Monthly Bitcoin Funding Roundup – August 2020

With the next Bitcoin bull heating up a lot of important information gets drowned in the daily news grind and so I’m introducing a new section on Polylunar – the Monthly Bitcoin Funding Roundup.

My plan is to highlight the months donors and grantees, look at trends on which topics get funding and track the amounts granted. It will ideally serve as a one-stop shop to find out about all the funding efforts that happened in the reviewed month, complementing the Bitcoin Grants Tracker.

So let’s dive into what August 2020 had in store, three things stand out:

  • Square Crypto continues its focus on Bitcoin design
  • OKCoin led August in terms of funding committed (>$100,000)
  • The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) emerged as another regular donor following up its initial grant to Chris Belcher by distributing additional three smaller grants

Focus on design

August showed that more Bitcoin projects are being funded that focus on designing good user experiences. Square Crypto provided their third design grant to Johns Beharry to design better pull and push payment workflows for Bitcoin and Lightning Network. Further the HRF provided grants to openoms to work on a graphical user interface for JoinMarket and Evan Kaloudis to continue his work on the user-friendly, mobile Zeus Lightning wallet.

I think this is an indication that the groundwork of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network is being addressed sufficiently by other funders and companies but there’s a need to make the usage of these tools easier for the average user. This does not mean that there’s no more work to be done on the base layer but rather that an additional area of focus has been identified by and is tried to be addressed by these grants. With Bitcoin moving ever more into the mainstream I concur that good UI and UX is essential to onboard the next group of users and welcome these developments.

Grants and amounts committed

In all of August 2020 we’ve seen a total of seven grants being awarded by four donors, totalling more than $140,000 committed:

Donor Grants funded Amounts committed
HRF 3 n/a
Square Crypto 2 n/a
OKCoin 1 >$100,000
BitMEX / 100x Group 1 $40,000

Compared to July 2020 that is 2 grants more dispersed and over $90,000 more committed, which is a welcome development.

Additionally I like that the HRF is emerging as a return funder that plans to continue its rolling Bitcoin fundraising efforts to support more Bitcoin technologies that allow people to privately secure and transact their wealth.

Individual developer funding

Although this one came in on 30 July it’s a nice effort and worth a mention in the inaugural monthly Bitcoin funding review. The Bitcoin Dev List by Matt Odell and Dennis Reimann allows you to find people working on Bitcoin and funding them directly, either via Bitcoin donations, Patreon or Github sponsorships. So head on over there to find your favourite dev and send him/her a few sats per month.

List of August 2020 grants

Here is the list of all grants announced in August 2020, for more details visit my Bitcoin Grants Tracker.

Funding announcement Grantee
BitMEX Calvin Lim
HRF Evan Kaloudis
HRF Fontaine
HRF openoms
OKCoin Marco Falke
Square Crypto Johns Beharry
Square Crypto Lloyd Fournier

Notable articles

For those keen to read a bit more about this month’s funding activities on other sites, these are worthwhile reads:

This concludes the first of hopefully many editions of the Monthly Bitcoin Funding Roundup. Follow me @Polylunar_ or subscribe to the Polylunar Dispatch to stay updated on Bitcoin funding related news and more. To find out more about the specific grants, funders and grantees, visit the Bitcoin Grants Tracker which contains all the relevant information and links to the original announcements, grantees and further information about the work they’re doing.