Brink, a nonprofit designed to offer financial support and mentorship to Bitcoin developers, has announced the recipients of its first round of open-source developer grants. It will be supporting Jesse Posner’s work on adaptor signatures and the FROST threshold signature scheme, Alekos Filini’s work on the Bitcoin Developer Kit and Hennadii Stepanov’s work on Bitcoin Core development and review.
“After an open grant application process, the Brink board of directors has selected three developers who have demonstrated continued commitment to open-source Bitcoin protocol development,” according to a release shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “Their work spans fundamental cryptographic engineering, application tooling and base layer development and maintenance.”
Adaptor signatures and FROST are meant to bring additional security, privacy and functionality to multisignature and second-layer protocols on Bitcoin. Posner’s grant was made possible by digital asset financial services company Nexo.
The Bitcoin Developer Kit is meant to provide modular and easy-to-leverage tools for Bitcoin wallets and other applications and the funding will support Filini’s role as its maintainer.
Over three years of work, Stepanov has become one of the most active contributors to Bitcoin Core and the funding will allow him to focus on the project full time.
Brink was launched last year by developers John Newbery and Mike Schmidt. Its first fellowship was awarded to Gloria Zhao in December 2020 to support her work on package relay for Bitcoin mempools.
Nexo is providing a $150,000 donation to Brink for Bitcoin development.
The funds will be used for a fellowship program and grants program to support Bitcoin developers and researchers.
The donation is among the highest Brink has ever received.
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Lending and borrowing platform Nexo is providing crucial support for Bitcoin development and mentoring.
Nexo Funding Bitcoin
The popular crypto bank Nexo has pledged $150,000 to Brink, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening the Bitcoin protocol. Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo, said of the donation:
“The $150,000 donation to Brink marks Nexo’s commitment to open-source funding and supporting Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency that spawned a trillion-dollar industry.”
Trenchev went on to say that he thinks “the industry should do more” to support Bitcoin itself, pointing out that few businesses outside of exchanges contribute to the protocol’s development. He specifically alluded to public companies like MicroStrategy and Tesla that have recently allocated Bitcoin holdings. He said:
“What if some of the public companies that recently started allocating billions to BTC also put a small percentage of that, say 0.25%, in support of Bitcoin development?”
The $150,000 sum matches or exceeds previous donations Brink received from Square, Gemini, Kraken, and the Human Rights Foundation. Itwill go towards programs providing financial support for Bitcoin developers and researchers. They include the Brink fellowship program, which aims to bring talented developers to work on Bitcoin development, and a grants program that supports Bitcoin Core contributors.
The funds will drop sometime this month and initially support an independent developer via the Grants program.
Brink co-founder and executive director John Newbery spoke of his enthusiasm for Nexo’s contribution. He said:
“Bitcoin’s security depends on the experience and dedication of open source protocol developers. Brink was built with the exact purpose of helping individuals and companies support independent Bitcoin development, and we always welcome more contributions to this cause.”
Nexo is one of crypto’s leading asset management firms. It handles more than $5 billion worth of digital assets for over 1 million users.
Disclosure: Nexo is a sponsor of Crypto Briefing. This article was commissioned independent of that relationship.
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Donations to the Brink open-source development fund are now tax exempt for U.S. donors.
Founded and directed by Bitcoin Core contributor John Newbery, Brink provides grants to Bitcoin developers who work on its open-source tech stack. Now, it has secured 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning any U.S. taxpayer donating to the fund can receive a tax break contributing to the fund.
Donors who have already made contributions can retroactively apply the tax break as well, Brink’s blog post reads.
“Brink was started with a simple mission: Strengthen Bitcoin by Supporting Bitcoin Developers. Critical to that mission is our ability to raise money to fund our grant and fellowship programs.
“Making the organization as tax efficient as possible ensures that donors’ funds are used to the maximum possible benefit of the mission…Furthermore, donations of long-term appreciated assets like Bitcoin generally don’t incur capital gains tax and can be claimed as an income tax deduction for the full fair-market value,” the blog post reads.
Brink applied for the exemption on the grounds that it is conducting research, providing education and funding public infrastructure (Bitcoin).
Launched in September of 2020, Brink has partnered with other primary players in the Bitcoin development grant space like Square Crypto, the Human Rights Organization, Kraken and Gemini. Brink’s first grant recipient, Bitcoin Core contributor Gloria Zhou, is working on optimizing how Bitcoin’s mempools (the global holding tanks for transactions) send and store data.