I've been lurking around the Bitcoin community for a while and have started a software project that is based on Bitcoin and in the future will possibly use Open Transactions. I am writing up a description of the software separately (also as a submission to btcvc), but for now I will just say that it is an open source, p2p, trading system (yes buzzword overkill, forgive me).
Here I would like to ask how I could finance the development of such a project beyond alpha stage. I would like to offer a viable income stream to potential investors. There are lots of ways to make money within the system, but not so much from the software itself. I could implement a transaction "fee", but that could be disabled by anybody willing to change the source. Or I could have a donation function directly in the client, with the same problem. A further method would be to offer badges/certificates to users (cheapskate, good guy, big spender), in other words an incentive to donate beyond altruism.
Assuming I get the software to let's say alpha stage, would this be enough to attract investors? Can you think of other possibilities to finance such a software?