Bitcoin Q&A: What will Bitcoin Core 1.0 look like?


“What would Bitcoin Core 1.0 look like?
I believe Satoshi first ran bitcoind 0.1.” “With all of the years [behind it] so far, any ideas
about what Bitcoin Core 1.0 could possibly look like?” Right now, we are at version 0.17. I don’t know of any plans to move from the
sub-version numbering to 1.0 anytime soon. If you think about it, this could be a 130-year
currency, an extremely long issuance horizon. This is something that is still
being modified heavily all the time. I think, as we see in one of the comments from Colin, releasing a 1.0 [this soon] could and
would be wrongly interpreted by many. I agree with that. I don’t think there is any point in,
or see any speculation as to what 1.0 will look like, or when anyone would be confident enough
to say, “We are past the experimental phase.” “This is in full-blown global production and ready for the
world.” That [would be] a very audacious thing to say… when you’re building the next-generation money. Briz asks, “Catastrophe!” “What would happen if all the Bitcoin developers
and project maintainers disappeared?” “Let’s say that every Bitcoin developer and maintainer
with commit access was on the same cruise ship… and it blew up or sank with everyone in it.” “What would happen to Core? Would Bitcoin just
march on, but without any new developers?” “Would it turn into an epic battle of the forks?” “A gruesome thought, but just curious.” “If something catastrophic happened to key
individuals, how would Bitcoin survive?” First, if all the Bitcoin developers and maintainers
were on the same cruise ship, the more likely thing… [to kill or harm them] would be some kind of
gastrointestinal disease, rather than the ship sinking. I would be very strongly questioning their tastes
and choices because cruise ships suck. They are floating hotels that make you seasick,
give you food poisoning, and you can’t leave. Did I mention I hate cruise ships? All right, never mind.
Let’s go back to the theoretical catastrophe. Let’s say something happens to a
big number of Bitcoin developers. You can also turn this around and ask, why wouldn’t
a state actor attack or imprison Bitcoin developers? Coerce them into not contributing anymore or worse? Once you understand how open-source communities
work… Bitcoin Core is not the only client out there. There are multiple implementations of the Bitcoin
protocol that are interchangeable and compatible. A C++ implementation called Libbitcoin, for example,
which was a project started by Amir Taaki, and continued by a number of
very talented developers today. Bcoin, which is a JavaScript / NodeJS
implementation of the protocol and full node; multi-threaded, compartmentalized,
modular, and with high performance. [It was] created by Christopher Jeffrey (JJ) and a
bunch of other developers who started out at Purse.io. There is btcd, which is a Go (golang) implementation. Most likely, rather than “a battle of the forks,” I think you
would see other clients becoming more prominent, if Bitcoin was no longer being developed
and maintained in the Bitcoin Core package. Other packages, other implementations of the
node software, would become more prominent. Also, realize that we’re talking about
a very large number of developers. There are probably three or four hundred people who
contribute at least once a year, from various projects. Although there are a dozen or so who are
very prominent and do a lot of the work, that doesn’t mean other people couldn’t step up. [A big catastrophe] would create a vacuum,
which would be filled by other people… stepping up and taking more prominent roles, people
who have been learning gradually [over the years]. Essentially, nothing would happen.
The Bitcoin project would continue. There is enough interest. There are enough trained
developers, people who could learn very quickly, take a greater role in a project like that
and see it as an opportunity to contribute more. It is quite intimidating when you have all these world-
class cryptographers, mathematicians, and developers. You might think, “Oh, my little contribution is going to be
laughed at.” Mine certainly have been, and that’s okay. But there are many talented people
who lurk in the shadows, anonymous, not necessarily contributing at the
moment, but would step up quite easily. Nothing would happen to the project, which is also why there is absolutely no point in
coercing or imprisoning any of the developers. There is no center, no irreplaceable
individuals, no central point of failure. This is a recipe and there are many who can cook this
recipe, who can continue to enhance and improve it. You can’t stop a recipe by taking out some of the cooks.

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