Venezuelan receives grant to develop Bitcoin RGB project

Key facts:
  • The developer will work on the RGB project, a Bitcoin smart contract system.

  • He is the first Venezuelan on record to be awarded a grant to develop Bitcoin.

Francisco Calderón, a Venezuelan software engineer, received a grant to collaborate in the development of the RGB sidechain, an open source project that seeks to enable functional smart contracts in Bitcoin.

The investment firm Fulgur Ventures, dedicated to boosting emerging Bitcoin projects and the Lightning network, will support the Venezuelan-born developer for 1 year.

It would be the first time in history that a Venezuelan receives a grant to contribute to Bitcoin, according to our records. The amount to be granted was not disclosed for privacy reasons.

RGB is a protocol that we have talked about several times in CryptoNews, and that allows, for example, to issueNon Fungible Tokens ( NFT), the popular NFT, based on the Lightning network, Bitcoin’s second layer solution.

Calderon told CryptoNews that, after completing some work projects, he devoted himself to further study the Rust programming language, which is used in the RGB protocol.

However, he clarifies that his area of expertise are Bitcoin and Lightning, while the scholarship will allow him to learn the technical aspects of RGB, and from there to contribute to the development of this solution.

Calderón comments that in his blog he will be reporting the evolution of his learning process about RGB, although later he will dedicate himself to “coding”, an expression that refers to dedicating himself to the tasks of software development and programming, properly speaking.

The task of disseminating the knowledge he acquires about RGB is carried out “also to invite or open the doors to other programmers who want to collaborate with these projects”, he says.

Off-chain: Bitcoin “off-chain” smart contracts

The developer assured that these types of projects are going in the direction he believes is the right direction, in terms of the goal of having functional smart contracts in Bitcoin, without sacrificing the integrity of the Bitcoin core network


“If we’re going to have smart contracts, it’s better if they’re off-chain and the blockchain only serves to validate. That’s the way we plan to go, that’s what we’re working on. There is still a long way to go, but the idea is to have Bitcoin smart contracts in Turing Complete language: that the scripts are run elsewhere and validated by the Bitcoin blockchain.

Francisco Calderón, developer

Calderón explains that, in order to implement Turing complete smart contracts

in Bitcoin, all the properties that Bitcoin has today would have to be changed.

During the dialogue with CryptoNews, the developer pointed out that to avoid affecting Bitcoin’s integrity, it is preferable to use Bitcoin sidechains, such as the RSK

network, if you want to deploy smart contracts.

In the case of RSK I see much better to use a sidechain because all the computation of the smart contract would go to check directly on the RSK blockchain without affecting the Bitcoin blockchain at all, on the other hand there is this other vision that allows us to do the same using off-chain protocols, the big difference is that it is not necessary that all nodes perform the computation of data of a specific smart contract but by the interested parties.

Francisco Calderon, developer Venezuelan receives grant to develop Bitcoin RGB project Venezuelan receives grant to develop Bitcoin RGB project The RGB network runs its own nodes on top of the main Bitcoin network. Source: Twitter

That a system is Turing complete

, it is worth noting, means that it can develop computational processes on its own.

This feature can be found in platforms such as Ethereum

, which has an internal computer, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), capable of executing the smart contracts that are deployed on it.

This ability to automate contracts or software commands does not exist in Bitcoin to the same degree as it does in Ethereum, so it is a feature that some might see as a positive to add to the protocol.

In that sense, RGB offers a different solution to Bitcoin’s existing sidechains, Calderon believes. The developer explains that RGB relies on its own computation.

The Bitcoin blockchain is a network of physical nodes, the independent nodes of its network, to confirm the transactions and smart contracts that are executed there with cryptography, and then verify them on the Bitcoin blockchain


This concept would be that of an off-chain

network, as opposed to a sidechain, which is linked to the main network.

RGB processes Bitcoin scripts or commands on its nodes and then transmits their results to the network, a separate computational process, the developer explains.

Venezuelan receives grant to develop Bitcoin RGB project Venezuelan receives grant to develop Bitcoin RGB project The RGB network runs on its own nodes on top of the main Bitcoin network. Source: Pixabay

Meanwhile, a sidechain like RSK

would store all its contracts on its blockchain like Ethereum does, increasing its size, so RSK could present scalability issues in the future, in Calderon’s opinion.

It should also be noted that RSK has a process of indirect mining or pegged mining, so that its transactions are also confirmed by Bitcoin miners

. In this aspect, RGB is a network somewhat more external and independent of Bitcoin than RSK, in the operational and functioning sense.

Calderón notes that RSK is a tremendous project and that its developers have probably already thought of some scalability solutions for the future.

For his part, Francisco Calderón has a year of study and hard work ahead of him at RGB, in order to make this project reach its full functionality.