The most active software implementation of the much-anticipated mimblewimble technology is launching its first fundraising campaign.
Mimblewimble has gained notoriety as a way to improve the privacy and scalability of blockchains broadly, but also for the Harry Potter references that have long cloaked its developers in secrecy (the protocol's name comes from a curse in the books).
And continuing this trend of novel design decisions, the developers behind the software, called Grin, notably won't be launching an initial coin offering (ICO), instead asking for donations in already existing cryptocurrencies in exchange for the faith the project will be completed.
According to the campaign announcement, Grin is solliciting $30,000 in bitcoin to support a year of full-time work for one of the project's most active contributors: developer Michael Cordner, known as "Yeastplume" in the Grin community.
Grin lead developer Igno Peverell said of Cordner in the announcement:
"[He] has been doing an outstanding job on the project for over six months now, and has done so in addition of a day job and a family. He's been the first to contribute large chunks of functionality, and his continued help has been invaluable."
Bitcoin technology company BlockCypher is among the first to donate to the effort.
With that, the fundraiser also seems to be a sign of a maturing community, one interested in putting more time and effort into advances its ideas past the theoretical.
Case in point, mimblewimble developers are gearing up for the launch of a second testnet in the spring next year, which will add features such as aggregate signatures and a recently unveiled privacy technology, Bulletproofs, to its blockchain.
Initially, MimbleWimble engineers saw themselves adding the technology to bitcoin someday by way of a sidechain, but as they waited for the technology to mature, the team instead decided to launch its own blockchain, with a forthcoming cryptocurrency.
Developers have been testing the project on the first testnet since November, and have used a series of hurdles – including the fact that the blockchain "split in many ways" – as a learning experience before the mainnet launch sometime next year.
In a status update outlining progress, Peverell noted:
"Testnet1 has been bumpy, but extremely useful."
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