Since Bitcoin launched in 2008, it needed developers to keep running — but who exactly are they?
So, who is responsible for running the Bitcoin core? What’s the profile? Are they educated and wealthy?
These people are known as Bitcoin developers. They work together to improve the functionality of Bitcoin as a protocol for storing and transferring value.
Before discussing the names and profiles of current developers, first, let’s talk about Satoshi Nakamoto — the inventor of Bitcoin, who is also considered as the original developer of Bitcoin Core.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of Bitcoin. However, it is not clear even today if Satoshi Nakamoto is a man, a woman, or a group of people. Satoshi has kept their identity hidden ever since the release of the Bitcoin code into the wild back in 2008.
Satoshi Nakamoto is often the first name that beginners Google after searching for Bitcoin. Most of the big tech companies and products have famous founders. It is only natural you would want to learn more about the person behind one of the fastest-growing industries, called cryptocurrencies.
The Role of 2007 Financial Crisis in the Creation of Cryptocurrency
In 2009, Nakamoto released the first version of the Bitcoin software client. By the end of 2010, after the release, they disappeared. It’s interesting to know that Nakamoto worked with people on Bitcoin and built the software but never shared anything about their personal life — not even their appearance.
In Japanese, Satoshi means “clear thinking, quick-witted, and wise,” “Naka” means “medium, inside or relationship,” and “Moto” means “origin” or “foundation.” It is not known whether the Bitcoin creator was Japanese or not; however, people find the meaning of Satoshi Nakamoto quite intriguing, considering the founder is still nowhere to be found.
After 2010, many people came forward and claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Some investigative journalists wrote long articles on the real Bitcoin creator. However, none of them were verified. Even after more than a decade of the creation of Bitcoin, Nakamoto is a mystery.
There is debate on how much Bitcoin Nakamoto has, considering they were the creator. Experts believe that their holding could be around 1 million Bitcoin, also known as the Satoshi stash. Will Nakamoto appear one day? Can’t say. How will we recognize him? Don’t know.
We can’t say what the future holds, but one thing is for sure that had Nakamoto been active today, they would have been billionaire(s).
When Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared in 2010, Gavin Andresen took the role of lead developer of Bitcoin Core. An alum of Princeton University, who started his career as a software developer, was intrigued by Bitcoin's decentralized nature. He gave an idea of how Bitcoin would look like and how the project would work. He formed a team of five core developers who had the power to change the code behind Bitcoin. He founded the nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation in 2012 and dedicated himself to the industry.
Andresen lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and his Twitter id is @gavinandresen.
Wladimir Van Der Laan
In 2014, Gavin Andresen decided to pass the torch to Wladimir Van Der Laan. Now, Laan is the current lead developer of Bitcoin Core.
He is from Amsterdam, Netherlands, and likes to spend his time developing software. He started his career in the late ’80s and learned computer languages. In 2011, when he heard about the Bitcoin project, he immediately got intrigued by the idea of decentralized digital currency. He started as a contributor for the Bitcoin project, and now he reviews and monitors the project with others.
Laan likes to keep a low profile, so very little is known about him and his private life. His Twitter id is @orionwl.
Who Are Other Core Developers and Who Funds the Project?
Software developers monitor Bitcoin core, and their list is long. Cory Field, Marco Falke, Michael Ford are some of the popular names. Educational institutions, labs, and firms have supported the project.
How Do Bitcoin Developers Operate?
After accepting or rejecting the changes, a few individuals integrate them into the Bitcoin Core. They are responsible for maintaining the functionality. There is trust between the developers and the community, and developers can’t integrate code that has not been approved. If they breach their trust, they can be removed from the community.
In case there are any malicious changes, the older version of Bitcoin Core can be restored.
So, no one controls Bitcoin, and no one controls the epicenter, which is the Bitcoin Core — not even the lead developer.
Bitcoin developers try to improve the network’s privacy so that it can offer improved security, speed, and strength. These features are quite crucial as Bitcoin has emerged as an investment option worldwide.