About 2 weeks ago, in my blog post “Strengthening the Core,” I mentioned two critical, long-standing, unmet needs in Core Development.

  1. Somebody dedicated to ongoing security review of changes to the core code.
  2. Somebody dedicated to deep, thorough testing of the core code.

Today, we are pleased to welcome Sergio Lerner as our Core Security Auditor. As Core Security Auditor, Sergio will be dedicated to the ongoing security review of changes to the core code. Sergio has been volunteering his time and expertise since March 2012 and over the last couple of years, he has found, reported, and helped fix several vulnerabilities in the core code. Sergio has been an independent security researcher and consultant since 2011 and will continue to work with his other clients in addition to his role at the foundation.

Sergio is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and if you’re headed tolaBITconf2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he’ll be giving a development update on December 7.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our members, we now have four people working on the protocol as their primary occupation. How much impact does that have?

According to GitHub, that translates to 48% of all commits since Day 1. Wladimir van der Laan (also supported by Bitcoin Foundation) and I respectively contributed 2,274 and 1,077. That is the difference full-time makes. We couldn’t have done it without the valuable input and collaboration of many around the world, but when push comes to shove, the code has to be written, tested, rewritten, reviewed, re-tested… you get the picture.

People are busy. They have lives, families, careers and hobbies outside of Bitcoin. It’s unrealistic to put expectations of a full-time employee onto a volunteer. As more and more people come to rely on this protocol and businesses build products and services powered by Bitcoin, it becomes increasingly more important to have a dedicated team doing the painstaking work it requires.

In the next week, we’ll be pushing out release candidates for 0.10. If you’re a developer and interested in -rcs, jump right in athttp://whatcanidoforbitcoin.org/.

We hope to have the 0.10 update ready in early January 2015.