Nexo Grants $150K to Brink for Open-Source Bitcoin Development

Nexo’s contribution is the latest in a slew of grants to Bitcoin developers who typically work as volunteers.

Mar 11, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:24 p.m. UTC

Nexo, a crypto financial and lending service business, is giving $150,000 to Brink, an independent, nonprofit organization, to fund open-source Bitcoin development.

The contribution puts Nexo in line with other crypto and Bitcoin companies like Square, OKCoin, Gemini, Kraken, Coinbase and many others that have started contributing millions of dollars toward open-source development, particularly in the past year or so. The six-figure sum will go toward supporting another developer in the next round of Brink funding later this month.

"Thanks to Bitcoin’s spectacular rally over the past months, we’ve reached that long-awaited stage where institutional investors and retail clients alike are flooding into the crypto space en masse," said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner at Nexo.

"We must all be aware, however, that the need to maintain the protocol grows proportionately to Bitcoin network use. It is our responsibility, as key actors in the crypto economy, to allocate time, effort and funds to its healthy and sustainable future".

Funding Bitcoin development

Founded by Bitcoin Core contributor John Newbery along with fellow Bitcoin Optech associate Mike Schmidt, Brink is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allocates grants to Bitcoin developers. Brink’s first and only funding so far has gone to Gloria Zhou, who received a Brink fellowship for her work on mempool transaction packaging and relaying.

Funding from organizations like Brink and others are crucial for Bitcoin’s largely volunteer-driven development. Now that bitcoin is a $1 trillion asset, more users rely on the quiet work of these developers to keep the Bitcoin protocol and network up to date. 

Brink acts as a sort of funding distributor for companies that want to contribute to open-source development but don't want to deal with the process of creating and managing a grant program. Instead, they are able to donate funds to Brink, which then vets and trains developers and takes care of the grant administration.

Before, Bitcoin’s brightest developers often donated their time, but now these men and women can pay their bills and work on Bitcoin full time without having to necessarily compromise over salary and contribution opportunities. Bitcoin companies like Blockstream and Chaincode Labs were some of the earliest organizations to fund open-source Bitcoin development, followed by BitMEX exchange.

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