Lead Bitcoin developer and maintainer Wladimir van der Laan has confirmed that he is retiring. He was the second successor to Satoshi Nakamoto and one of the few in the world to have full access to the Bitcoin Core GitHub.
Longest-Living Bitcoin Developer Retires
Throughout the history of Bitcoin (BTC), Wladimir van der Laan it is without a doubt one of the biggest names and paradoxically one of the least known. Initially a collaborator, then quickly became main developerplayed a major role in building Bitcoin as we know it today.
And for good reason, it is one of the only people in the world to access the GitHub code of Bitcoin Core, the reference software implementation of Bitcoin. In fact, although developed in a decentralized, free and open source way, this software has of a certain hierarchy and a main maintainer.
Originally, this role was filled by Satoshi Nakamoto the same. He sold it in February 2011 to Gavin Andresen, before disappearing. Ultimately, he appointed Wladimir van der Laan to succeed him on April 7, 2014. Thus, this makes him the longest-lived Bitcoin core developer, and Satoshi Nakamoto’s second successor.
After eight years of devoting his time and energy to the proper development of the Bitcoin network, it appears that van der Laan has decided to resign. At the moment no successor has been designated, although Pieter Wuille is the most suitable to take over.
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Several reasons explain their choice
In January 2021, Wladimir van der Laan had already announced that he wanted to resign his duties. After taking the helm of Bitcoin for more years than anyoneincluding Satoshi Nakamoto, expressed concern about being “a centralized bottleneck” for the development of bitcoin.
It was just last week, in response to several rounds of tweets, who validated the news. Since then, his bio on the bluebird social network has simply been changed to “ ex: Bitcoin Core. Through his messages, van der Laan gave Several indications about the motivations for his departure.
First, he mentioned professional exhaustion as one of the main reasons. The Bitcoin community has often been considered difficult, see “ toxic “especially on social networks like Twitter. For example, van der Laan noted the psychological impact recurring bug reviews that are several years old.
It is not a thing! I’m a bit exhausted, it’s stressful and tired of the same discussions, the same problems
It has been a long time! I changed, the world changed, and I feel like it’s time for something else
— orionwl (@orionwl) August 9, 2022
Furthermore, Bitcoin developers are essentially volunteer workers. Some may receive charity donations companies or holders of bitcoins to subsidize their work. However, even with these donations, most network developers they are poorly paid compared to their counterparts working in other industries.
It’s also this social media violence that had motivated van der Laan to maintain a semblance of anonymity, divulging very little information about his personal life. She clarified that in the future, would like to move away from the cryptocurrency sectorbelieving that they have already contributed enough to this industry.
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What will happen now?
For now, van der Laan has yet to name a successor. According to the hierarchy established by Satoshi Nakamoto, it is absolutely necessary to have someone in the position of Principal Maintainer of Bitcoin Core. In the current order, Pieter Wuille could take over.
However, it is quite possible that van der Laan will decide not designate successor to voluntarily resign from office. Through this, he would like to achieve his latest action in support of bitcoinmaking it even more decentralized than it is now.
In fact, van der Laan is the only one who has the administrative key that gives access to the Bitcoin Core GitHub. His ultimate goal would be to make access to this key completely decentralized, to such an extent that Bitcoin no longer needs a Primary Maintainer.
When it was first announced in January 2021, it had already posted a plan to achieve this goal. Among them, the possibility of decentralizing development tasks and, above all, stopping depending on GitHub to host the code stood out.
It is always that after eight years in this positionthe bitcoin community warmly thanked Wladimir van der Laan for your involvement, your time, your energy and the wonderful work you did to continue giving life and evolving to the creation of Satoshi Nakamoto.
👉 On the same topic: Bitcoin: can cryptocurrencies work without the Internet?
Sources: Protos, Laanwj blog
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