Each minute of Bitcoin2014 conference was meaningful, and everyone was completely torn between simultaneous presentations, panel discussions and exhibition stands. But there were moments, when all the eyes were looking at one place and all the ears hearing to one voice. Presentation of Gavin Andresen was one of such moments for sure.
If you opened the article after reading the title, then you probably know, who is Gavin Andresen. Still, there are some misunderstandings in the issue.
So, Gavin Andresen is the Chief Scientist of Bitcoin Foundation, which means he is heading the Bitcoin core developer team — several engineers, working on improving the original Bitcoin protocol. You would possibly claim that Gavin, together with his crew, controls the respective cryptocurrency. But that is absolutely not true because of the Bitcoin decentralization principle. No matter what changes are being implemented by the core developer team, the updated protocol is going to work out only in case the vast majority of the network approves it. I remember Jeff Garzik, member of the core dev team, said: “Bitcoin is an open-source code. Don’t look at us to solve the problems, solve them yourself!” Hard to object to, nothing to add.
Coming back to Gavin now. Early April, CoinDesk issued an article headed “Gavin Andresen Steps Down as Bitcoin’s Lead Developer”. Sounds catchy, but I do believe this is not a step down, but a significant level up. Gavin passed the coding Olympric Fire and the position of Bitcoin Core Maintainer to Wladimir van der Laan, living in Amsterdam, with the following words:
“To be clear: I’m not going to disappear; I’ll still be writing and reviewing code and offering my opinions on technical matters and project priorities. I enjoy coding, and I think I’ll be most effective as Chief Scientist if I don’t lose touch with engineering reality and make the mistake of building huge, beautiful, theoretical castles that exist only as whitepapers.
I’ll just spend a little less time writing Bitcoin Core release announcements, and a little more time catching up on the latest bitcoin-wizards thinking on how best to implement transaction history pruning.”
Watching Gavin’s presentation live and checking out several extra interviews, I’ve been caught with a feeling that Mr. Andresen is like Steve Jobs and Wozniak in one person, embodying charisma of the first and technical genius of the latter. Gavin is a real public figure, whom people are listening to. He’s got around 19k followers on Twitter and even a fan page on Facebook. He contacted Satoshi Nakamoto in the past and has the highest number of commits on Bitcoin GitHub.
But with all his communicative skills and popularity within the community, Gavin tries to stand in the crowd:
“I do not want to be the King of Bitcoin,” announced he on the “Bitcoin: The Wish List” panel, Bitcoin2014.
Indeed, Andresen is not a CEO of a major company even with desirable Chief Scientist position. The face behind Bitcoin consists of all the people adopting it all around the world. And the fact that Gavin doesn’t feel like being on top of others brings one more reason for respecting this person.
I insistently ask you to watch the full video of the Gavin’s speech shown right at the beginning of the post and visit as many Bitcoin conferences as possible, because the more smart and oriented people gather in one place, the better is for Bitcoin.
In crypto we trust!