Bitcoin’s top developer confirms resignation plan, cites ‘social media spats’ as reason

By | August 17, 2022

Bitcoin’s top developer Wladimir van der Laan in a tweet confirmed that he is resigning from the Bitcoin project. He cites “burnout” and constant “bizarre spats on social media” as major reasons for taking this decision.

It should be noted that Van der Laan is the second successor to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous individual who created Bitcoin. He is one of the few people in the world who has access to Bitcoin’s Core Github. For the last eight years, he has served as the maintainer of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Van der Laan was responding to a Twitter user who pointed out an “inflation bug” released by a Bitcoin developer years ago “could have killed Bitcoin.” He tweeted: “this is really low, everyone makes mistakes, a bug is just as much the fault of others for not catching it in review and anyhow why bring this up now ?” adding that the criticism is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to find developers willing to contribute to Bitcoin core. “Sometimes the expectations are unreasonable and inhuman, there’s no other sector where you’re pilloried personally for bugs.” He confirmed that it was “time for him to move on to other things.”

Bitcoin developers are volunteers, who work to maintain and fix any bugs reported in the Bitcoin ecosystem. They receive donations from Bitcoiners or companies for their work.

Further, Van der Laan is a strong believer in decentralisation. Recently, he pointed out the possibility of switching ownership of Bitcoin core to an organization rather than a single owner. “I realize I am myself somewhat of a centralized bottleneck. And although I find Bitcoin an extremely interesting project and believe it’s one of the most important things happening at the moment, I also have many other interests. It’s also particularly stressful and I don’t want it, nor the bizarre spats in the social media around it, to start defining me as a person,” he added in a blog post.

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