Vinteum, a nonprofit Bitcoin research and development center dedicated to supporting Bitcoin developers in Brazil and the wider Latin America region, launched today. Co-founders Lucas Ferreira of Lightning Labs and André Neves of ZEBEDEE will serve as the foundation’s executive director and director of partnerships, respectively.
Vinteum’s mission is to train and fund open-source developers across Brazil and Latin America to work on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, an area that has become critical in recent years as bitcoin matures beyond hobbyist use cases.
Vinteum’s first cohort of sponsors includes institutional investor John Pfeffer of Pfeffer Capital; Xapo Bank founder and early Bitcoin champion Wences Casares; Sebastian Serrano, CEO and co-founder of Bitcoin blockchain company Ripio; crypto-exchange Okcoin; and the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). The total amount in funds that Vinteum now holds is undisclosed.
In addition to announcing its launch, Vinteum named its first grantee, Bruno Garcia. Garcia is a Bitcoin Core developer and a Brink grant recipient. Garcia will act as Vinteum’s director of education, dedicating himself to educating promising developers while also continuing his technical contributions to Bitcoin, which include reviewing and testing pull requests, extending and improving test coverage, and working on improvements for the peer-to-peer wallet and REST API modules.
Brazil experienced an economic crisis when hyperinflation took hold in the early 1990s. As such, bitcoin supporters in Brazil have taken root – given the cryptocurrency’s sound money principles.
Likewise, across Latin America, countries including Argentina and Venezuela are in the throes of hyperinflation. On top of that, bitcoin is viewed favorably in Argentina, according to survey data from Block. Vinteum will look to take advantage of this to enact meaningful change through a grassroots educational effort.
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