Unlike developers at Google, Facebook, or any other giant in Silicon Valley, Bitcoin developers don’t get paid a single cent. While this sounds harsh, that’s the reality of open source. The cryptocurrency’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, didn’t set up a foundation to support builders of his brainchild. In some senses, that’s what makes Bitcoin such a revolution and a miracle.
Due to this, Bitcoin development likely hasn’t been as fast as it should be. Dovey Wan, a venture capitalist at the crypto-friendly Primitive Ventures, is looking to change this with a new venture. Her latest push to catalyze the growth of the leading cryptocurrency comes after her partner at Primitive launched a $1 million scavenger hunt centered around BTC.
“Hard Core Fund” Funds Hardcore Bitcoin Devs
Late last year, Wan quietly partnered with former Bitmain staffer Pan Zhibiao to launch the so-called “Hard Core Fund”, a nonprofit focused on supporting contributors to the Bitcoin Core client. At first, the venture’s sights weren’t all too ambitious, with the nonprofit pledging to support Luke Dashjr and Ben Woosley as 2018 came to a close. Here’s how it has worked so far:
At the end of every month, developers supported by the fund send details of the work they have completed during the month. This includes a purported code review and list of pull requests. After analysis of that, Hard Core’s managers then send him a small portion of his yearly allocation.
As of press time though, the investor is looking to expand Hard Core’s horizons. Per CoinDesk, Wan and her partners now have 50 BTC, worth just over $450,000 as of the time of writing this, to help fund a bigger group. A partial contributor of this sum is Poolin’s Kevin Pan, a long-time Bitcoin enthusiast and entrepreneur.
It is unclear who has requested to come under the fund’s patronage over recent days, but Wan has asserted that Bitcoin Core needs more developers as there are “less than 10 full-time developers” working on the project right now. For a project valued in the hundreds of billions, that doesn’t sound good at all.
We started https://t.co/lzHXKasWLu in the deep 2018 crypto winter, to help independent Bitcoin dev live through it
Resources allocation in crypto is not aspiring – so many unicorns/profits made out of Bitcoin but little is done to facilitate more devs https://t.co/quvWvLrNlt
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) June 19, 2019
For those looking to throw their name into the proverbial hat, here’s what Hard Core is looking for according to co-founder Lin:
“We are looking for someone who’s got a deep understanding of Bitcoin’s architecture and its existing problems to solve…if he or she can train, coach, or facilitate other developers, propose new BIPs [protocol updates] and new directions for technical improvement, that’s even better.”
Joining Square Crypto
Wan isn’t the only individual looking to push Bitcoin’s development to new heights. Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of both fintech giant Square and Twitter, for instance, has pushed the creation of Square Crypto, a Bitcoin-centric initiative. For those who missed the memo, Dorsey is under the belief that the Internet needs a native currency, and the best candidate for that role as it stands is Bitcoin. As he explained in a recent interview with Quartz:
“I haven’t seen any other currency that would challenge Bitcoin across the dimensions that I think are really important. First, I think it has an amazing brand… The creation of it was very pure, and focused on a public good, rather than any other particular agenda. The fact that it’s meant to be deflationary, meant to incentivize savings instead of spending, I think is a net positive for the world and how we think about consuming… And finally, I think it’s been resilient. “
As such, he created Square Crypto earlier this year, building off the company’s support for Bitcoin purchases and sales, to hire a number of developers and designers to push the development of decentralized networks, namely Bitcoin.
The division recently made its first hire, bringing on Steve Lee, formerly of Google and an ongoing volunteer for the adoption of Bitcoin. It is unclear what role the Silicon Valley alumnus will play at Square, but this marks an important step in the development of the firm’s cryptocurrency branch.