It has become adamantly clear, over the past few weeks, that the Bitcoin Foundation does not have the Bitcoin development’s best interests at heart. This is not such a bad thing, as the Bitcoin Foundation should not determine in which way Bitcoin Core development is headed. In fact, it has come to a point where the Bitcoin Foundation is completely distancing themselves from Bitcoin’s developmental plans.
Bitcoin Foundation: New ED, New Rules
When the news broke about the Bitcoin Foundation being on the brink of bankruptcy, a lot of people feared the worst for the future of Bitcoin. After all, most of the Bitcoin Core developers received a financial compensation from the Bitcoin Foundation, in order to give Bitcoin a bright future. But, a lot of mismanagement and horrible decision-making led to a point where this was no longer a feasible option.
To make a rather long story short, the Bitcoin Foundation needed a new direction, which, in turn, led to the election of a new Executive Director, in the form of Bruce Fenton. A change applauded by many Bitcoin enthusiasts – including myself – as I sincerely hope Mr. Fenton can get the Foundation back on the right track.
This also brings a few other changes to the table. One of those changes will impact the Bitcoin Core developers directly, although not in a negative manner, per se. Bruce Fenton has made it clear that the Bitcoin Foundation will no longer financially support Bitcoin Core development, which is a positive change.
The reason this will not affect Bitcoin Core developers in a negative way, per se, is simple to explain. Gavin Andresen, Cory Fields and Wladimir van der Laan had already left the Bitcoin Foundation a few days ago and joined MIT MediaLabs’ Digital Currency Initiative. Plus, you have to keep in mind that not every Bitcoin Core developer needs funding, as several of them are self-funded at this point in time.
According to Bruce Fenton, there are no plans to directly fund Bitcoin Core development, now or in the near future. Furthermore, the Bitcoin Foundation will not establish a venture-funded entity in order to spin off their developmental efforts. The plan, for now, is to pursue areas where for-profit activities do not interfere with other efforts made by the Bitcoin Foundation.
“MIT is moving towards a great project, and this is a big step forward for them and the Bitcoin project. MIT has one of the most powerful brand names in the field of technology and will instantly bring increased credibility and academic rigor to the Bitcoin Core project. The Bitcoin Foundation will always remain supportive of the Bitcoin Core developers, but not in a financial manner.” Bruce Fenton told the media.
Government Funds For Bitcoin Core Development?
As I mentioned before, most Bitcoin Core developers do not seek or want external funding for their efforts, at this point. However, that does not mean the situation can not change in the future, which brings up a topic no one really wants to touch; will we ever see government funds being used to fund Bitcoin Core development?
The reason this topic comes up is because MIT has accepted government funds in the past, in order to conduct research projects and build new technology. And, with every government in the world – especially the United States – looking into ways of regulating Bitcoin and digital currency, they may very well try to buy their way in by funding Core development.
What are your thoughts? Will we see government funds being used for Bitcoin Core development? Let us know in the comments!
All images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub