Brazilian Bitcoin Nonprofit Vinteum Announces Utreexo Developer Grant

Grantee Davidson Souza will continue development on multiple Bitcoin projects following a Summer of Bitcoin internship, including Utreexo.

Vinteum, a Brazilian nonprofit dedicated to furthering Bitcoin research and development, has announced its second grant recipient for protocol development, per a release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.

Davidson Souza will receive Vinteum’s second grant in order to continue providing implementations that allow wallets to the Rust Utreexo library. Then, Souza will integrate the library with Spiral’s Bitcoin Development Kit (BDK). Additionally, Souza will develop bitcoin improvement proposals (BIP) surrounding the implementations, help in protocol development and contribute to other projects such as Rust Bitcoin.

Utreexo is a hash accumulator for Bitcoin initially proposed by Tadge Dryja, co-author of the Lightning Network whitepaper. The hash accumulator is meant to serve as an alternative database used to represent a unspent transaction output (UTXO). The alternative dataset allows nodes to obtain and verify information related to UTXO’s. In doing so, the information provided to nodes allows scalability benefits by decreasing the amount of storage full nodes need without changing anything regarding the security of the Bitcoin protocol. The process could also make running a node cheaper, speed up initial block downloads, and be used as an oracle for UTXO sets for different projects.

Souza initially attended some unofficial Venteum seminars which led to his involvement in Summer of Bitcoin, where he met his future mentor Calvin Kim who is a grantee of Bitmex. Kim began mentoring Souza to port the Go Utreexo library to Rust so that anyone can validate Utreexo proofs with Rust code.

“Davidson has been a strong performer during the Summer of Bitcoin program, demonstrating his knowledge of Bitcoin at the protocol level, and has been productive in grasping and implementing the Utreexo algorithms,” said Kim.

Vinteum launched in August with the mission to train and fund open-source developers for the Bitcoin ecosystem in Brazil. The nonprofit announced its first grantee at launch, Bruno Garcia, who also joined the group as a founding member.