Beth Kurteson from Gemini Provides Extensive Updates on Bitcoin (BTC) focused Opportunity Fund

Beth Kurteson, MD at digital assets firm Gemini, notes that the company is committed to tapping into the future of financial, creative, and “personal freedom” via crypto.

Beth writes in a blog post that central to that effort is the work they do “to support the Bitcoin community through the Gemini Opportunity Fund.”

The Gemini Opportunity Fund is a donor-advised fund “focused on making Bitcoin more scalable, secure, and sustainable through grants, fellowships, and donations.” The fund supports “a range of individuals, foundations, nonprofits, and projects that [they] believe will help to ensure the continued success of the Bitcoin Network.”

Established in December 2020, the Fund has reportedly pledged more than $2.25 million to date “toward supporting the Bitcoin community.”

Gemini has shared an overview of the support they’ve offered via the Fund:

Bitcoin Core Developers
Last year, the firm “announced the sponsorship of four Bitcoin Core Developers: Amiti Uttarwar, Dhruv Mehta, Jarol Rodriguez, and Michael Ford.”

Amiti’s primary area of work is “centered on the security of the Bitcoin Network, and the ways in which nodes connect and communicate with each other.” Alongside other Bitcoin Core Developers, Amiti is “building a secure, private, and non-influenceable way to store node addresses, enhancing the reliability of the Bitcoin Network.”

Dhruv is “passionate about the censorship resistance of the Bitcoin Network and has been working on BIP324, which introduces end-to-end encryption for Bitcoin peer-to-peer traffic.” BIP324 adds encryption “without overhead or risk of network partition, and provides the ability to observe directly.”

Jarol is “focused on the Bitcoin Network’s graphical user interface (GUI), and is involved in revamping the GUI to enhance user flow and streamline multi-wallet support.” Working with fellow Bitcoin Core Developers, as well as the vibrant Bitcoin design community, Jarol is “building a functional, appealing, and intuitive user interface for the Bitcoin Network.”

Michael is currently a Bitcoin Core Maintainer, “starting as a Bitcoin Core Contributor in 2012.” His current projects “include porting the macOS toolchain from a custom system to using the vanilla LLVM programming library, and enhancing the Linux build system by implementing the use of an alternative C programming library.”

Foundation and Nonprofit Support
MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative is “building a team of senior, specialized open-source developers focused on systemic threat mitigation and rigorous improvements to Bitcoin’s underlying infrastructure, including code audits, increasing automation, and novel research into Bitcoin’s long-term economic security.” The Gemini Opportunity Fund has reportedly pledged over $1 million “over four years to the Initiative.

The Human Rights Foundation’s Bitcoin Development Fund “supports Bitcoin developers working to enhance privacy on the Bitcoin Network and ensure that bitcoin is a tool for financial freedom.”

The Gemini Opportunity Fund offered an initial grant of $50,000 in BTC, which “funded grants to Bitcoin entrepreneurs and educators Farida Nabourema and Roya Mahboob.”

Farida is a Togolese human rights activist who is “launching “Togo’s Bitcoin Academy,” a Bitcoin education project.”

Roya is “an Afghan entrepreneur and Bitcoin educator who is relaunching “The Women’s Annex,” a platform facilitating bitcoin payments to female content creators.”

Brink is “a London-based, non-profit fellowship program that will sponsor and mentor exemplary Bitcoin developers.”

As noted in the update, fellows will “work closely with one another and be mentored by Brink founder John Newbery, formerly a Chaincode Labs developer, and Mike Schmidt, a Blockstream alumnus.”

The Gemini Opportunity Fund offered $150,000 in BTC “to support Brink’s fellowship program.”

Project Donations

Mempool.space offers the crypto community “with seamless visibility into the bitcoin blockchain without ads, altcoins, or third-party trackers, and [they] are privileged to have been the project’s first enterprise sponsor, donating $25,000 to support the team’s ongoing development.”

Gemini Green is “a long-term initiative to incorporate climate-conscious practices into [their] business.”

As mentioned in the update:

“At Gemini, we’re committed to making crypto more environmentally friendly. To that end, in collaboration with Gemini Green, the Gemini Opportunity Fund has designated $1 million to support companies, projects, and nonprofits focused on sustainability in the crypto industry. Summer of Bitcoin is a global program that introduces student developers to Bitcoin and open-source development and pairs them with mentors. The Gemini Opportunity Fund donated $25,000 to support the program.”

The team (and Beth) concluded:

“We are deeply committed to empowering the Bitcoin Network and look forward to expanding our support in 2022. If you think you’re a great candidate for the Gemini Opportunity Fund, or know someone who is, please reach out to us at [email protected]

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