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Who Really Controls the Bitcoin Core Software?

1 min
Updated by Adam James
If you have been involved with cryptocurrency for a while, you have probably wondered about how the development process of the Bitcoin Core software works.
Bitcoin has received continual developmental attention throughout its existence and, with every passing year, more and more developers join the project to contribute in one way or another — but who controls the flow of information? Who controls which updates get passed and which don’t? Jameson Lopp is a former Bitcoin Core contributor. According to him, Bitcoin is an anarchy without rulers, but rules do still apply. He explains that there are several people which have the ability to merge code and have it included in the next release. Strangely enough, he explains that this is mostly an auxiliary position, rather than a position of power. Five people have the authority to commit new code to the main repository are:
  • Wladimir J. van der Laan
  • Pieter Wuille
  • Jonas Schnelli
  • Marco Falke
  • Samuel Dobson
Each and every one of them has a PGP key which is used to sign commits every time the code gets updated. This does not mean that they are the only ones contributing, however, but they are the gatekeepers that have earned their position. It still represents a risk, in case one of the keys gets lost, but it serves a great purpose to protect the code and commits even from the platform on which it is hosted. All in all, this does not provide a 100 percent guarantee against malicious actors. After all, what prevents any one of these individuals from causing damage and going rogue? How does Bitcoin remain safe, stable, and consistent? Is Bitcoin Core’s security good enough to prevent abuse? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below! 


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