Funding Open Source Projects With Devcoin

by Rex Djere on July 26, 2013


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Devcoin is an ethically-based crypto-currency that is a direct descendant of Bitcoin. Devcoin has been developed specifically for funding open source projects. 90% of the Devcoins generated go to open source developers, and the remaining 10% go to Devcoin miners. Devcoins have the potential to revolutionize how open source projects receive funding.

The History of Devcoin
Devcoin was created as a fork of Bitcoin in August of 2011. The Devcoin developers created Devcoin based on Bitcoin’s C++ source code. The ultimate vision is that Devcoins will not only be used to fund open source projects, but they will also be used to fund artistic endeavors: films, poetry, music, writing etc. In fact, writers can already earn Devcoins by writing on a variety of topics, and submitting the written works to Devtome.

Why the World Needs Devcoin
Unless you are Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, it is very difficult to make a good living as a writer. Millions of extremely good writers toil away at their craft voluntarily on a daily basis. They write blogs, technical articles, journals, and other documents for little or no compensation. Devcoin offers a convenient way for these kinds of talented people to actually earn revenue for their hard work.
Unless you are Linus Torvalds or Michael Widenius, it is very hard to make a good living writing open source software. Devcoin also offers a potential way for Free Software creators to earn a decent amount of revenue.

Let’s Say That Devcoin Becomes a Popular Way of Donating to Free Software Projects. How Would I Buy Devcoins to Give?
In April of 2013, Bitcoin skyrocketed in price to a price of over $260 each. This rise occurred due to the extensive media coverage of the popular crypto-currency. Today (July 26th, 2013), the price of a single Bitcoin hovers at around $90: this represents about a 592% price increase from the January 1st, 2013 price of about $13 each.
The dramatic increase in Bitcoin’s price has attracted a lot of attention to the alternative crypto-currencies built using Bitcoin’s source code. The three most popular alternative coins are Litecoin, Namecoin and PPCoin (Peer-to-Peer Coin), but there are many more. Many of the alternative crypto-coins offer some sort of new feature or advantage that was not present in Bitcoin. As these alternative currencies sprung up, it was apparent that exchanges were needed to allow holders of Bitcoins to buy other forms of crypto-currency.

The most common way of obtaining Devcoins is to first buy Bitcoins on one of the popular Bitcoin exchanges: Mt. Gox, Coinbase, and Bitstamp, to name a few. You can also purchase Bitcoins from local vendors worldwide using Local Bitcoins. In all situations, you should be cognizant of the fact that there are A LOT of scammers in the Bitcoin world since it is a new and relatively unregulated currency, so buyer beware.
Once you purchase your Bitcoins, you can then transfer them electronically to an exchange that allows you to buy alternative crypto-currencies for Bitcoins. Here are a few of the exchanges that specifically allow you to buy Devcoins for Bitcoins:

New exchanges come online often, so you can also do a Google search for “where to buy Devcoins online”, and you will probably find new ones. However, you should always do your due diligence, and carefully research the reputation of any exchange before transferring your hard earned Bitcoins to them.

How to Give Devcoins to the Projects That You Support
My primary goal with this article was to bring more awareness to Devcoins so that more open source projects will accept them. If more projects accept Devcoins, then more people will want to buy and donate them. However, I suspect that a lot of people in the software development community have already heard of them, especially after Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in April of 2013. If your favorite open source projects do not yet support Devcoins, feel free to email them and let them know that you would like to make a Devcoin donation to them if they are willing to accept it.
Once an open source project is set up to receive Devcoin donations, they will have one or more Devcoin addresses. Here is a sample of what a Devcoin address looks like (as far as I know, this is not a real, active Devcoin address, so please do not send any Devcoins to it):

Once you purchase your Devcoins at an exchange, you could withdraw the Devcoins directly from your account on the exchange to the Devcoin address of the project. A second option would be to download and install the Devcoin client for you computer’s operating system from Once you open the client, you will see that it has a pre-configured Devcoin address at which you can receive coins. You can also generate as many new Devcoin addresses as you want. You would withdraw the desired amount of Devcoins from the exchange account to your home Devcoin client. The Devcoin client has an embedded digital wallet in which to receive the incoming coins. Within about an hour or so of you withdrawing the Devcoins from your online exchange account, you should see them appear in your home client’s wallet (this could take longer if you have not run the Devcoin client for a long time because the Devcoin client has to sync itself with the Devcoin network).
Once you have received the Devcoins in your home client’s wallet, you would simply send the desired amount of Devcoins to the Devcoin address of your favorite open source project. Figure 1 below shows the Devcoin client running on Windows 7.

Figure 1: The Devcoin Client Running On Windows 7

Devcoin has the potential to revolutionize the way that open source projects and artistic endeavors  get funded. However, to realize its full potential, Devcoin needs both community and developer support. Both forms of support for Devcoin seem to be building, so I feel optimistic that Devcoin will help to propel Free Software, Open Source, and creative development.

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