“The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime,” Satoshi Nakamoto famously wrote on bitcointalk.org back in 2010. To an extent, that the Bitcoin protocol is conservative and rarely changes is a blessing – the fewer the alterations, the lesser the risk of bugs or systemic failures. Yet Bitcoin is far from done. The central Bitcoin design may be relatively cemented, but like any software project, the protocol requires continued maintenance.
Historically, many talented developers have contributed to the core software without financial compensation. As a company whose bread and butter is Bitcoin, we are undertaking the initiative to change that in order to maintain the continued operation of the network.
To that end, we have contributed $150,000 to Brink – a non-profit organization focused on supporting open-source Bitcoin development – to help continually strengthen the Bitcoin protocol and foster the developer community.
The funds will be allocated towards an independent Bitcoin developer through Brink’s grant program – a project that supports the work of established Bitcoin protocol engineers.
“The $150,000 donation to Brink marks Nexo’s commitment to open-source funding and supporting Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency that spawned a trillion dollar industry,” said our Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev.
Our donation of $150,000 comes hot on the heels of previous commitments to Brink by Jack Dorsey’s Square, Gemini, Kraken and the Human Rights Foundation.
Commenting on the current landscape of cryptocurrency businesses, Trenchev continued:
“There are surprisingly few crypto businesses who give back to the Bitcoin community by supporting development work. Mostly it’s exchanges, and even then we’re missing some really big names. We’re proud to be part of such an exclusive club, but we also believe the industry should do more. What if some of the public companies that recently started allocating billions to BTC also put a small percentage of that, say 0.25%, in support of Bitcoin development?”
Yet, funding for this open-source initiative remains constrained despite its relative importance.
“We’re delighted that another major industry player is supporting open source development,” added John Newbery, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Brink, continuing:
“Bitcoin's security depends on the experience and dedication of open source protocol developers. Brink was built with the exact purpose of helping individuals and companies support independent Bitcoin development, and we always welcome more contributions to this cause.”
As cryptocurrencies enjoy the attention of rising valuations, more must be done in support of the protocol that spawned this trillion-dollar-plus blockchain web. While shallow bugs were solved early on in the protocol’s existence, with the growth of the network in importance and value, the incentive for adversaries to exploit holes in the software are increasing.
Developers and their experience are necessary to ensure Bitcoin remains usable and able to convey value for time to come.
Brink exists to strengthen the Bitcoin protocol and network through fundamental research and development, and to support the Bitcoin developer community through funding, education, and mentoring. The organization supports and mentors new contributors to open source Bitcoin development through its fellowship program, and supports the work of established Bitcoin protocol engineers through its grants program.