We’re sponsoring two new Bitcoin development initiatives: Vinteum in Brazil and Qala in Africa. Here’s what they do and why we’re bullish on Bitcoin open source development in emerging countries. 🔥
- Okcoin has now funded $1.5 million worth of Bitcoin open source efforts
- We’re a founding sponsor of Vinteum, a new Bitcoin R&D center in Brazil
- We’re also sponsoring Qala, a Bitcoin training program for African developers
- Regardless of price action, Bitcoin development is ramping up in emerging countries 🚀
What is Vinteum?
Vinteum is a non-profit Bitcoin research and development center dedicated to supporting Bitcoin developers in Brazil and the wider Latin America region. Its goal is to train and fund local open source developers to work on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.
The three main people behind Vinteum are:
- Lucas Ferreira, Business Developer at Lightning Labs, open source development evangelist and founder of Vinteum
- André 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. He will work on Bitcoin Core and lead Vinteum’s educational efforts.
They believe Bitcoin’s development should adopt, as Steve Lee from Spiral argued, a 10×10 model where there are ten initiatives of 10 people instead of one of 100 people. Fostering a decentralized development landscape is key to making sure
- No single entity manages Bitcoin’s development agenda
- Developers are not centralized in a single geographic region where they could be targeted all at the same time
- Developers are in touch with the needs and constraints of each of the world’s different regions
If Bitcoin is going to be a global money, it better have a global pool of talent! 🌍
What is Qala?
Speaking of global talent, Qala is on the same page. Its primary goal is to train African developers for job placement in the Bitcoin/Lightning industries.
Its first cohort included 12 experienced developers, coming from Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda.
After joining part-time study groups and passing admission requirements, they took part in a full time 3 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. The professional training was delivered by experienced ecosystem players like Adam Jonas from Chaincode Labs.
And it worked: The cohort just came to a close and most Qala participants have already been offered roles in the Bitcoin industry, including some open source developer grants. Vladimir Fomene, for example, received a grant from Btrust to work on the Bitcoin Development Kit. 🎉
To celebrate Qala’s success, our COO Jason Lau sat down to discuss how their work is helping connect Africa to Bitcoin, joined by:
- Carla Kirk-Cohen, Brink and Btrust board member, and Qala’s co-founder
- Femi Longe, Qala’s programme director
- Vladimir Fomene, JS/Python engineer and Qala mentee from Ghana
- Enigbe Ochekliye, Python/Flask engineer and Qala mentee from Nigeria
Watch the Okcoin Live episode below! 💜