Kraken's First Brink Grant Goes to Bitcoin Rust Developer

Last year was a watershed year for open-source Bitcoin grants; 2021 is on track to outmatch it.

AccessTimeIconApr 8, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:38 p.m. UTC
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The first grant from Kraken’s $150,000 donation to the Bitcoin development non-profit organization Brink will fund a developer who is coding tools to build Bitcoin software in the Rust programming language.

Alekos Filini will receive an undisclosed amount for the next year to continue his work on Bitcoin software built using the Rust language, specifically for working on the Bitcoin Developer Kit. This programming language is the building block for one implementation of the popular Bitcoin open-source wallet Electrum, as well as a Rust Lightning Network integration.

This grant and others like it have grown in popularity over the last year and have become an integral piece to funding Bitcoin's open-source protocol and softwares, whose developers have historically relied on donations or done work for free.

"I'm incredibly grateful to Brink and Kraken for what they are doing," Alekos Filini told CoinDesk. "I know there are a lot of really smart people out there that deserve funding for their open-source projects, so the fact that they've seen what we've built with BDK over the past year and ultimately decided to award me this grant feels awesome for me personally and for the whole team as well."

“We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Kraken to support Alekos’s work,” said John Newbery, founder and director of Brink, said in a press release. “Kraken is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the Bitcoin ecosystem, so we’re very excited that they’re supporting the open-source developer community.”

Filini will use the Bitcoin developer grant to work on the Bitcoin Dev Kit, which includes tools and libraries for developers building applications in Rust. Among a few other Rust projects, like a simple command-line wallet for teams to test new projects, Filini is also working on a Tor daemon that developers can be plug into mobile and desktop wallets to bolster privacy.

Kraken said in its post that it intends to pair the Bitcoin Dev Kit with a Lightning Dev Kit to offer "a complete suite of tools to build robust on-chain and Lightning wallets in Rust.”

Kraken told CoinDesk in December that it plans to integrate the Lightning Network – a tech stack atop Bitcoin which facilitates faster, cheaper transactions – this year.

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