Open-Source Blockchain Explorer Scores Foundry Development Grant

Open-Source Blockchain Explorer Scores Foundry Development Grant

Foundry, a provider of services to cryptocurrency miners in North America, has donated 1 BTC (about $40,000) to fund the development of mempool.space, an open-source Bitcoin blockchain explorer.

While small in dollar terms, the grant represents an investment in the further decentralization of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Other crypto startups, ranging from the lender Nexo to the Kraken exchange, have supported open-source software developers to strengthen the networks underpinning their businesses.

Block explorers are like special goggles; they let members of the public easily see what is happening on cryptocurrency networks, without having to download and parse gigabytes of data. But they are typically hosted by centralized services like Blockchain.com or Etherscan, an arrangement that reintroduces the risk inherent in trusting third parties that Bitcoin was designed to avoid. To address that problem, mempool.space, a project run out of Japan, lets users run their own local versions of its block explorer.

Foundry said mempool.space is particularly appealing for miners because it shows the fees that senders have offered to pay for transactions awaiting confirmation and models what the next block may look like based on the mempool (a sort of waiting room for Bitcoin transactions).

Foundry joins Jack Dorsey’s payments unicorn Square, the Winklevoss brothers’ crypto exchange Gemini and hardware wallet maker Exodus in supporting the open-source blockchain explorer.

In addition to the grant, Foundry, based in Rochester, N.Y., said it would help build mining-related features for the mempool.space website and an “open transaction acceleration marketplace.”

Foundry is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which also owns CoinDesk.

Mempool Space K.K., the operator of the eponymous website, also runs block explorers for the Liquid sidechain and the Bisq decentralized exchange, according to its terms of service — which include a rather pointed bitcoin maximalist disclaimer.

“Unfortunately, the liquid.network and bisq.markets explorers cannot be considered Bitcoin Only, as they may display altcoins as part of their core network functionality. We do not endorse any altcoins and encourage you to stay Bitcoin Only,” the document states.

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