The Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab has announced that it has raised $900,000 for a Bitcoin Developer Fund from a number of interesting donors. The goal of the new fund is to cover salaries, travel and overall support of Bitcoin protocol development efforts, including events like workshops.
The donors include firms such as the bitcoin mining giant BitFury, the world’s largest bitcoin mining hardware producer Bitmain, Chain, Circle and Nasdaq as well as individuals such as Jim Breyer, Jim Pallotta, Jeff Tarrant, Reid Hoffman and Fred Wilson.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of The BitFury Group, commented: “It is important that we as a community support the brilliant minds who work on further development of the innovative Bitcoin Blockchain technology. By partnering with the MIT Media Lab and offering our support, we enable talented engineers and developers to concentrate on developing new technological solutions that will benefit the entire Bitcoin Blockchain ecosystem.”
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The initiative emphasizes that the donors do not have any influence over the developers and say its goal is to support “diversity of thought” in the space. “This allows developers to work on code and develop new ideas that may be controversial, but can do so with the assurance that they won’t be fired for diversity of thought. Similarly, staff, students and professors of the DCI have differing opinions about Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Classic, but the DCI as an initiative is not in favor of one over the other.”
Unfortunately for any academics that want to develop code for Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin, this fund specifically applies to the development of code for the leading protocol. However, the initiative says that “where there is a strong need and potential sponsors, we are open to talking with other open-source cryptocurrency projects about developing a separate fund.”