A Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) at the MIT Media Lab has announced the launch of a “Bitcoin Software and Security Effort” in order to strengthen the network against any potential attacks.
The $4 million, four-year-long research and development program is backed by some of crypto’s biggest advocates, including MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Chief of Strategy at Coin Shares Meltem Demirors, and the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who founded crypto exchange Gemini.
By building up long-term defences, improving automation and battle-testing the network, the DCI hopes to improve the robustness of the Bitcoin protocol. It also recognises the challenges associated with its decentralised nature, particularly when it comes to improving design and security.
The announcement read: “Unlike traditional assets, Bitcoin is software running on a decentralized network. Bitcoin's security is predicated on the accuracy and robustness of the software and hardware running it, and the actions of those participating in the network.”
It also mentioned that decentralisation shouldn’t get in the way of “thoughtful coordination to continually reinforce Bitcoin’s security and preemptively shore up any vulnerabilities.”
The money is set to go towards hiring five extra researchers and engineers, bringing its developer team from three to eight to “kick off an ecosystem-wide focus on longer-term strategies to harden the underlying protocol.”