In a discussion about chain splits and governance failure during the Bitcoin Wednesday Meetup at the Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos noted that 95 percent of Bitcoin developments and developers are from the Bitcoin Core development team.
Since mid-2016, the community of Bitcoin Unlimited supporters, developers and miners have been encouraging the execution of a hard fork in order to scale the Bitcoin network. While doing so, its supporters harshly criticized the Bitcoin Core development team, particularly popular online communities including Bitcoin Reddit (/r/bitcoin) and Core solutions such as Segregated Witness, hereinafter SegWit, which actually has gained acceptance from the market and support from two of the largest Bitcoin companies in Blockchain and Coinbase.
Supporters of SegWit and the Bitcoin Core development team have always emphasized the importance of security and cautious approach towards Bitcoin development. Many have also warned the Bitcoin community against hard forks, due to some of the security issues they could lead to, including the potential occurrence of a chain split, wherein the Bitcoin network breaks into two and as a result, creates two currencies.
Bitcoin core team is 95 percent of developments
At the Bitcoin Wednesday Meetup held in Amsterdam, Antonopoulos stated that the development ecosystem has much improved in the past few years, due to the establishment of the Bitcoin Core team and Blockstream. The Bitcoin Core team is well funded and they have wholly dedicated themselves to the development of Bitcoin.
Tone Vays, a Bitcoin analyst and consultant, also mentioned a similar point in his debate with prominent Bitcoin investor Roger Ver that the Bitcoin Core team and their projects such as SegWit are overseen by a large team of full-time developers while Bitcoin Unlimited lacks such resources.
Antonopoulos further emphasized that 95 percent of the developments within the Bitcoin network have been proposed, implemented and executed by the Bitcoin Core team, which also makes up for 95 percent of developers working to improve Bitcoin on a daily basis.
“Bitcoin Core is 95 percent of the developments of Bitcoin. It’s people who have dedicated their lives very often at no pay to do this for years. I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. Three years ago, we were wondering about how we are going to fund developments. Now we have a very well funded team of Core developers and a very robust team of Core developers.”
Currently, it is difficult to speculate whether Bitcoin Unlimited will successfully lead a hard fork execution or the Core team will convince the rest of the market to adopt SegWit. However, antagonizing the Bitcoin Core team for the work they have done to grow, protect and scale the Bitcoin network shouldn’t be the core argument for pushing non-Bitcoin Core and alternative solutions.
According to Bitnodes, the global nodes distribution platform developed by 21 Inc, nearly 60 percent of Bitcoin nodes are in support for Segwit. Once 95 percent activation threshold is reached, the Bitcoin Core team will be able to implement SegWit and open the protocol for two-layer solutions such as Lightning and Tumblebit.