Today we are happy to announce the launch of the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme for the Bitcoin industry. The programme provides a direct way for industry to get involved with Bitcoin Core by facilitating specific projects, research, and development; as well as to help with often overlooked aspects of the project like communication, infrastructure and project coordination.
Bitcoin Core software powers a large portion of the Bitcoin network infrastructure, and a project of this magnitude requires as much help as it can get. However, due to the complex nature of the Bitcoin system, people with domain expertise that can actually contribute are scarce and the bar for developing, research, and testing is extremely high. Domain experts already get a lot of opportunities across many industries, and without direct incentives it is difficult to attract and retain talent.
Since Bitcoin Core is an open source project, it relies entirely on volunteer contributors offering their time and expertise to the project, and we are fortunate that some companies already contribute developer resources. While there are no shortages of improvements and features suggested for the Bitcoin system, there hasn’t been the requisite funding. Now that’s all changing. Today, we are launching a clear way for the industry as a whole to get directly involved and sponsor many of the projects on the development wish list and to suggest projects they are interested in.
Bitcoin Core will always progress on the path of technical and scientific based research and requirements that are compatible with the goals of the Bitcoin system. For example, privacy, censorship resistance, decentralization, and voluntaryism are key tenets of Bitcoin. Sponsorships therefore cannot guarantee a particular feature would make it into the Bitcoin Core software and even if included, ultimately Bitcoin users decide what software they run, and what features get adopted.
For this reason, sponsorships will be screened for compatibility in advance, so that if the requisite research and development are done, and if the work it passes peer review, there is every reason to believe it could become part of the Bitcoin Core software. Put another way, projects that have conceptual “rough consensus” from the outset, stand a much better chance of seeing acceptance. But remember, nothing in this field is guaranteed.
As well as sponsorship of specific projects, we need more qualified developers who are able to carry out quality assurance, testing, and code review on a regular basis. The project also needs budgeting for communications, public relations, documentation and other resources.
Finally, because Bitcoin Core is an open source project, and we want to maintain a sense of decentralisation, individual projects will have their own project manager who will be responsible for allocating funds as well as providing regular monthly reporting. Please note that this programme is tailored for industry participants, and at this time we have no mechanism for accepting smaller donations.
If your business would like to sponsor general development, a specific project, or know more, please visit the Sponsorship Programme page.
Additionally please see the FAQ for more details.