"Amiti Uttarwar, 28, was born to Indian-American immigrants into the burgeoning, buzzing techno-metropolis of 1990s Silicon Valley, California. She was no stranger to programming languages. Studying information systems at Carnegie Mellon, she spent the first few years after graduation as full-stack developer for Silicon Valley startups. She was proficient in a half-dozen coding languages and had worked for five tech companies in her nascent career. She was working for Coinbase at the time. Four grants, hundreds of Github commits and a Forbes “30 Under 30” profile later, she was surely wrong about that. The first known woman to contribute to Bitcoin Core, she’s also the first woman to receive funding to work on Bitcoin Core full time. “I was shocked at how much energy I had. I could spend an entire day at work and still want to look at Bitcoin code,” she expressed, saying how her social calendar soon became filled up with meetups at Stanford and Berkeley Bitcoin and blockchain clubs.
This was at the same time as the 2016-2017 initial coin offering (ICO) boom and Uttarwar was “reading a lot of white papers, some of which were bulls**t,” she commented wryly. It was in these academic environments that she was exposed to the “more legitimate projects” and to the “fundamentals” underpinning Bitcoin. She received permission from her supervisor to take a sabbatical for a spot in Chaincode Lab’s coveted Bitcoin residency. After being rejected the first go around, Uttarwar made the cut for Chaincode’s 2019 residency. She quit Coinbase in September of 2019 and threw herself into Bitcoin Core once again. It wasn’t long before she found a benefactor in Xapo, a crypto wallet and banking services company. Today, she’s still a free agent, and she’s still attracting funding. OKCoin and BitMEX jointly granted her $150,000 this year to continue her work on transaction relay privacy and automated testing procedures for code development."