Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase to Sponsor 2 Bitcoin Core Developers With New Grant Program

Brian Armstrong is the CEO of Coinbase (Credit: Steve Jennings for TechCrunch, used under Flickr Creative Commons license)

Coinbase is sponsoring at least two Bitcoin Core developers with a new grant program, the San Francisco-based exchange announced Thursday.

“We believe helping to connect and grow the cryptoeconomy is essential to building an open financial system for the world,” Manish Gupta, executive vice president of engineering at Coinbase, said in a statement. “Our Crypto Community Fund aims to grow and improve the entire crypto industry, while making it simpler to use and more secure for everyone. If successful, we intend to expand the program to other types of projects and crypto communities.”

The move comes after years of complaints from some members of the Bitcoin community that Coinbase and other exchanges have taken up the coder talent pool and made money off bitcoin but haven’t contributed directly to the open-source Bitcoin Core codebase.

Related: Coinbase Received Over 1,800 Law Enforcement Information Requests in the First Half of 2020

In April of this year, Wyoming-based startup CardCoins became one of the smallest industry players to sponsor Bitcoin Core developers.

Read more: Why a Startup You’ve Never Heard of Is Now Sponsoring a Bitcoin Core Developer

Coinbase says the kinds of projects it is willing to support includes:

  • Direct contributions to Bitcoin Core (e.g., improving testing, fuzzing, bug fixes, improvements)
  • Significant code and/or Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) review
  • Contributor tooling (e.g., bitcoinacks.com, which is open source)
  • Bitcoin Core libraries and tools (e.g., libsecp256k1)
  • Improvement to testing (e.g., fuzz testing, functional tests)

Coinbase would not reveal the size of the fund but did say in an emailed statement that it hopes to increase the fund over time. 

Related: Coinbase’s Global Marketing Head Latest to Join Mass Exit

The exchange compared this effort to other developer-focused initiatives it has led in the past, such as its “USDC Bootstrap Fund,” which was launched in September 2019 and supports developers by “investing directly in the protocol” with stablecoin liquidity. 

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