Jimmy Song, Bitcoin developer and venture partner at Blockchain Capital, has announced a new initiative called Platypus Labs, designed to educate and compensate Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency developers.
Platypus Labs will focus on training developers to specifically work with Bitcoin Core, but it could eventually expand to covering developing other altcoins. Blockchain Capital will be funding the education endeavor, as Song sees their position in the Blockchain “ecosystem” as “having a connection to a lot of different companies while maintaining independence.”
As to where the inspiration came from for Platypus Labs, Song told Cointelegraph,
“Part of my joining Blockchain Capital was to provide value to the Bitcoin ecosystem. After some extensive conversations about what would make sense for us to do that would make my involvement a win-win, we came up with a Labs concept as a way in which we could provide a lot of value to the ecosystem, our portfolio companies and to ourselves. To be perfectly honest, a lot of the ideas for how to run the labs came from listening to the developers and companies and seeing what they thought would be good.”
Training people in Blockchain has recently become a much-needed global phenomenon, with Australia launching the country’s first online Blockchain course earlier this week, and UC Berkeley already offering an “extremely popular” interdisciplinary course on Blockchain.
Song himself has his own two-day seminar entitled, “Programming Blockchain,” that he is leading this year in the US, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil, and Greece.
When asked what he sees for the future of Blockchain education globally, Song told Cointelegraph:
“I'm really hoping for more entrepreneurs to step up and take on the challenge! Obviously, I've got my own seminars to help in that way, but a lot of what I'm hoping for is for the ecosystem to grow. There is a lot of profit to be had for educators in this space. What exactly that will look like, I don't really know. I suspect that a lot of innovation will take place in the Blockchain/Bitcoin education space because there's such a great need.”
Song’s cryptocurrency education hub will be physically based in San Francisco, and Song reportedly hopes to implement a residency program in the near future.
Bitcoin developers traditionally have donated their time as volunteers, and some instances where they have been hired by companies have led to conspiracy theories that the company in charge may have ulterior motives.
For example, a Medium piece written last December aimed at debunking the theory that second layer Blockchain-technology Blockstream had hired Bitcoin Core developers in order to keep the first layer slow and cumbersome to use.