The three Bitcoin Core developers who are currently being funded by the Bitcoin Foundation for future software releases of Bitcoin Core will no longer receive their funding from this source. Instead, a new group, the Digital Currency Initiative, created by MIT, will take over and provide the salary for the core developers.
Former lead developer and chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, Gavin Andresen, announced the news on his own blog yesterday. This change means that Andresen, along with the other developers in the Bitcoin Core development team, will no longer receive any salary or payment from the Bitcoin Foundation. Instead, they will receive a salary from the MIT Media Lab’s newly launched Digital Currency Initiative, headed by former White House Advisor Brian Forde, which has 3 objectives:
- Conduct research and engage more students on digital currency topics that address questions about security, stability, scalability, privacy, and economics.
- Convene governments, nonprofits, and the private sector to research and test concepts that have high social impact.
- Provide evidence-based research to support existing and future policy and standards.
Andersen believes that this is a good thing, because it increases diversity in developer support. This means that there is less disruption if support from any individual, company, or organization fails.
This change is probably a result of newly elected Bitcoin Foundation Board Member, Olivier Janssens, revealing that ‘the Bitcoin Foundation is effectively bankrupt’. Janssens explained that it was due to lack of organization, ridiculous spending and poorly thought out decisions, causing all its money to run out extremely quickly. This implies that it no longer has the funds to pay the developers, which resulted in this situation.