During the Bitcoin 2023 Miami event, Brink and Marathon announced a partnership to raise $1 million for the maintenance of Bitcoin’s code. Satoshi Nakamoto created and launched Bitcoin, which has since evolved to include features that developers are building on the protocol.
Mike Schmidt, the Executive Director of Brink, emphasized the importance of not only building on Bitcoin but also “building Bitcoin” to maintain its integrity and usefulness. Brink is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the development and maintenance of Bitcoin and other decentralized technologies.
Brink focuses on funding open-source projects, providing grants, and supporting educational initiatives related to Bitcoin. Their mission is to ensure the long-term sustainability and security of the Bitcoin network by investing in the individuals and teams driving its innovation and maintenance.
“I’m excited about all that innovation, but I think it’s important to recognize that there’s this piece of software that is underpinning the network and running the network called Bitcoin Core,” he said. “And that’s why at Brink we’re not building on Bitcoin; our grantees are building Bitcoin, and there’s a lot that goes into that.”
Why build and maintain bitcoin
Speaking about Brink’s goal, the director explained that the company sponsors nine Bitcoin developers in five different countries worldwide who are working on the Bitcoin protocol. “Some of them are working in an office that we have in London, and they’re all working to further secure the Bitcoin software.”
He mentioned that since the entire Bitcoin ecosystem desires the Bitcoin software to undergo better review, testing, and maintenance, and become easier to run and more performant, Brink is willing to fund grantees to achieve this. The grantees spend almost 50% of their time working on the Bitcoin protocol, running tests, and reviewing proposals made by the community to the codebase.
According to the official from Brink, the recent increase in fees for memepools on Bitcoin highlights the need for engineers to focus on “shoring up layer one of Bitcoin.” This will help prevent any security issues that may arise as a result of deploying layer two protocols.
Bitcoin Optech, technical podcast, and Bitcoin core PR club
Additionally, some of the grantees also contribute to the Bitcoin Optech site – a technical news outlet that offers weekly newsletters and workshops. Other projects receiving contributions include a technical podcast aimed at advancing Bitcoin education, a Bitcoin Core PR review club, and a weekly meetup designed to help upcoming developers understand the structure of the Bitcoin core code.
Thanks to organizations like Lightspark and Coinbase, Brink has received substantial support. Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, expressed his company’s satisfaction in partnering with Brink to support the Bitcoin Core development team. “It’s really important for us that there is a vibrant and very active development effort on Bitcoin.”