Poor Gavin Andresen.
First he publicly backs Craig Wright, saying that the Australian computer scientist really is the man who created bitcoin under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Then, when Wright’s own promised evidence falls apart – utterly disintegrates, really, faster than a tissue left in your pocket when you wash a pair of jeans on the spin cycle – he can only respond “what the heck?” On Thursday, it became clear that Wright wasn’t even going to try to provide any other evidence, and Andresen started mulling platitudes, tweeting: “‘we are all Satoshi’ is such a lovely idea; might say ‘yes’ when asked ‘are you?’”
Now, it looks like Andresen might have just been fired from Bitcoin development. He took over development of the Bitcoin code from Nakamoto himself when the latter retired from the scene, but since then he has also taken a back seat, leaving others to do the heavy lifting.
One of those others, Wladimir van der Laan, wrote on Friday that Andresen’s ability to make changes to the main code running bitcoin has been revoked.
“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,” van der Laan wrote.
“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,” he added.
There’s a lot more politics under the surface of the decision, related to a major battle for the future of the currency. But for now, it looks like Andresen’s role is reduced to “largely ceremonial”.
This article was written by HAL 90210, for theguardian.com on Friday 6th May 2016 16.21 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010