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Bitcoin Core Dev: Gavin Andresen’s GitHub Privileges Were A “Liability”

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

Gavin Andresen, chief scientist at the Bitcoin Core Foundation and former chief developer of the Bitcoin source code had his commit access revoked recently. The move, a collective one taken by Bitcoin Core developers, left Andresen without any administrator or commit privileges after publicly backing Craig Wright’s claim that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s creator.

If it were left to Bitcoin Core dev Wladimir J. van der Laan and “many others” from the team, Gavin Andresen’s access would stay revoked.

In a personal blog  post, Bitcoin Core developer van der Laan has stated that removing Gavin Andresen’s ownership of the bitcoin organization on github (where the Bitcoin Core repository exists) was the “prudent” thing to do.

The move to revoke Andresen’s access came after he backed Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright’s assertion that the latter is Satoshi.

Van der Laan cited a previous post by Andresen which stated Satoshi would have been granted write access to the Bitcoin repository on GitHub, if he merely asked for it. To this, van der Laan added:

So if he is absolutely convinced that this is Satoshi, there is a risk that he’d give away the repository to a scammer.

Andresen penned a blog where he was “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt ” that Craig Wright was the inventor of bitcoin. The blog was published before Wright’s now-infamous, much-scrutinized post. Since then, Andresen has stated that it was a “mistake to agree to publish my post before I saw his.”

The Final Straw

Van der Laan also clarified that Andresen’s revoked access was a long time coming, citing the recent Craig Wright debacle as the “final straw.”

“His privileges were seen as a liability by members of the project for a while,” van der Laan revealed, pointing to Andresen’s inactivity as a maintainer for the project for nearly a year .

Although the dust has largely settled after last week’s supposed Satoshi reveal, many from the bitcoin core team, including van der Laan himself, do not see reason for having Andresen as the maintainer of the project again.

Stating that there is “just no point” to the title, citing Andresen’s inactivity as maintainer for Bitcoin Core, van der Laan opined:

So when the question comes up whether we should make Gavin maintainer again, my answer, and that of many others is a resounding “no”.

Altogether, van der Laan gives a reasoned explanation as to why Andresen’s access was revoked. He has since received criticism for the decisions taken by the team. To this, the core developer received support from none other than Gavin Andresen himself.

Featured image from Flickr.