Bitcoin Grants Tracker – One week later

screenshot of the Bitcoin Grants Tracker
Bitcoin is open-source and open-source funding is hard. The Bitcoin community needs to work together to make funding Bitcoin development better.

One week ago I announced the release of my Bitcoin Grants Tracker and posted a short thread on Twitter.
I did so out of personal interest in Bitcoin, its development process and how development is being funded.
I didn’t expect the tracker to attract much attention but wanted to share it with the Bitcoin community in case others were interested in this too.
The amount of feedback I’ve received ― on Twitter, via email and even by Marty on the Sat Standard ‒ makes it obvious that Bitcoiners are seeking more transparency and insights into the Bitcoin funding process.

What can we do?

There are many things that could be done but it is important to spend our time on things that can have an impact.
In my opinion, the following three things need to be focused on if we want Bitcoin to succeed in the long run:

  1. Better and easier ways to fund developers and projects
  2. More organizations and companies funding Bitcoin development
  3. More Bitcoin developers

These are broad goals and I’ll break them down into more granular goals and actionable tasks in upcoming posts.
For now I’ll add another table to the tracker, focusing on all the great Bitcoin companies employing developers to work on Bitcoin Core, Lightning etc. – Blockstream, Chaincode and Lightning Labs come to mind.
I also plan to write more about the funding process in general, dive into some statistics on grants distribution and discuss how interested developers can get their start into Bitcoin.

Education is key, and helping potential funders and developers navigate their way through this beautiful maze that is Bitcoin is something I’ll gladly try to do. My humble page might not be able do too much about it but I’ll try to move the needle a little bit.

If you have any other ideas of what can be done to move the needle, please reach out via DM and email. There are many Bitcoiners out there willing to help, we just need to reach out.

Onward and upwards!

Tracking Bitcoin Grants

I’ve just launched a little new page intended to track grants provided by companies sponsoring open-source software (OSS) development in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Lo and behold, the Bitcoin Grants Tracker.
Let me explain why I think this is helpful, if not important.

Bitcoin’s success is tightly related to the amount and quality of developers constantly developing, reviewing, maintaining and deploying the Bitcoin code. Developers need to put food on the table though and hence usually have to earn an income, be it as an employee, freelancer or entrepreneur. Therefore devs generally support the Bitcoin development and its ecosystem in their free time.

Organizations providing grants to individual devs or whole teams allow the recipients to not worry about an income, at least for a specified amount of time, and fully devote their time to Bitcoin development. This is great and funding activity has only increased over time.
While in Bitcoin’s early days mainly non-profits provided grants, nowadays commercial companies support it as well, either by providing grants (Square Crypto, BitMEX) or even hiring full-time developers to work on Bitcoin (Blockstream, Lightning Labs).

So why track this Bitcoin funding activity?

Initially I was solely interested in finding out how all these great OSS projects like BtcPayServer, Electrum, Wasabi, Samourai etc. can sustain themselves. Upon finding some with interesting business models that allow them to support themselves, I noticed that there is an ever-increasing amount of funding activity going on but distributed all over Twitter and blogs. To better keep track I started a spreadsheet and later figured that publicly sharing this data could have several benefits:

  • it might help others understand who’s funding which devs and projects, and why
  • it could help projects get exposure and thereby attract new devs joining them
  • it could help the funding organizations and companies get more exposure, potentially encouraging them to provide more funding in the future
  • it could act as the basis for more analysis of the Bitcoin funding space

But in the end I enjoy the OSS space, discovering new projects, digging through their repos and learning about the development process. It’s a vibrant space and if my Bitcoin Grants Tracker can help provide a little more transparency, I’m happy about that and will try to expand it in the future.

Please let me know if you’d like to add a project and/or grant by sending me a DM or email — onward and upwards!