Developer Samuel Dobson announced via a series of tweets on Thursday night that he is stepping down as a Bitcoin Core maintainer after three years as he “can no longer dedicate the time required, as I approach the end of my Ph.D.”
I am officially stepping down as a maintainer of Bitcoin Core.— Samuel Dobson (@meshcollider) December 9, 2021
Serving as the wallet maintainer for the past three years has been an absolute privilege, and I want to thank my incredibly generous sponsor John Pfeffer (@jlppfeffer) for his support throughout. /1
As a Bitcoin Core wallet maintainer, Dobson had direct access to the cryptocurrency's code on GitHub, with permissions to approve changes and make improvements to the Bitcoin software. He was also responsible for ensuring the security of the protocol.
When asked if there’s a chance that he will come back to BTC Core development one day, Dobson answered Cointelegraph that his Ph.D. is his primary focus at the moment. And even though he hasn’t decided what he will do upon graduation, he is not interested in the development of other cryptocurrencies.
Dobson stated that he is particularly grateful for the support of his “incredibly generous sponsor” John Pfeffer, without which he would not have been able to prioritize working on Bitcoin part-time.
He made an appeal to the Twitter community to consider financially supporting a developer due to the nature of open source projects. He also told Cointelegraph:
“Bitcoin Core development has obviously grown immensely since its conception back with Satoshi. As an open source project, it will always be in an interesting and more difficult position funding-wise, but things like Brink, Chaincode, Spiral, and direct developer sponsorship via GitHub have helped a lot.”
Bitcoin has already lost two maintainers since October. With Dobson's departure, the number of developers with direct access to Bitcoin code has dropped to five, according to an updated list on the Bitcoin Forum.