This week the popular funding platform Bountysource announced that it will accept Bitcoin for developer and software funding efforts. Bountysource is a funding platform for open-source software, and is a place where users can improve the projects they are passionate about by creating or collecting bounties and pledging to fundraisers. By using the platform, developers can earn money from fundraisers, project donations and bounties for closing issues in open-source software.
Many Bountysource users have been requesting Bitcoin support for funding endeavors, and it has finally become a reality. By providing Bitcoin support, users can now pay and earn with BTC for all types of payments, while also having the ability to cash out in Bitcoin. In addition, users will also be able to select which currency they would like to view on the platform’s homepage. Bountysource will likely unveil further support of other cryptocurrencies in the future, which may have a large impact on their funding campaigns and user-base.
Many developers and users in the open-source and free software markets have a deep interest in the role that cryptocurrencies play in promoting the use of open-source technologies. Much like the various “bug” programs that many Bitcoin companies currently have, the “bounty” system on Bountysource allows users to collect a specific reward for spotting a bug or requesting a feature that is further developed. Users can create bounties on any open issue within any open-source project, and whichever developer solves the issue will be awarded the bounty.
Bountysource allows any type of open-source or free software projects, basically any projects approved by the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation. Open-source and free software are very similar and began within the same community. Free software is computer software that is distributed with its source code, which gives users the permission to change, study, adapt and re-distribute. The term “free” is based on free speech and giving users the freedom to run the software for any purposes, including distribution. Although many of these types of software are open-source, the software license differs from that of open-source software.
Open-source software was a part of the same free software movement, but split off to appeal to business executives by pointing out the software’s benefits, while not raising issues of right and wrong. The term is associated with ideas based on practical values, like creating powerful and reliable software. Although these two terms describe nearly the same type of software, they are based on different fundamental values. Free software is based on complete respect of the user’s freedom, while open-source pays most attention to popularity and success of the software. However, each of these are working toward the same goal of providing quality software to the end-user.
Bountysource supports these movements by creating two major funding methods: bounties and fundraisers. Fundraisers work to raise money for new projects, large updates to existing projects, or to raise money for bounties. The creator of the fundraiser spreads the word to the appropriate communities and anyone can come to Bountysource to make a pledge. Both fundraising and bounties help the open-source and free software movements to increase development, close issues faster and earn money by creating solutions to issues and honing their craft.
The addition of Bitcoin is a large step for Bountysource, and both open-source and free software. These developers and users of these types of software are incredibly passionate, much like the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency communities. It makes sense to fund these projects with BTC, simply because Bitcoin is open-source and a great example of what can be achieved through community collaboration.