Funding Bitcoin development

7.1.2020 | Matt Huang

Significant value is stored in Bitcoin (at $150B+ market cap), yet Bitcoin software is maintained by a relatively small group of developers.

Large corporations like Google or Boeing have legions of engineers working on search or autopilot software, but Bitcoin has neither the headcount nor the central coordination.

This is by design, of course. Bitcoin is open-source and decentralized. No single entity should control it. But equally, no single entity is responsible for improving it. It is easy for Bitcoin users and companies to free-ride without contributing to Bitcoin development — a classic tragedy of the commons.

Today, Bitcoin development relies on volunteers and a handful of groups who fund Bitcoin Core development, including Chaincode, Blockstream, MIT DCI, Square Crypto, Xapo, BitMEX, OKCoin, and others). Paradigm will now be joining this group.

As an investor in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Paradigm has a vested interest in Bitcoin’s success, and we believe it is our responsibility to help fund Bitcoin development. To that end, we are excited to announce that we have started supporting Anthony Towns’ work on Bitcoin Core.

Anthony Towns has been an active contributor to open source software for over 20 years, beginning with his work on Debian in 1998. Anthony has been contributing to Bitcoin Core since 2017, after learning about Bitcoin via an interest in micropayments and the Lightning Network. Recently, Anthony has been involved in several potential upgrades to Bitcoin, including Schnorr and Taproot.

With Paradigm’s support, Anthony will continue his work on Bitcoin Core full-time. Paradigm will pay his salary, but Anthony will have complete freedom to choose what he works on. We’re excited about the great work Anthony has done and will continue to do in furthering Bitcoin. You can find Anthony on GithubLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Wences Casares @ Xapo for introducing us to Anthony, and to Steve Lee @ Square Crypto and Adam Jonas @ Chaincode who helped us think through our approach to funding Bitcoin development.

Written by:

Matt Huang

Matt Huang is co-founder and Managing Partner at Paradigm. Previously, Matt was a partner at Sequoia Capital focusing on early-stage venture investments including leading the firm’s cryptocurrency efforts. Matt was [→]

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