Compass Mining, a marketplace for BTC mining hardware, has today announced that it will sponsor BTC Core developer Jon Atack with a one year $80,000 donation. The donation is being provided through the Human Rights Foundation (HRF).
“As the largest and fastest growing retail-focused BTC mining companies, we believe it’s essential for Compass to support the development of the protocol our entire industry is built on,” said Whit Gibbs, CEO of Compass Mining in a prepared statement.
He added that developers like Atack are integral to the growth of BTC, saying the cryptocurrency’s development would “noticeably suffer” without them. “Our team is excited to build a relationship with Jon and support his important work,” he added.
Per Atack’s own website, he has previously been invited to join the BTC Core team after 7 months of contributing by November 2019. He was also the recipient of a Square Crypto developer grant in March 2020—a grant which has since been renewed in 2021.
Compass Mining’s sponsorship of Atack is done through HRF’s BTC Development Fund—which was launched in 2020. The fund is designed to support software developers that work on BTC.
Previously, the fund has gifted Jesse Posner (a BTC developer previously of Coinbase) with $25,000 worth of BTC. Janine Roem has also previously been gifted $10,000 worth of BTC to support her BTC privacy newsletter.
“HRF is delighted to work with Compass to support Jon and BTC Core. Jon has been a vital contributor to the world’s open source money project and we look forward to helping make his work possible this year,” said HRF’s chief strategy officer, Alex Gladstein.
Why does BTC need developers?
To update BTC’s codebase, BTC’s small team of lead maintainers reviews code that is often proposed by a much larger community of developers.
If that code passes the test, it gets approved and forms part of BTC’s codebase.
This approval process also introduces another role that BTC developers serve: Arbiters. In reviewing any code suggestions, these developers ensure that no new code will corrupt or endanger the integrity of the BTC network.
Though quantum computing, government intervention, and 51% attacks make the list of potential attack vectors, so too does careless development of the protocol.
Despite the high stakes, the job can be thankless. With support from third-parties, however, the incentives to continue building in good faith become all the more enticing. At least for now.