Bitcoin And Lightning Development Funding At A Healthy Level

The development funding state of Bitcoin Core is at a healthy level, according to a report compiled by BitMEX Research. They came to this conclusion by examining the leading organizations and individuals funding open-source Bitcoin and Lightning development.

A Healthy Funding State of Open-Source BTC Development

The BitMEX research team based the report on publicly available information and speaking to specific individuals, who were willing to share their details. Thus, they concluded which entities are the largest direct contributors to open-source Bitcoin development.

Bitcoin Development Funding. Source:
Bitcoin Development Funding. Source:

The paper indicated that Lightning Labs and Canada-based Blockstream are the two organizations employing the most significant number of developers working on open-source Bitcoin or Lightning related projects.

Ultimately, though, there are far more organizations funding the development at the moment. This means that it’s much more distributed now, especially when compared to the 2012-2014 period. During that time, The Bitcoin Foundation was the only significant funder, the document explained.

Additionally, new organizations are coming up to the field consistently, which, according to the report, is especially promising:

“Particularly encouraging is the recent emergence of BitMEX, BTSE, and OkCoin to the scene. This brings much-needed diversity to the group of donors, potentially improving the level of sustainability. In particular, these exchanges are a new type of entity and are funding developers out of retained earnings, rather than using donations or venture capital funds.”

BitMEX Research’s second chart identified the contributors by the number of commits. It showcased Chaincode Labs as the most prolific financial supporter of Bitcoin development.

Bitcoin Development Funding. Source:
Bitcoin Development Funding. Source:

It’s worth noting though that the data included only those who have a source of funding.

Upcoming Challenges

Despite the system’s healthy state at the moment, the report also outlined a few challenges going forward.

First and foremost is the funding and training for new developers entering the space. During the parabolic price increase in 2017/2018, an excessive number of developers emerged. A year later, however, when BTC’s price tumbled below $4,000, the interest decreased as well.

The second issue is “sustainable developer financing, including a large share of funding coming from retained earnings from businesses with different business models.”

Lastly, the report brought up future efficiency amongst developers who are collaborating on various tasks and are receiving funds from independent sources.

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