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Inside the Fight Over Bitcoin’s Future

Inside the Fight Over Bitcoin s Future The New Yorker


A terrific rumpus broke out in the world of Bitcoin last week, when veteran developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn published Bitcoin XT, a competing version of Bitcoin Core, the open-source program that generates new bitcoins, verifies all transactions, and records them on the massive distributed ledger known as the blockchain. Andresen is Bitcoin’s most senior developer, and has been the project’s de-facto leader since 2011; Hearn is a pioneer in the development of Bitcoin wallets. According to an explanation Hearn posted on Medium, they released XT because “the decision-making process in Bitcoin Core has broken.” The real crisis, as this suggests, is less about Bitcoin’s code than about the power structure that governs it.

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When open source projects fork, it's usually for political reasons, not technical ones. 

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