Bitcoin chief boffin blocked

The Bitcoin Foundation's chief scientist Gavin Andresen has paid the price for supporting a claim by Australian Craig Wright that he is the secretive creator of the digi-currency, Satoshi Nakamoto: his write access to the Bitcoin Core code repository has been revoked.

Yeah Wright's boasts were quickly debunked and his subsequent promise to provide real proof never emerged. However, Andresen – who took over from Nakamoto on development of Bitcoin – had publicly supported Wright's claim. His judgement was called into question by Bitcoin developers.

As a result, Andresen has had his write access to the open-source Bitcoin Core code base revoked, according to a blog post by one of the its developers, Wladimir van der Laan.

"In the past [Andresen] has stated that 'Satoshi can have write access to the GitHub repo any time he asks'," writes van der Laan, "so if he is absolutely convinced that this is Satoshi, there is a risk that he’d give away the repository to a scammer."

Andresen has not been active for a number of years in the ongoing coding of the digital currency, and van der Laan claims he has asked him several times to voluntarily give up his access rights. Beyond the Wright saga, the decision to strip Andresen of his access is part of a wide political battle going on at the heart of Bitcoin over its future direction.

Andresen – who still helps maintain Bitcoin Classic, which makes up about a quarter of Bitcoin nodes – has since regretted throwing his support behind Wright so quickly. Bitcoin Core, meanwhile, powers nearly 70 per cent of Bitcoin nodes. ®

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