Dhruvkaran Mehta, a prominent contributor to Bitcoin Core, the primary open-source software for connecting to the world’s largest blockchain, says he is stepping away from the project to focus on a new Bitcoin-related startup idea.
Bitcoin Core is an open-source project that relies on grants, stipends and the goodwill of its contributors.
So Mehta was, technically, a paid volunteer funded by grants from Spiral, a subsidiary of Jack Dorsey’s Block that focuses on funding Bitcoin development; The Human Rights Foundation; and Gemini, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange.
Mehta began contributing to Bitcoin Core in August 2020 and primarily worked on improving Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol through Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 324 (BIP324). Bitcoin’s P2P protocol governs the communication between nodes in the network. That communication is currently public and not encrypted, making the network vulnerable to various attacks and vulnerabilities.
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BIP324 seeks to reduce the potential of such attacks by introducing a version of the P2P protocol that encrypts messages between Bitcoin nodes.
Mehta, a former Google software engineer, didn’t elaborate on what his startup idea is, but he’s no stranger to the startup world. In 2013 Mehta launched Outbound, a messaging platform that raised $2.2 million and was eventually acquired by Zendesk in 2017.
“BIP324 is going into better hands than mine,” Mehta tweeted. “I have a Bitcoin startup idea I’m so excited about, some nights it’s hard to sleep. I feel in my body that I must give it a go. To risk nothing is to risk everything.”