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Bitcoin’s core development – who is behind it?

By Guardian Nigeria
18 July 2022   |   9:05 pm
Like most software implementations, it is essential to regularly maintain and upgrade the Bitcoin protocol. While this may be obvious, the decentralized and open-source protocol makes such tasks tricky. Also, since a single entity does not control Bitcoin, development, and maintenance must be consensual among network participants. There are also several exchanges like Bit Index AI that…

Like most software implementations, it is essential to regularly maintain and upgrade the Bitcoin protocol. While this may be obvious, the decentralized and open-source protocol makes such tasks tricky. Also, since a single entity does not control Bitcoin, development, and maintenance must be consensual among network participants. There are also several exchanges like Bit Index AI that are coming up and helping people transfer and trade Bitcoin.

On the other hand, Bitcoin Core is the most popular client that participants use to create nodes and store coins. Also, they use it to transact and perform other operations of the Bitcoin network. In simpler terms, it is also an interface or gateway that determines how users interact with the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin Core functions like Google Chrome provide the necessary internet connection and navigation features. 

Apart from Chrome, there are multiple internet browsers. Similarly, there are also several Bitcoin software clients in addition to Bitcoin Core. However, none of these clients is as widely used or influential as the Bitcoin Core implementation. That is because Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of this digital asset, established the software where Bitcoin Core forking occurred.

In other words, people perceive the Bitcoin Core as the software client that better preserves Satoshi’s ideology. Moreover, Bitcoin Core benefits from a large team of developers spread across the globe. As a result, it sets other Bitcoin software clients’ standards.

The vast size of the Bitcoin Core’s development team makes it difficult to track all the contributors. Also, it’s vital to note that there are no special requirements for becoming this digital currency developer. Anybody can join, leave or choose the area of development they decide to focus on entirely. Developers do not have to disclose their identity before they are eligible to contribute to the development of Bitcoin Core. As a result, coming up with a comprehensive list of Bitcoin Core developers, both present and past, are not simple. 

Who Funds Bitcoin Core Development
People associate many organizations with funding the development of Bitcoin Core, and they include:

Chaincode
Chaincode is a New York-based digital currency research organization that contributes to the Bitcoin network’s progress. The platform funds independent Bitcoin developers and the developers on its permanent team. Some prominent Bitcoin Core developers financed by this organization include Pieter Wuille, John Newbury, and Carl Dong.

Blockstream
Blockstream is a VC-backed blockchain company launched by prominent Bitcoin Core developers, including Gregory Maxwell, Jorge Timon, and Mark Friedenbach. The main goal of Blockstream as a company is to create a Bitcoin sidechain, permitting interoperable transactions. The Blockstream houses a dedicated Bitcoin Core developer popularly known as Andrew Chow.

Gemini
A crypto exchange that sponsors Bitcoin Core developers as part of its commitment to promoting a viable Bitcoin network is Gemini. The beneficiaries of its funds include Jarol Rodriguez and Dhruv Mehta. 

Coinbase
Recently, Coinbase joined the bandwagon, announcing the commencement of a Bitcoin Core development grant program. Joao Barbosa and OxB10C, a pseudonymous developer, are the first two recipients of its grants.

Who Maintains the Bitcoin Core
The role of maintainers is to ensure that the upgrades proposed by Bitcoin Core developers conform to the ethos of Bitcoin and implement them on Bitcoin Core. 

Also, Wladimir Van Der Laan leads the current Bitcoin Core maintainer team. Its other members are Pieter While, Marco Flake, Michael Ford, Jonas Schnelli, and Samuel Dobson.

The Bottom Line
Becoming a Bitcoin Core maintainer is not permanent because network participants can remove maintainers if they believe they are working against the community’s shared vision of the Bitcoin network.