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On The Brink with Castle Island

Nov 24, 2020

John Newbery, Bitcoin Core developer and founder of Bitcoin Optech, announces an independent nonprofit organization to support Bitcoin development, Brink. Donate here.

In this episode, we discuss the formation and mandate of Brink, as well as the developer funding context that we find ourselves in. Covered in the episode: 

  • John Newbery's core developer story and how he came to found Brink
  • Why John left Chaincode and struck out on his own
  • Brink's mandate and foundational purpose
  • Lessons learned from the Bitcoin Foundation
  • The future of Bitcoin Optech
  • The state of funding for Bitcoin development
  • The accessibility of Bitcoin protocol development today
  • Does the existence of financial incentives cannibalize the intrinsic motivation to work on open source?
  • Why John works on Bitcoin
  • Why ossification might be more remote than we expect
  • Whether Bitcoin's developer funding model exposes it to corporate capture
  • The political implications of Bitcoin having a sole reference implementation
  • The importance of distinguishing the validation element of Bitcoin Core from the other components
  • Is Bitcoin protocol dev meritocratic or technocratic?
  • Why the structurelessness of Bitcoin core dev raises the barriers to entry
  • Is Bitcoin protocol development adequately funded right now?
  • Does developer funding equate to influence in the Bitcoin protocol development
  • The dispersion of Bitcoin protocol development influence

Content mentioned in this episode: