Chief Scientist at Bitcoin Foundation Gavin Andresen has been deprived of the right to make changes to the Bitcoin Core code. Other developers fear that Andresen could share his access with third parties.

Wladimir van der Laan, one of the Bitcoin Core developers, wrote in his blog that the Andresen’s right on access to the main code of bitcoin was withdrawn.

“When we saw the blog post convinced he found Satoshi, the prudent thing to do was to revoke his ownership of the ‘bitcoin’ organization on github, under which the Bitcoin Core repository currently lies, immediately.”

The developer clarifies that the main concern was about the fact that Andresen could share his access with Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright, who earlier this week has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the legendary creator of bitcoin. The proofs presented by Wright were renounced by the bitcoin community as incorrect and false.

According to van der Laan, Andresen is “confused”, and his right to change the Bitcoin protocol threatens the security of the entire system:

“In the past he has stated that “Satoshi can have write access to the github repo any time he asks”, so if he is absolutely convinced that this is Satoshi, there is a risk that he’d give away the repository to a scammer.”

The same day when Wright declared himself Satoshi Nakamoto, Andresen wrote in his blog that he was “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Australian was the real creator of bitcoin. Later Andresen changed his mind, saying that he should not have written such statements:

“It was a mistake to agree to publish my post before I saw his - I assumed his post would simply be a signed message anybody could easily verify.”

In turn, Craig Wright, in fact calling back his claim to be Satoshi, offered Andresen and John Matonis, who supported him, his apologies:

“I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.”

Currently, Andresen refuses to give any comments on what happened. In his twitter, he replied to the question whether he still believed that Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto:

“Ask me in six months; I don't trust my own judgement right now after all the drama.”

Andresen received the right to change the main bitcoin code from its creator Satoshi Nakamoto when the latter decided to disappear from the public space.

In 2014, Andresen resigned as a lead maintainer of the Bitcoin Core repository, handing over his post to van der Laan, but he reserved his right of access to the protocol. 

Long-time tensions between Andresen and current Bitcoin Core team are not a secret. Earlier, another Bitcoin Core developer, Eric Lombrozo, told CoinFox that he considers Andresen’s behaviour unfair.

“Unfortunately he continues to take credit for our work. He continues to abuse his title of “core developer” to promote other projects of his that are based off of our work.”


Elena Platonova