The development of Bitcoin, to those unaware, can seem like a mysterious machine acting behind hidden curtains. Not unlike the Wizard of Oz, hidden behind all of the smoke and fire are normal human beings dedicating their lives to improving the network which we so cherish.
In a recent ebook done in partnership with Brink and OpenSats, bitcoin exchange Okcoin conducted a survey in which “Most respondents of our poll were unaware of the lack of funding for Bitcoin developers... Once aware, a majority of them became in favour of supporting development.”
The results indicated that 85% of respondents care about their bitcoin exchange funding development, 69% would like their exchange to provide yearly grants, and 25% would like their exchange to match contributions to developers.
Many do not know how Bitcoin’s development is funded, and yet Bitcoiners are ready and willing to support this development once known. How could they not, given all the incredible progress we’ve experienced so far.
Bitcoin’s development is a product of forum posts and IRC chats, an open source community of progress that is as decentralized as the protocol. Since this is true, the funding for such development has been relatively inconsistent. Recently, along with the increase in the price of bitcoin, there has been a push for increased exposure for bitcoin developer funding, and some exchanges and nonprofits have begun their own action.
The ebook lists examples such as Okcoin, who “has contributed $1,000,000 in funding directly to Bitcoin developers or to nonprofits supporting Bitcoin developers to date,” via an Open Source Developer Grant, and nonprofits like Brink which, “have supported six Bitcoin developers and have $3 million pledged for fellowships and grants.”
Also mentioned are aggregations in which those looking to contribute can find ways to donate to developers. These include Bitcoin Donation Portal, a portal designed to connect donors to developers, BitcoinACKS, a “bounty” board for developers, and Github Sponsors, an open source contribution portal.
All in all, the development of the trillion dollar network relies on a small group of people. In a way, the support we offer them is a mirror of our belief in the ability of the network to persist. While development may seem “expensive” at times, there can be no amount of bitcoin too much to spend on the improvement of the network.