Square Crypto awards grant to pseudonymous Lightning contributor ‘ZmnSCPxj’
Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 04:41 am UTC
Square Crypto, a bitcoin-focused unit of payments company Square, has awarded a grant to a Lightning contributor going by the pen name ‘ZmnSCPxj.’
In a move that could never happen in any other space, we’re supplying a grant to what looks at first glance like a hash function. Please welcome ZmnSCPxj to the small but growing family of Square Crypto grant recipients.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) December 11, 2019
ZmnSCPxj has been contributing to Lightning and C-Lightning for the past two years. The grant, which is ZmnSCPxj’s first for bitcoin-related work, will allow the researcher to go “full-time on Lightning and bitcoin.” The details of the grant have not been disclosed.
“ZmnSCPxj is well-known for his prolific posts on lightning-dev email lists, ability to analyze and respond to proposals in excruciating detail, and doing both while generating comprehensive proposals of his own,” Square Crypto said in a tweet.
ZmnSCPxj has been a part-time contributor to Lightning and C-Lightning for two years. With this grant, he’ll be able to leave behind his day job of 14 years and go full-time on Lightning and bitcoin. This is the first financial support he’s received for his bitcoin work.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) December 11, 2019
We don’t actually know where ZmnSCPxj lives, apart from somewhere in the GMT+8 timezone, which includes China, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. That’s it. That’s all he told us and that’s all we know.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) December 11, 2019
In a report, CoinDesk said that the identity of the researcher is likely known by Lightning developers. ZmnSCPxj attended Lightning Conference in October in Berlin, where he gave a presentation and reportedly spoke to others.
In March 2019, Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter and the founder and CEO of Square, introduced “Square Crypto” which he described as “Square’s first open source initiative independent of [its] business objectives.” This new unit is focused on projects that will drive mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Square Crypto has made a number of key hires in the past couple of months, including former Google director Steve Lee, Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo, Facebook and BitGo alum Arik Sosman, Lightning Labs alum Valentine Wallace, and Google alum Jeffrey Czyz.
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