SiliconANGLE reports that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has launched the Bitcoin Development Fund to cover salaries, travel, and work costs of the three leading developers of the Bitcoin Core project: Gavin Andresen, Cory Fields and Wladimir van der Laan.
The fund has already raised $900,000 from firms such as Nasdaq, BitFury, Cicle, Bitmain and Chain, as well as individual contributions from Breyer CEO Jim Breyer, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Raptor Group chairman and managing director Jim Pallotta and Protege Partners CEO Jeff Tarrant.
Brian Forde, director of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, said in a blog post that the donations were made as unrestricted gifts, meaning that the funds will be limited to support bitcoin protocol development, but the donors have no influence over the developers.
Forde said in the blog post that several donors asked to contribute in bitcoin, so for the first time MIT created a wallet to accept the digital currency from donors for the Bitcoin Development Fund.
Forde used the blog to address some questions people might have about the fund. On the matter of supporting open-source development of other cryptocurrencies, Forde wrote, “This fund specifically applies to the development of code for the Bitcoin protocol. However, where there is a strong need and potential sponsor, we are open to talking with other open-source cryptocurrency projects about developing a separate fund.”
As for supporting other developers who work with bitcoin, Forde said, “We’re open to supporting another Bitcoin developer if there is a real demonstrated need. We also encourage other universities to house developers so as not to centralize their employment at any one institution. In doing so, the academic community can help build a robust community of engineers to support the development of Bitcoin and other promising cryptocurrencies.”