No, Bitcoin is not controlled by five people: CoinShares debunks this persistent rumor

Wladimir van der Laan, one of Bitcoin’s (BTC) most prominent active developers, has finally lost access to the Bitcoin Core GitHub repository. The Wall Street Journal raised concerns about blockages in the Bitcoin (BTC) development process, but James Butterfill of CoinShares defused the narrative on the “Bitcoin Core centralized“.

CoinShares’ head of research denounces misconceptions about developers “controlling” bitcoin (BTC).

In his editorial column, James Butterfill, head of research at CoinShares, a leading digital asset management firm, reflects on the recent wave of hype around the increasing centralization of the Bitcoin Core development process.

He noted that any developer with a GitHub account can propose a change to Bitcoin Core, a client software for the Bitcoin network (BTC). Each proposal goes through rigorous peer review procedures over several months. Even the actions of the maintainers themselves are subject to these reviews.

That’s why this process is a collaborative effort among participants in a thriving and passionate ecosystem that lives by its balanced and proven principles:

In the past month, 29 authors have pushed 177 commits on the master branch, and 184 commits on all branches, excluding mergers. Our estimates suggest that there are about 300 active developers/contributors on the Bitcoin Github across 1000 individual repositories, making it a very large and active development environment.

Given all these facts, we should not overestimate the role of maintainers, i.e., the high-level Bitcoin (BTC) developers who coordinate the progress of the largest blockchain.

Bitcoin Core is the direct successor to the original “peer-to-peer electronic money” system proposed by the mysterious enthusiast Satoshi Nakamoto over 14 years ago.

Burnout, health problems, legal risks, poor compensation: What’s driving developers to leave Bitcoin Core?

The “shuffle“The hype against centralizing the Bitcoin Core development process is not new. Last week, it was sparked once again by the WSJ’s Paul Kiernan’s article Bitcoin’s Future Depends on a Handful of Mysterious Coders.

Kiernan told the story of one developer after another leaving Bitcoin Core. According to the text, at least three developers left their roles after Wladimir van der Laan.

While the legendary third Bitcoin Core (BTC) maintainer has stepped down due to health issues and burnout, other developers have stopped contributing due to legal risks. Also, as the author mentions, the average one-year grant for Bitcoin Core developers is 50-60% less than the average salary of a software developer at large U.S. technology companies.

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