BitMEX, a Bitcoin trading platform, announced two new open-source Bitcoin developer grants to Rene Pickhardt and Chris Coverdale, bringing the company’s 2021 grant program to a close. Rene and Chris have each been awarded an eight-month grant of $33,333 until May 2022, which equates to $50,000 per year. According to the announcement, this interim funding is intended to assist aspiring developers in making the transition to full-time Bitcoin development.
According to the announcement, “with the addition of Rene Pickhardt and Chris Coverdale to the open source Bitcoin developer grant program, that brings the total number of open source developers to six,” said BitMEX CEO Alex Höptner. “We are proud of our long-term dedication to Bitcoin and open source technology.” We are delighted to welcome Rene and Chris to the program and will continue to support Bitcoin development in the coming years.”
Rene will work to improve the Lightning Network’s payment process’s reliability. He published a paper in March introducing probabilistic path-finding, which served as the foundation for his subsequent work on optimally reliable and cheap payment flows, which was submitted in July. Rene intends to implement his new path-finding algorithm, dubbed “Pickhardt Payments,” as a library that can be used by Lightning Network nodes, wallets, and service providers. Rene will be able to use BitMEX’s grant to further develop his optimal payment flows algorithm and work on the several follow-up questions raised by his paper.
Chris, on the other hand, plans to concentrate on bitcoin mining. The developer will continue to work on the Stratum V2 Bitcoin mining pool protocol, which he has been working on since February. The protocol allows end miners to choose their own transactions and contract blocks rather than delegating these decisions to the mining pool operator, improving data transfer efficiency and Bitcoin’s censorship resistance. Slush Pool/Braiins are also working on a protocol implementation. Nonetheless, BitMEX’s grant aims to empower Chris in his independent implementation while also increasing the chances of success for Stratum V2.
BitMEX also supports Bitcoin Core maintainer Michael Ford, Gleb Naumenko, Utreexo developer Calvin Kim, and Bitcoin Core developer Sjors Provoost, in addition to Rene and Chris. BitMEX stated that funding has been secured for all six grantees until May 2022, when the company will evaluate renewals.