MIT has created a fund to cover Bitcoin Core developers' salary, travel budget and work costs. The three leading developers of the Bitcoin Core project, Gavin Andresen, Wladimir van der Laan, and Cory Fields, will be the first to have access to these funds.
Brian Forde, Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT explained in an announcement post on Medium that the donations have been made as unrestricted gifts, meaning that while the funds are currently limited to supporting Bitcoin protocol development, donors have no influence over any of the work the developers are doing. While the fund itself is currently setup to assist in the development of Bitcoin Core, it may be open to other cryptocurrency projects later. “We’re open to supporting another Bitcoin developer if there is a real demonstrated need,” Forde said. “We also encourage other universities to house developers so as to not centralize their employment at any one institution. In doing so, the academic community can help build a robust community of engineers to support the development of Bitcoin and other promising cryptocurrencies.”