Crypto Miner Marathon Pledges $500K in Matching Funds to Brink for Bitcoin Development

Marathon CEO Fred Thiel tells CoinDesk in an interview that he wants to make sure development and maintenance of the open-source Bitcoin Core client software are "properly funded."

AccessTimeIconMay 21, 2023 at 8:50 p.m. UTC
Updated May 23, 2023 at 2:28 p.m. UTC

MIAMI BEACH, Florida – Bitcoin mining behemoth Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) says it will match up to $500,000 in donations to non-profit Bitcoin research and development firm Brink, on a two-for-one basis during the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach, Florida, and subsequently match additional donations on a one-for-one basis after the conference up to Dec. 31.

The donations will go towards funding grants and programs that pay Bitcoin Core developers to write and maintain code for the world’s dominant blockchain – an open source decentralized project that is completely reliant on such voluntary donations.

Earlier this year there were fears of a drop-off in the Bitcoin funding landscape from the current market downturn – crypto winter, in the industry lingo. Marathon’s pledge, which could raise $1 million when third party donations are included, shows one vested corporate entity's willingness to financially support the Bitcoin funding ecosystem.

“We believe it's really important that these developers get paid,” said Marathon CEO Fred Thiel in an interview with CoinDesk. “They operate out of their own pockets and the only way they can get funding is through grants like what Brink does.”

Brink was founded in 2020 and supports Bitcoin protocol development via a fellowship mentor program as well as a developer grant program. Brink co-founder and executive director, Mike Schmidt joined Thiel on stage at the conference to announce the campaign.

Almost $280,000 has been donated at the time of reporting, according to Brink’s donation page.

“As a miner, the most important thing is global adoption of Bitcoin,” Thiel said. “Our primary priorities are making sure that Bitcoin Core development and maintenance is properly funded. We're going to work with a lot of the industry partners that we have, to get them to also contribute.”


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Frederick  Munawa

Frederick Munawa was a Technology Reporter for Coindesk. He covered blockchain protocols with a specific focus on bitcoin and bitcoin-adjacent networks.