The weekend just gone delivered one of the most awaited Bitcoin conferences of the year, the Baltic Honeybadger 2019 in the Latvian capital of Riga.
Plenty of Bitcoin educators, traders, developers and businesses built around the top cryptocurrency took the stage and animated debates and talks on progress in the space.
All in a friendly and informal atmosphere, so much that it felt like being at a rock festival with beer, food and coffee trucks in the big patio outside of the main venue where the conference was held.
One of the most applauded announcements of the event was that of Nicolas Dorier, coder and software developer at BTCPay, who disclosed on stage they had just been confirmed $100,000 of funding by Square Crypto, the company founded by Bitcoin supporter and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
The news was welcomed with massive support by the Bitcoin community and it’s not difficult to understand why.
BTCPay is a self-hosted, open-source cryptocurrency payment processor. Secure, private, censorship-resistant and free. The open-source element -which means that everybody, everywhere in the world, can contribute to the code and build on top of it freely- is what appeals most bitcoiners since the bitcoin core platform is based on open source code and perfectly reflects the inclusiveness, borderless and impartiality of the Bitcoin philosophy.
Square Crypto announced the decision in a tweet on 14th September clarifying that, although BTCPay is supposed to be a competitor, “This isn’t an investment in a competitor, it’s an investment in the future of money—something that Square obviously has a stake in”.
Nicolas is keeping the promise he made on a famous tweet a couple of years ago when he accused BitPay of lying in a blog post about Segwit activation and suggested he would make them obsolete. It looks like he’s proving right and the model he has decided to bring forward is the successful one.
The company held yesterday a very popular BTCPayDay at the CryptoCash Riga office, where I met Nicolas and asked him how it all started.
“Bitcoin at the basic level is decentralized but since it was very difficult to build on top of it people started relying on centralized services. When I saw that those companies had a lot of leverage I thought it was very bad for Bitcoin so I started focusing on fixing this.”
The team behind the company is made of voluntary professionals that do this with passion and a strong belief that the right path is to own personal freedom by embracing this business model and philosophy.
The service is very easy to set up and completely free to use, therefore I asked Nicolas how they manage to sustain the company and make any money.
“Personally I am mainly funded by DGLab in Tokyo and Metacode, a company that I founded, so I do not have to worry about sustaining myself. My main concern has always been for the other contributors at BTCPay like Pavel @Pavlenex and Andrew @MrKukks who were not funded at all. We’re all motivated in contributing and opportunities might open up this way but at some point, it was starting to become a problem. That’s why back in March we started thinking of how we could manage to keep going. I certainly do not want to create a highly profitable company based on making money, that’s not at all BTCPay model. So the right way to do it was to find a company that believed in us and wanted to support us, that’s how we reached out to Square Crypto.”
Esky (@Esky33junglist) in another main contributor in the project and is also a jungle, drum n’ bass DJ who promotes the freedom that Bitcoin can offer at his gigs around Europe.
When I met him the first thing he said was he’s not so much interested in money as in the freedom Bitcoin can deliver to everyone.
Nicolas, let’s remind everybody that contributors chose not to get any fee from the merchants, the service is completely free, is that correct?
“Yes, although contributors charge a fee for paid support. If our clients have an issue they can revert to our chat support and that’s still free but if you need something customized or you want to develop your own service on top of it, then our developer contributors can help with that and get paid for the extra service.”
In a time when the open-source model is under the radar and declared dead by some, BTCPay proves there’s no dying future for them, instead, they keep the ideology well alive and kicking with their winning model.