running underneath an estimated 54.2% of all websites, often as part of the LAMP web software bundle (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). As one of the first truly disruptive web technologies, Apache’s open-source structure allowed everyone from hobbyists to major industries to share their content on the web without using the proprietary, fee-based software.

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