The Bitcoin Foundation has awarded its second 2013 grant to the bitcoin wallet project Coinpunk. Coinpunk, developed by Kyle Drake, is described as a DIY bitcoin wallet service that is intended for users to install on their own web server.
Coinpunk is currently under heavy development, but already has “features for individual users, developers, hardware wallet manufacturers and large organizations”, said the Bitcoin Foundation. The foundation also stated that it chose this project above the other entrants for this quarter’s applicants because “contribution to the usability of bitcoin overall, and its ability to serve as a base for a wide range of innovations in keeping with open source ideals.”
The Bitcoin Foundation awards are granted on a quarterly basis and focuses on projects that wouldn’t otherwise be funded. This is the third round of grants. The foundation has awarded three development-focused grants over the previous two quarters, with TestNet Faucet and DNS Seed for TestNet winning in Q1 this year.
Drake told us: “I’m very happy that the Bitcoin Foundation has allowed me to continue work on the Coinpunk project. It’s my hope that this project will help to improve the Bitcoin ecosystem, and improve accessibility for bitcoin. Our plan is to turn Coinpunk into a full-featured open source wallet service that anyone can use, whether they are power users, developers building a regional wallet service with special features, or organizations looking to run their own bitcoin ‘bank’. I think it shows how strong the bitcoin community is, and that we will continue to improve the ecosystem to allow bitcoin to be used by everyone.”
Drake told us that there is a version of Coinpunk already available, but that he’s currently in the process of building a major new version. “I’m providing the option to move the security from the server to the browser side, which makes the server less like a bank that holds your money, and more like a safety deposit box it can’t open, which increases trustability. I’m also focusing on building the tools developers need to make custom wallet services for solving specific problems or running exchanges in non-US countries with this technology.”
Drake isn’t sure when the project will be finished, but noted that he wants the project to be stable before releasing the new version. He does, however, hope to have a release available by the end of late summer. “It’s a very ambitious project that’s going to affect a lot of people, and I want to make sure we get things right. We want to provide a rich set of options and developer tools, so we can enable a web wallet ecosystem for working with bitcoin that hopefully becomes a strong community resource.”