Open source is a philosophy, with participants believing in the free and open sharing of information in pursuit of the greater common good.
Open source refers to the open nature of a software or code, which are deemed by the copyright holders or the creators to be open for inspection, duplication and modification. Being open source allows users to use, analyze, modify, change and distribute the software or the code, as per their requirements and needs, for anything without restrictions. This ensures that end-users are able to use the software freely without having to face any lawsuit or other liabilities from the original developers. However, open source doesn’t necessarily mean free, and developers can still charge for services, namely consultancy and troubleshooting, among others.
Most of the crypto projects and code are open source, which allows them to be easily inspected, verified for integrity, and modified without any restrictions. Furthermore, open source has enabled widespread interest from the developer community, who are able to create new projects by modifying the parameters of existing ones and adding new functionality. For instance, Bitcoin forks like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) were created from the original Bitcoin source code with differing block sizes and other changes.
The open source spirit of the crypto space has allowed an explosion of innovation that hasn’t been seen since the advent of the internet, bringing new concepts to life including stablecoins, DeFi and non-fungible tokens, among others.