The two companies will pool their efforts to provide a liveable income for Bitcoin Core maintainer Marco Falke. According to financialit.com, Falke is one of Bitcoin’s most active developers, as he has provided more individual changes to the network’s code than anyone else to date. Falke will use the grant to work on Bitcoin’s software full-time for the sixth consecutive year.
Marco is one of just six people in the world who has the ability to approve or deny proposed changes to Bitcoin’s underlying code. However, due to the project’s decentralised structure, he spends more than 40 hours per week on Bitcoin Core development without actually getting paid for it.
As a Bitcoin Core maintainer, Falke reviews proposed additions to the network’s code that he receives from 400 contributors.
Bitcoin maintainers do not have a salary
Okcoin conducted a study in 2021 named Giving back to Bitcoin, which revealed that only a small percentage of Bitcoin investors are aware that the people who maintain and improve the project’s code don’t have a salary. To be specific, 80% of retail Bitcoin investors were not aware that maintainers need to secure their own income through grants or crowdfunding.
The study also found that respondents care about supporting Bitcoin development after they were made aware of the lack of consistent income, and some of them are even willing to contribute themselves in order to support protocol development. Okcoin and Paradigm aim to support the continued development of the Bitcoin project through funding, but they also want to raise awareness of the situation and gather more support from the Bitcoin community.
Marco Falke’s grant from Okcoin and Paradigm is not an exclusive agreement, and it will allow him to choose which area of Bitcoin Core he wants to work on. Okcoin representatives cited by financialit.net described the work Marco does as integral to the success of Bitcoin by making the network more secure and scalable.
Paradigm officials cited by the same source brought up their initial Bitcoin development funding from 2020 and expressed their willingness to support those who are working to keep Bitcoin Core running, as they believe it is their responsibility to help fund independent Bitcoin research and development. Paradigm previously supported Bitcoin Core maintainer Anthony Towns, who has been an active contributor to open-source software for over 20 years.