Jack Dorsey, Michael Saylor, Winklevoss Twins, & Others Donate $4M to MIT's Bitcoin Initiative

Jack Dorsey, Michael Saylor, Winklevoss Twins, & Others Donate $4M to MIT's Bitcoin Initiative

Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab Launches New Bitcoin Software and Security Effort with Industry Leaders. Jack Dorsey, Saylor of MicroStrategy, Winklevoss Twins, and a few others are donating $4 million in seed funding to MIT's Bitcoin initiative.

At this point, Bitcoin is no longer a little-known cryptographic toy. It is now an open source financial network with a value on the order of $1 trillion. As the use of Bitcoin grows and becomes more durable in our societies, the security of the network must grow and strengthen with it, says the MIT Media Lab.

In fact, Bitcoin does not have a single protector or guardian, because, according to the concept, there is no centralized management of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin's virtually uninterrupted operation over the years is a testament to the power of decentralization.

However, a lack of central organization does not mean there is no need for thoughtful focus and coordination to continually reinforce Bitcoin's security, and preemptively shore up any vulnerabilities.

Unlike traditional assets, Bitcoin is software that runs on a decentralized network. Bitcoin's security depends on the accuracy and reliability of the software and hardware on which it runs, as well as the actions of those who participate in the network.

With this in mind, DCI has established a new Bitcoin Software and Security Effort. The four-year research and development program is designed to continue to harden the Bitcoin network and steward the industry's commitment to funding open source software. This will include contributing to Bitcoin Core development as well as rigorous long-term research, such as investigations into the stability of fee-based rewards and software to provide strong robustness and correctness guarantees. It will also include attracting domain experts in network and operating system security, compilers, programming languages, and more to join the effort.

A second important goal of this effort is to help reduce bottlenecks in the development ecosystem that might lead to centralization. Crucially, effort must be taken to ensure that critical knowledge, not only around the technology itself, but also around key processes, is systematically recorded and passed down to harden security and improve resilience.

The objective of DCI's new program is to contribute neutral, expert resources to improving the robustness of the Bitcoin protocol.

To fund the new four-year program, DCI has reached out to a cross-section of industry leaders, and received $4 million in charitable contributions towards their $8 million goal. These resources will be used to hire open source developers and researchers, and to kick off an ecosystem-wide focus on longer-term strategies to harden the underlying protocol.

Founding contributors to the DCI program include Alex Morcos and Suhas Daftuar (Chaincode), CoinShares, Meltem Demirors, Jack Dorsey, Fidelity Digital Assets, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Gemini), Reid Hoffman, Michael Saylor (MicroStrategy), and John Pfeffer.

Bitcoin is increasingly accepted as an investment vehicle. Recently, Tesla became one of the largest holders of Bitcoin, which acquired a cryptocurrency worth $1.5 billion.

© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.


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About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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