Okcoin Awards $100K Grant to Bitcoin Development Non-Profit Brink

The grants allow more developers to maintain and support Bitcoin’s codebase.

Jun 10, 2021 at 8:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:09 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin is continuing its rash of grants to support the open-source development of the Bitcoin protocol.

Announced Thursday, the exchange has awarded a $100,000 grant to Brink for the non-profit organization to continue funding Bitcoin developers and researchers.

Brink’s first round of grants allowed developers to work full time on projects ranging from the security and privacy of second layer protocols to overall Bitcoin Core coding and code review. 

Bitcoin, a network that captures $685 billion in value, only has around 30 full-time core developers, whereas more traditional tech firms have thousands. 

As Bitcoin continues to scale, grants such as these help more developers work on ensuring the protocol can handle the challenges ahead.

Brink supports newer developers through fellowships as well as more mature ecosystem developers through grants. 

Last week, Okcoin awarded João Barbosa, a highly respected code reviewer in the industry, with a grant for an undisclosed amount. His work helps with the overall privacy and security of the protocol. 

Barbosa had previously returned a grant awarded to him by Coinbase, citing personal reasons. 

“We partnered with Brink because as well as sponsoring individual developers with specific roadmaps in the last year, Brink is growing the Bitcoin Core developer ecosystem: mentorship, education, connecting and collaborating with peers,” Okcoin CEO Hong Fang said in an email. “Brink allows us to extend the reach of our grants, while we work with individual devs whose work we support.”

As for Barbosa, Fang said the grant was to support the development of Bitcoin Core’s user experience on mobile.

Barbosa said it makes sense to contribute to support on mobile devices given that mobile usage has been increasing steadily compared to desktop computers. 

“People tend to judge software by its look, and the existing GUI is pretty much outdated,” he said in the post. “With better UX, we can push people to run their own Bitcoin node from their pockets. This is especially relevant for people who can’t access a desktop computer.”

Brink co-founder Mike Schmidt said Brink is grateful for the generous contribution from Okcoin.

“We have recently closed submissions for our latest round of grants and will be evaluating applications and announcing grants soon,” he said in an email to CoinDesk. “We are excited for this next round of grants and will be funding impactful developers similar to our first round of grants.”

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