2020 was unforgettable, especially for Bitcoin. To help memorialize this year for our readers, we asked our network of contributors to reflect on Bitcoin’s price action, technological development, community growth and more in 2020, and to reflect on what all of this might mean for 2021. These writers responded with a collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking articles. Click here to read all of the stories from our End Of Year 2020 Series.
This year has been one that none of us will soon forget. While the world seems like a chaotic place, Bitcoin continues to find its footing and remain steady, constantly proving the critics wrong, time and time again.
But things changed a lot around Bitcoin this year, too. The third subsidy halving happened, we got a Bitcoin hashtag emoji and our favorite orange coin saw growing acceptance among institutional investors. But one topic really stuck out to me this year: Bitcoin developer funding.
While I am not a developer, I find this topic to be very important going forward. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to dive into it, and its history, a bit more.
We all know the importance of open-source software. After all, Bitcoin itself is free, open-source software (FOSS), which anyone can contribute to (and audit). This is an important aspect for creating a truly hard and scarce digital currency. How do you know what it actually is if you cannot publicly audit it?
But who maintains that software? Who works on the code that Bitcoin is built upon? You can see all contributions in the Bitcoin Core GitHub (https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin). The beauty of Bitcoin’s decentralization can be seen in the diversity of its contributors as well — it is open to all.
The funding of FOSS development has always been a bit of a tricky situation. We all know the importance of the software, but due to its open and free nature, there is not much incentive to fund it. There is nothing to sell…