2022 Okcoin Developer Grant Recap

written by kabloomokc

2022 Okcoin Developer Grant Recap

At Okcoin, our mission is to make crypto accessible to all. As we work towards building the next generation of crypto tooling, we also feel a responsibility to support those who dedicate their time and efforts to bettering our blockchain ecosystems.

Since 2019, we’ve contributed nearly $2 million in grants to open-source Bitcoin developers and organizations. We’re proud to look back on 2022 as another successful year for our Developer Grant Program, where we announced over $450k of contributions across three individuals and three new organizations.

As we continue to support the work of new and returning recipients, we’re focused on expanding our support to developers working on new verticals and in new parts of the world. In our key goal of expanding diversity in our Bitcoin development and funding efforts, we announced a grant for Bitcoin’s first female core maintainer (Gloria Zhao), funded organizations onboarding new developers in Brazil and Africa (Vinteum and Qala), supported Bitcoin design and Lightning network adoption (Johns Beharry), and even brought on other organizations like Paradigm to help us co-sponsor (Marco Falke).

The full list of our grantees from 2022 includes:

  • Gloria Zhao (via Brink)
  • Vinteum
  • Qala
  • Johns Beharry
  • Marco Falke (co-sponsored with Paradigm)
  • BTC Azores

Development of the Bitcoin network is critical to our mission of building an inclusive future of finance. So despite the volatile market environment, we are reiterating our support for open source developers with another round of grants in 2023 — stay tuned for more information!

Keep reading to learn more about each of the projects and developers we’ve supported this year. 👇🏽

Gloria Zhao

Gloria is a full-time Bitcoin developer and Brink fellow. Most notably, she became the first female Bitcoin core maintainer in July 2022. We were thrilled to provide her with a grant to support her work on package relay and work as a maintainer.

You can read more about Gloria’s work in the guest post she wrote for our blog on Lightning attacks and package relays.

For a deep-dive into Gloria’s experience as an open-source developer, watch the Okcoin Live episode where she sat down with Okcoin COO Jason Lau to discuss Bitcoin security, attacks against Lightning, and more.


Vinteum is a non-profit Bitcoin research and development center dedicated to supporting Bitcoin developers in Brazil and the wider Latin American region. Its goal is to train and fund local open-source developers to work on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

Vinteum’s three principals are:

  • Lucas Ferreira, Business Developer at Lightning Labs, open source development evangelist and founder of Vinteum
  • AndrĂ© Neves, Lightning engineer as well as co-founder and CTO of Zebedee, a Lightning gaming start-up
  • Bruno Garcia, Bitcoin Core developer and previous Brink grantee, who will work on Bitcoin Core and lead Vinteum’s educational efforts

Parabéns, senhores!


Qala‘s primary goal is to train African developers for job placement in the Bitcoin/Lightning industries. Its first cohort included 12 developers from Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda.

After joining part-time study groups and passing admission requirements, they took part in a full-time, three-month program. The educational part of the program was led by established Bitcoin and Lightning developers, including Bitcoin core developer Stéphan Vuylsteke, LDK contributor Duncan Dean, and Bitcoin educator Will Clark. Experienced ecosystem players like Adam Jonas from Chaincode Labs also helped deliver professional training to prepare these developers for industry roles.

To celebrate Qala’s success, our COO Jason Lau sat down to discuss how their work is helping connect Africa to Bitcoin on an episode of Okcoin Live.

Johns Beharry

Johns Beharry is a developer and designer passionate about Bitcoin, Lightning, and open-source work. He’s made major contributions to the Bitcoin Design Guide and is actively involved in the Bitcoin Design community, a group of developers and designers focused on making Bitcoin open-source wallets easier to use.

His most recent project is Bolt.Fun, a platform built around a community of builders dedicated to making Lightning apps development… more fun. 💜

Bolt.Fun was founded because core development, whether in Bitcoin or Lightning, comes with a steep learning curve, requires a massive time commitment, and is often slow to yield tangible results. Building web apps, in comparison, feels easy, fast, and… fun. That’s why the Bolt.Fun community came together – the more that people experiment with Lightning, the more Lightning grows!

You can learn more about Johns’ experiments with Lightning on our blog.

BTC Azores

A decentralized currency running on a decentralized protocol requires a decentralized development process. This means no CEO, no product managers, and no top-down command — that’s why BTC Azores created the first “unconference” with no lineup, no recordings, and no agenda. During the conference, participants help decide on the topics of discussion, and everyone is welcome to join in.

Check out our blog for a more in-depth insight into how BTC Azores operates. Well done pulling off the first “unconference”, BTC Azores team!

Marco Falke (co-sponsored with Paradigm)

As a Bitcoin maintainer, Marco Falke has quietly become one of Bitcoin’s most prolific contributors. He’s a developer focused on ensuring the Bitcoin source code remains strong, healthy, and secure.

2022 was Marco’s second year as an Okcoin grant recipient, and we’ve already announced a new grant, co-sponsored by Paradigm, to support his work in 2023.

You can read more about Marco’s hunt for Bitcoin vulnerabilities over on our blog. We look forward to supporting Marco’s work for years to come!

Looking Ahead

As we prepare for the rest of 2023, we’re excited to continue making our developer grant program more supportive of an even more diverse group of developers and projects. We’ve just announced another grant for Marco Falke, and we’ll have more to share soon. For more information on the Okcoin developer grant program, check out our website. If you’d like to apply for a grant, please send a proposal to ops@okcoin.com.

We’re excited to see what 2023 has in store! Here’s to another year of building, creating, designing, and working towards the mission of bringing crypto to all.