Former core developer and one of Bitcoin’s earliest advocates Mike Hearn has left the Bitcoin space entirely after talking of a crisis of the core system, “the block chain itself,” as he calls it and sees a price collapse in the future.
In the long, compelling read of his Medium post, Mike Hearn states the following sentences within the first minute of reading it, leaving little impression of his return to the Bitcoin community.
From the start, I’ve always said the same thing: Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail. So don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly.
The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.
The developer’s departure comes after disagreements and infighting among the community, censorship on Reddit and other prominent forums and a divide among the developers’ community with differing ideals about Bitcoin.
Hearn pushed for a larger block size capacity, a limit that has not been raised, he says, because “the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power.” He refers to just a handful of people who control a large majority of powerful computers helping with the block chain’s transactions.
Hearn contends several other reasons for the capacity limit not being raised. He brings up the developers of the Bitcoin Core to claim they refuse to bring changes. He also points to the Great Firewall of China, claiming it fundamentally slows down the process of moving data beyond the country’s borders.
In a further nod to this, an excerpt from his post reads:
Imagine an entire country connected to the rest of the world by cheap hotel wifi, and you’ve got the picture. Right now, the Chinese miners are able to — just about — maintain their connection to the global internet and claim the 25 BTC reward ($11,000) that each block they create gives them. But if the Bitcoin network got more popular, they fear taking part would get too difficult and they’d lose their income stream. This gives them a perverse financial incentive to actually try and stop Bitcoin becoming popular.
Toward the end of his post, Hearn ends on a somewhat positive note to state “all is not lost yet.” He references two forks – Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited looking to fix the cap concerns of the block chain. He adds that he doesn’t regret his time with the entire project over the past five years while adding that he’s moved on to other things.
Mike Hearn is now lead platform engineer at R3 after joining the startup in November 2015. R3 is a New York-based startup that leads a consortium of 42 global banks pooling in their resources to focus on the potential of blockchain technology for the financial industry.
Image from Shutterstock.