Okcoin Awards Latest Developer Grant To Marco Falke

  • Bitcoin Core’s most prolific developer Marco Falke has received Okcoin’s latest Open Source Developer Grant.
  • This marks the second year he has been awarded a grant from Okcoin, allowing him to work on Bitcoin Core remotely full time.
  • Falke will focus on testing, modularization, and outreach.

Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin announced today the latest recipient of its Open Source Developer Grant, Bitcoin Core developer Marco Falke.

“Falke is Bitcoin Core’s most prolific developer, and this is the 2nd year he has been awarded a grant from Okcoin,” the company said in an announcement shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “The grant is awarded with no strings attached, allowing him to focus solely on open source development.”

In September, Falke became Bitcoin Core’s most active contributor after logging his 1,752nd commit to the project’s GitHub repository, surpassing W. J. van der Laan.

“When it comes to my contributions, I think the majority are smaller improvements, which are each exciting for their own reasons,” Falke told Bitcoin Magazine in September. “I’ve mostly continued to improve testing and spend time on quality assurance and review.”

Thanks to Okcoin’s grants, Falke has been able to work remotely from an undisclosed location in improving the Bitcoin Core codebase full time. The developer received his first yearly grant from the cryptocurrency exchange last year, allowing him to move from New York City to his new secret location. With the new funding, Falke told Okcoin he would focus on testing, modularization, and outreach.

Falke hunts for vulnerabilities in Bitcoin Core’s code through a fuzz testing technique, in which a program sends large amounts of data to Bitcoin Core and analyzes its reaction. If the project behaves differently than expected, the fuzzer program flags what caused the anomaly.

The developer also works in modularizing the codebase, structuring it into separate modules. This practice makes it easier for developers to work on patching and improving code and makes running Bitcoin Core possible with lower computational costs.

Finally, Falke said he would also train new developers to work in Bitcoin Core and increase the project’s robustness and resiliency.

Okcoin shared with Bitcoin Magazine that the firm has now invested more than $1,000,000 in Bitcoin open source development through its grant program.


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Tesla Submits Disclosure To BTCPay Server, Leading To New Security Release

Open-source bitcoin payment processor BTCPay Server released a new security patch this week and credited electric vehicle company Tesla with submitting a disclosure that led to the fixes.

“This is a security release that patches one critical and several low-impact vulnerabilities that affected BTCPay Server versions and older,” BTCPay’s Nicolas Dorier wrote in the release notes. “We want to thank @teslamotors for filing a responsible disclosure, helping us with remediation and handling the situation professionally.”

Last week, Tesla announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as payment for its vehicles, with CEO Elon Musk posting on Twitter that the company is using only open-source software and operating its own Bitcoin nodes.

Throughout Bitcoin’s 12-year history, skeptics have long pointed to funding issues and uncertainties around open-source infrastructure. The criticism is based on the idea that people need to be paid to maintain software and without a direct employer or funding source, open-source software will fall victim to the tragedy of the commons. 2020 began a trend in which private Bitcoin companies are making massive contributions to open-source bitcoin development efforts.

Now, in 2021, we are seeing this trend escalate to companies outside of the immediate Bitcoin ecosystem contributing bug fixes to open-source software. MicroStrategy kicked off contributions to the Bitcoin ecosystem from an educational perspective with its “Bitcoin For Corporations” event, as well as its donations of the hope.com and strategy.com domains to the Bitcoin education effort.

The fact that Tesla found and communicated an issue with using BTCPay Server and ultimately contributed to the open-source process of improving its code is an indication of the direct contributions to the Bitcoin ecosystem that the adoption of bitcoin by more merchants and institutions could ultimately have. These trends are evidence that the “tragedy of the commons” does not apply to open-source Bitcoin software. In fact, as this common is increasingly relied upon, attention from stakeholders will grow. 


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BitMEX Operator Continues Support Of Bitcoin Core Maintainer Fanquake With $100,000 Grant

Today, 100x Group, the operator of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, announced its third grant to Bitcoin Core maintainer Michael Ford, aka Fanquake. This latest donation is for $100,000, bringing 100x Group’s total support of Ford to $250,000 over three years.

The grant was made in conjunction with an additional $18,500 being given to Ford by Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve.

“100x Group is pleased to provide long-term financial support for open-source developers like Michael, who build the infrastructure on which our business and many others depend,” said Alexander Höptner, CEO of 100x Group, per the announcement. “The grant is provided without conditions to ensure Michael is free to work on projects of his choosing.”

The grant agreement was posted as an open-source contract on GitHub.

See Also

Although its parent exchange is facing legal trouble, BitMEX’s research arm has published a novel report on the vulnerability of brain wallets.

“I really appreciate the continued financial support from 100x Group and now also Independent Reserve,” Ford said in the announcement. “The stable funding 100x Group has provided over the last three years has allowed me to focus full time on open-source development. I’m looking forward to continuing to work on Bitcoin Core full time over the next year.”

100x Group (then called HDR Global Trading Limited) teamed with cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin to make a $150,000 grant to Bitcoin Core Developer Amiti Uttarwar in June 2020. Its Open-Source Developer Grant Program has also provided grants to Bitcoin developers Gleb Maumenko, Jeremy Rubin and Calbin Kim, as well as the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.


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