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Oldest Bitcoin Core Developer Announces Retirement After Eight Years

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Bitcoin Core lead developer and maintenance lead Wladimir van der Laan has confirmed that he is retiring. With this, van der Laan will leave the project after almost eight years in the lead, as he himself stated via Twitter.

Van der Laan is the second successor to Satoshi Nakamoto and is one of the few people in the world with final confirmation access to BTC Core’s GitHub. That is, he has deep access to the bowels of the code of the largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Van der Lann’s access belonged to none other than Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin. Nakamoto passed this access to developer Gavin Andresen who then transferred it to van der Laan.

In fact, Andresen learned to tinker with Bitcoin code directly from Nakamoto, but he spent just over two years on the project. In 2014 he left the post and passed it on to the Dutchman, who has held this position until today.

Lead developer od Bitcoin Core Van der Laan alleges burnout and fatigue

Van der Laan’s importance to Bitcoin Core can be measured in time. The developer spent more time maintaining the code than Nakamoto and Andresen put together. With his help, BTC has gone from being a currency for nerds and criminals to one of the most valuable assets in the world.

In January of last year, van der Laan said he planned to start phasing out his involvement. On August 8, the developer confirmed his removal by the twitter. “It’s time to move on to other things,” she said.

Interestingly, the phrase is similar to the one spoken by Nakamoto when he left Bitcoin Core almost 12 years ago. At the time, Satoshi also stated that it was “time to dedicate myself to other projects”.

However, van der Laan cited quite different reasons for his departure. At first, the developer said that he feared a “centralized bottleneck for Bitcoin development”. But then he cited burnout as another major reason for resigning.

In this sense, van der Laan classified working on open source software as “stressful”. The developer stated that in the future he would hesitate to get involved in another “ungrateful idealistic open source or research project”.

Hard work and little paid?

Generally speaking, Bitcoin developers are essentially volunteer workers. Some receive donations from project enthusiasts or supporters, while others earn grants provided by companies.

Even with these donations, Bitcoin Core itself does not remunerate developers. As a result, most of them are underpaid relative to developers with similar skills working in other industries.

Van der Laan pointed out that criticism for years of mistakes was one of the reasons he grew tired of his profession. Lle has categorically denied rumors that he has been involved in other cryptocurrency projects.

“A more decentralized Bitcoin”

Unlike Andresen, Van der Laan has not named any direct successors to his post. According to the developer, his wish is for his departure to help Bitcoin become more decentralized.

Therefore, van der Laan plans to delegate most of his functions to other hands, completely decentralizing the process. He has expressed a desire for Bitcoin Core to decentralize Satoshi’s GitHub confirmation passkey, which is currently in his hands, to the point that Bitcoin no longer needs an official maintainer.

Van der Laan has indicated a willingness to assume a secondary role leading to retirement, responding only in an emergency.

Commentators like Eric Wall blamed Bitcoin maximalists for pulling van der Laan out of his job. In that sense, the maximalists would exert enormous pressure, which, according to these commentators, took away the “fun” in keeping the cryptocurrency code.

Many members of the digital asset community have long called Bitcoin maximalists toxic. However, van der Laan responded to Wall’s claim, saying that he is not retiring for any of these reasons.

Last year, van der Laan outlined a possible plan for what could happen after his departure. His plan included the ability to decentralize development tasks, no longer relying on GitHub to host the code and finding someone else to send release candidate emails to official Bitcoin developer email lists.

Bitcoin community has repeatedly thanked van der Laan for his eight years of service as the main maintainer of the software.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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