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Luke Dashjr and the Hard Fork That Could Have Split Bitcoin

Last Updated March 24, 2024 9:12 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 24, 2024 9:12 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Luke Dashjr’s involvement with Bitcoin since 2010 has positioned him as a foundational figure in its development.
  • Before his deep dive into Bitcoin, Dashjr had a prolific career contributing to a variety of open-source projects.
  • Dashjr has steadfastly championed decentralization and security in the Bitcoin ecosystem throughout his career.
  • Foreseeing a 2013 hard fork threat and championing SegWit for scalability showcase his vision and commitment.

In the vibrant world of Bitcoin development, where passion and outspoken opinions are commonplace, Luke Dashjr stands out as one of the most fervent figures.

Recently, Dashjr has been vocal about his concerns, taking issue with memecoins and BRC-20 ordinals growing popularity. This demonstrates the clash between traditional Bitcoin values and new trends within cryptocurrency.

Why Is Luke Dashjr One Of The Biggest Bitcoin Legends?

Luke Dashjr’s personal life remains shrouded in mystery. However, some details have surfaced, notably surrounding his marital status and fatherhood. On his Twitter profile, he mentions being married and having seven children. However, he has divulged little else. His date of birth, family background, educational history, and even the identities of his spouse and offspring remain undisclosed. Dashjr fiercely protects his privacy.

What is evident about Dashjr is his prolific involvement in the realm of Bitcoin and a multitude of projects throughout his time as a developer.

A Pioneering Developer Across Open Source Projects

Luke Dashjr’s career began in 2001, where he embarked on a journey of significant contributions across various projects.

That year, Dashjr assumed the role of Development Leader for Kye 3.0,  a classic puzzle game originally released in 1992. He undertook a substantial rewrite, revitalizing the game for contemporary audiences.

In 2002, Dashjr further demonstrated his prowess by designing a bot tailored for the XMPP distributed communications protocol. This creation garnered widespread acclaim within the community, catalyzing the development of more bots within XMPP.

Transitioning into 2003, Dashjr joined the ranks of Gentoo Linux  as a developer. There, he contributed as a maintainer and ebuild writer, crafting scripts for software installation and configuration—a role he continues to perform within the Gentoo ecosystem.

Beyond these endeavors, Dashjr’s footprint extends across various projects, including OpenZaurus (2005), Utopios (2003-2011), GammaMOO (2004-2012), and the House Control Automation Framework (HCAF) (2007-2012), where his contributions played pivotal roles in the evolution of these platforms.

Learning About Bitcoin In 2010

In 2010, Luke Dashjr discovered Bitcoin.  Soon afterwards, he joined its development team. His expertise allowed him to become a key developer, contributing significantly to Bitcoin’s advance during its early years.

Dashjr’s initial efforts in Bitcoin were primarily directed at addressing issues related to security, performance, and the implementation of sophisticated features in Bitcoin Core.

In 2011, Luke Dashjr pioneered the establishment of one of the first Bitcoin mining pools, Eligius. Remarkably, Eligius mined more than 300,000 BTC, operating without imposing any fees on its users. This meant it set a precedent in the Bitcoin mining community for its user-friendly approach.

Credit: X/Rizzo

In 2012, Dashjr voiced opposition to Bitcoin’s first significant soft fork. As a result, the project’s lead developer asked him to step away. Despite this, he continued his involvement in Bitcoin development. Since 2011, he has served  as an official Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) Editor. This means he volunteers his time to scrutinize and vet proposals developers submit for evaluating modifications to Bitcoin. His role is crucial in ensuring changes to Bitcoin are thoroughly reviewed and assessed for both impact and viability.

Luke Dashjr Saves Bitcoin from Split, Boosts Network Capacity

In 2013, Dashjr was among the first people to fund a critical hard fork threat  that could have split Bitcoin into two separate chains.

Dashjr hardfork
Credit: X/Rizzo

During the contentious period known as the Block Size Wars, Dashjr devised a method to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit)  as a means to increase block size. This innovation is a key factor enabling Bitcoin to process blocks up to 4MB in size today, significantly enhancing capacity and efficiency.

By 2016, Dashjr’s relentless dedication and contributions to the Bitcoin project had established him as one of the top 20 contributors worldwide, underscoring his pivotal role in the development and evolution of Bitcoin.

Pro-Bitcoin decentralization (UASF, Knots, Ocean mining)

In 2017, Luke Dashjr stood out as one of the few Bitcoin core contributors who supported the User Activated Soft Fork (UASF), a pivotal movement that led to the activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit). The success of the UASF showed, therefore, that the consensus on upgrades within the Bitcoin network is driven by its users.

Today, Dashjr continues to contribute to the Bitcoin ecosystem through his development of Bitcoin Knots , a notable alternative software implementation of Bitcoin. This highlights the importance of having multiple implementations for the Bitcoin network, which enhances the network’s decentralization and resilience.

An interesting anecdote about Dashjr involves the loss of his account on Twitter. In a remarkable turn of events, after one of Dashjr’s friends found bugs in Tesla’s software, it is rumored that Elon Musk personally intervened to restore his account.

In 2023, Dashjr embarked on a new venture by launching a mining pool named Ocean Mining, successfully raising $7 million. Ocean Mining distinguishes itself by minimizing its custody of funds and decentralizing mining operations. Perhaps most notably, it pays users directly, further aligning with the decentralized principles of Bitcoin.


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