“The bitcoin experiment has failed”: Lead developer of the virtual currency jumps ship

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One of the lead developers behind bitcoin has parted ways with the virtual currency entirely, saying the “experiment has failed”.

 

Mike Hearn posted a blog over the weekend detailing his disappointment with the direction bitcoin has taken and why he’ll be taking no further part in it and off-loading all his holdings.

 

“From the start, I’ve always said the same thing: Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail,” Hearn writes.

 

“But despite knowing that bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly.”

 

Hearn has been engaged in a long-standing debate centred on the need to enlarge the “blocks” through which bitcoin transactions are processed.

 

This has been a long-standing argument among the bitcoin community, The Week in Bitcoin founder Alan Tsen tells StartupSmart.

 

“It’s sort of like a startup’s founding team having a debate about their product’s direction,” Tsen says.

 

“The block size debate has been raging on for a while now with many getting frustrated with the core developer team not taking action.

 

“Part of the reason why no resolution hjas been reached is that there is a differing view of what bitcoin’s core purpose actually is among those deeply connected with the project – is it a settlement layer or a payment layer?”

 

In the post, Hearn says he feels let down by the wider bitcoin community.

 

“It has failed because the community has failed,” he writes.

 

“It is a crisis of the core system, the block chain itself.

 

“In the span of only about eight months, bitcoin has gone from being a transparent and open community to one that is dominated by rampant censorship and attacks on bitcoiners by other bitcoiners.

 

“This transformation is by far the most appalling thing I have ever seen, and the result is that I no longer feel comfortable being associated with the bitcoin community.”

 

But in a response posted to Medium, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen labels Hearn’s actions a “whiny rage-quit” and claims there are a number of inaccuracies in the post.

 

“He’s throwing a tantrum on his way out,” Cohen writes.

 

“It’s completely off base for highly technical reasons.”

 

 

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Denham Sadler is the editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.
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